I’m a veterinarian who specializes in alternative approaches for pets with cancer. Over the years, I’ve evolved my practice methods based on how I see pets best respond to treatments.
There’s been an incredible increase in the veterinary options available to treat pets. I’ve seen …
- New pharmaceuticals
- Improved surgical and diagnostic techniques
- The first pet-labeled non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drug (NSAID)
- Evolutions in anesthesia protocols
- New antibiotics
- New vaccines
… and the list goes on.
But I have to ask … with these new medical “advances,” are pets getting healthier?
I say most definitively … NO.
Along with all the changes in medicine, I’ve seen increases in …
So where are we missing the boat? What do we need to be doing differently to help improve the health of our pets?
Treating Cancer In Dogs
Cancer is one of the most devastating conditions. It’s often life-threatening. Just the word itself causes a great deal of fear. It’s heartbreaking to learn that your dog has cancer. And conventional medicine doesn’t typically give much hope of survival. This is where holistic treatment for your dog’s cancer comes in.
In treating cancer, I’ve found that less conventional intervention often provides better results. The body has an amazing ability to heal … IF we provide proper support and reduce the insults.
In my experience, cancer can be quite manageable when we …
- Give the body proper support … and
- Don’t damage its ability to heal with unnecessary medications and procedures
A Different Approach
Conventional medicine will give cancer a name, grade, prognosis and treatment protocol. But there’s little or no mention of supporting the body’s own healing ability.
By contrast, I don’t need a definitive diagnosis when using my protocols. In fact, I find that the less we stick needles in tumors, and do surgery to make them go away, the better the outcome.
Here are some things to think about when considering holistic cancer treatment for your dog …
Why Not Surgery
It’s important to remember that the tumor you see is the outward manifestation of a systemic process. It’s the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.”
Removing a tumor does nothing to treat cancer. It just removes the visual indication of its presence. As a dog owner, it can be a comfort to see a tumor disappear. But if we don’t address the underlying issues that caused it … the disease will persist and manifest elsewhere in the body.
Remember … your dog doesn’t know or care about his cancer diagnosis. He just wants to walk, play, and do all the things he loves to do. But emotions like fear often guide human decision-making in times of crisis.
It’s an understandable reaction to want to fight and destroy the cancer. But the best way to help your dog is to focus on what will most benefit his quality of life … and not just make you feel better!
Every conventional medication your dog gets can have a negative impact on his ability to heal. These are just some of the drugs your dog may get with conventional treatments.
- Pain medications
- Potent anti-cancer meds
These medications are never completely benign … despite what many conventional practitioners claim.
So you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each decision about the treatments your dog will get. Your veterinarian should help you advocate for your dog … not just dictate protocols.
I do find that conventional medications are sometimes necessary to keep pets comfortable. But I use them judiciously, and for as short a time as possible.
Your dog may not have an immediate adverse reaction to these medications. But every drug requires more work from the liver and other detoxifying organs to remove it from his body.
Most conventional medications also damage the microbiome … beyond the point that a simple probiotic supplement can remedy. Without healthy digestion to properly process nutrients … and a balanced microbiome to support the immune system, your dog’s health will suffer.
What about chemotherapy for pets?
I always respect people’s choices. I will support their pet in any way possible if they choose to go this routel. But I never see good outcomes.
There may be a temporary reduction in tumor size. But then I see most pets get so sick that, in the end, their bodies become too run down to survive. There will always be some cancer cells that escape the chemo treatments. They come back with a vengeance … and the pet succumbs to the disease.
Clients are often told that dogs don’t suffer the same side effects of chemo that people do. This is simply not true in my experience. I would never use chemotherapy on one of my own pets (or myself, for that matter).
Don’t Overlook Nutrition
The most important foundation to healing is proper nutrition. Sadly, this topic is often overlooked during conventional cancer treatment.
The body must have properly balanced nutrients that are not inflammatory. For dogs, this means a fresh food, and ideally, raw diet. Here are a few guidelines:
- Avoid any and all forms of kibble. There are no good ones. Kibble is dead, toxic food, and will only contribute to the progression of disease in your dog.
- Read food labels. Do not feed anything that you can’t pronounce or recognize.
- Avoid synthetic supplements. Proper nutrition can be managed with a proper rotation of fresh-food ingredients. Supplementation should be naturally-sourced … and targeted specifically for the individual needs of your dog. Do not fall for the one size fits all marketing claims.
- Avoid dairy, including raw and fermented varieties. While dairy isn’t a problem for all dogs, dairy proteins can be inflammatory. It’s not nutritionally necessary, and I recommend avoiding it for cancer patients.
- Love the fat. I use ketogenic diet principles with my patients. Fat has been unjustly vilified as a cause of many diseases. I’ve found that well-sourced saturated animal fat (meaning NO factory farmed meats) can provide a host of benefits. It helps create a state of ketosis which has benefits when managing cancer. It also contains valuable nutrients such as vitamins D, K2, and A (retinol). These are most effective when eaten together. Fat is a necessary component of many hormones. And cells need a proper amount of fat for proper communication. Introduce fat slowly so your dog can adapt, but don’t avoid it in the diet.
Other Cancer Protocols
Some other key components to my protocols include:
- CBD oil. There are several good brands now available. Look for organically grown whole plant products. They should be minimally processed, without harmful chemicals. Companies should be transparent about their methods. Always ask for third-party testing information to ensure purity.
- Turkey tail mushrooms. These have proven anti-cancer effects and are a wonderful dietary addition.
- Essential oils like frankincense provide proven anti-cancer effects. Plus there is the added benefit of helping with relaxation for both people and pets.
- Ozone is one of my specialty treatments that provides oxygen for the body. Ozone treatment both supports the immune system and slows cancer growth.
- Mistletoeinjections. These have proven to be very effective at directly reducing tumor size and pain.
Principles Of Holistic Cancer Treatment In Dogs
These are some of the principles I follow for my cancer patients.
Fewer ingredients in a properly balanced fresh food diet = better nutrition and a stronger immune system.
Less vaccines and pharmaceuticals = less toxic insult to the body, especially the microbiome and immune system.
Fewer medical procedures = less aggravation of the cancer, reducing the tendency to metastasize or grow.
Avoid synthetic supplements = less work for the body, leaving more energy to address the cancer.
Less stress = more time to play and enjoy the family.
Less fear = more energy for healing.
Quality Of Life
My primary objective is to provide my patients with the best quality of life for as long as possible.
The outcome will vary with each pet’s individual circumstances. But I’ve seen definite success when we focus on supporting the healing ability of the pet … and let go of the notion of “fighting” the cancer.
Most importantly, watch how your dog feels …
Is he enjoying life, eating, playing, and interacting with the family? This is the most important outcome, far beyond lab tests and biopsy results.