Natural Cancer Alternative Treatments for Your Dog
Why Does My Dog Have Cancer? What Can I Do?
Dogs live a lot longer now than when I was young and for some reason there is a lot more cancer diagnosed in dogs. Whether this is because of their longer life spans (increased genetic mutations), because of all the carcinogens in the air and water or because of all the toxins in the commercial food we are forcing them to eat remains to be seen.
Cancer is caused by a mutated cell that grows until it takes over your dog's body. It can be benign, and continue to grow in one location, or malignant, and spread and grow throughout your dog's body. The mutation in the cell may be caused by polluting poisons like pesticides and the chemicals we put on our dogs to control fleas and ticks, as well as the colors and additives in commercial dog food.
For some reason your dog does not recognize the mutated cell. It may be a problem with a weak immune system, or maybe it is because the cells in the cancer are so strong that your old dog is not able to kill them off.
So, what are you going to do about it? If your dog has been diagnosed with cancer this article will discuss some if the traditional and natural remedies you can try.
Traditional Cancer Therapy
There are traditional methods in which we try to destroy the mutated cells:
- Surgery can be effective in removing benign tumors that are easy to isolate and even some malignant tumors that have not yet spread. If the surgery works the cancer is gone, and your dog can expect a normal life.
- Chemotherapy may be suggested if the cancer is spreading and cannot be surgically removed. The treatment can have a lot of side effects since it kills all rapidly growing cells like blood marrow cells, cells lining the intestine, and cells in the hair follicles. There are supplements to lessen the terrible side effects and sometimes this treatment may extend the dog's life.
- Radiation is another therapy that is sometimes used. The dogs usually have to be sedated or under general anesthesia for this treatment, but your veterinarian might recommend it if the tumor cannot be operated on. It can cause localized hair loss and localized burns, but there are options to treating the side effects, and it may be the only effective way to treat some tumors.
Alternatives to Surgery and Chemicals: Herbal Cancer Therapy for Dogs
If your dog has a tumor that can be removed surgically then that is the best option for her health and long term survival. If the tumor cannot be removed though and you cannot afford or do not want to put her through chemotherapy or radiation therapy, there are alternatives.
Alternative cancer therapy is mostly based on the idea of boosting the immune system and allowing your dog's body to fight off the mutated cells.
None of the natural products are guaranteed but they have a lot less side effects than the conventional therapies. None of them are likely to ever have any type of proof since no drug company is willing to fund a research project on a drug it cannot license and profit from.
- Astragalus: A herb than strengthens the immune system. It may be most effective in battling the spread of melanoma.
- Cats claw: A herb from Peru that strengthens the immune system, acts as an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and maybe keeps tumors from growing.
- Echinacea: Supports and strengthens the immune system.
- Garlic: This strengthens the immune system. Contrary to some of the web sites you will see out there, this herb is not toxic.
- Green tea: Another immune stimulant and maybe an antioxidant.
- Mushrooms: The Reishi mushroom is used as an immune stimulant and may also be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
- Mistletoe: Immune system booster and may be helpful for other conditions.
Other Alternative Treatments for Your Dog's Cancer
There are some other herbs that do not improve the immune system but fight specific types of cancer. Milk thistle for the liver and dandelion for the kidneys are only a few. There are also several new herbs discovered every year that may help, but they are not available in all areas.
If you can do so, please talk to a holistic vet willing to prescribe the most appropriate herbal supplement for the type of cancer your dog is suffering from.
If you need a general supplement, and are not able to consult with a holistic vet, there are quite a few companies that are selling herbs and herb combinations that may be effective:
- (AveUltra) : This product is made with fermented wheat germ, and I recommend it since I have seen the beneficial effects. Besides destroying cancer cells it is also an anti-inflammatory and helps detoxification. The producers of this supplement recommend you use this product periodically for the rest of the dog´s life and not use Vitamin C supplements while giving this. Avemar
- AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound): Mushroom extracts. Boosts cells that attack the tumor cells. It is supposed to be synergistic with Avemar.
- Essiac (Essiac tea): A mixture of burdock root, slippery elm, sorrel, and rhubarb root. No clear mechanism has been worked out but the combination of herbs may attack the cancer and clean and improve the dog´s immune system.
- Genesis Resources Canine CAS Options: A mushroom and vitamin blend.
- Only Natural Pet Immune Stregthener: A mixture of astragalus, cats claw, green tea, and mushrooms, with the addition of antioxidant vitamins and coenzyme Q10. The herbs boost the immune system.
- Pet Alive C-Caps: A mixture of Echinacea, astragalus, cats claw, mistletoe, and milk thistle. This herb mixture is to boost the immune system.
What Else Can We Do?
The other thing you can do for your dog diagnosed with cancer is provide a good diet to limit the toxic substances that he is exposed to. I think that all natural is the best, and feed my dogs a raw prey type diet made up of inexpensive human-quality ingredients.
If you are not interested in feeding raw, a homemade diet will add fewer carcinogens and you can also add ingredients that can fight the cancer. I have included a great link for an organic diet (follow her recipe and do not overdo the carbohydrates), but there are a few other things you can add to help out your dog that has been diagnosed with cancer:
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- : Since your dog´s digestive systems are weakened when dealing with cancer, a digestive enzyme combined with a probiotic helps the body absorb necessary nutrients. This is one of the products that I have found can be of help. Digestive enzymes
- An organic diet: If your dog has been diagnosed and you are not willing to feed raw a homemade organic diet is the best option.
The great thing about feeding raw and in making up a diet at home is that your dog will be more likely to eat. (If your dog has cancer you already know that lack of appetite is a big problem.) You can warm up her food (not too much!) to make it smell better and she will be more likely to eat.
If you think that some of these products might help your dog go ahead and get started.
Alternate therapy in cancer treatment is not emphasized in veterinary college and your regular veterinarian may want to treat your dog´s cancer without looking into the alternatives.
It is really up to you to do the best for your dog.
- Acai, Vitamin C, and other Antioxidants
No one is sure that antioxidants are what a dog with cancer needs, but they might help. Açai is a fruit produced mostly in the Amazon that has antioxidant properties. Vitamins C, A, E, and some other chemicals also act as antioxidants in the body.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
What is a proper dose of Avemar Ultra for a 20 lbs dog?
There is not an exact dose. A packet of 17 grams will treat about 90 kilos, so about 1/4 of a packet. (The manufacturer recommends that a packet be thrown out if you do not use all of it. I do not see that this is necessary, so it should be good for 4 days.)