Fighting Canine Cancer

Someone asked me about the holistic medications I’m giving my whippet.  You see, my little girl has cancer, and we’ve been fighting her cancer for four months now. 

We found the cancer following the review of an X-ray of her upper and lower trunk.  She’d had a cough for a few weeks, and she was getting ready to undergo a dental cleaning, so I insisted the vet do an X-ray examination first, before he stuck a tube down her throat.  He identified a mass, and following an ultrasound on the same day, she was diagnosed with a type of lymphoma or sarcoma masses in her abdomen and on the outside of her lungs. 

We needed a more definitive ID, so we followed up with a fine-needle aspiration of the cancer site in her abdomen.  The oncologist said it was a type of mast cell tumor.  We could not definitively identify the type of mast cell as it was very dense, and it was difficult to aspirate a large enough sample.  Her oncologist and our family vet do not believe it is in her best interest to remove the tumors or to complete a more invasive biopsy procedure due to her age; she is 16 and has a heart murmur.

The only treatment for inoperative stage 4 mast cell cancer at this time is chemotherapy, and her oncologist recommended Palladia, a very aggressive antineoplastic for dogs.   I opted out of this as the positive response to the drug is less than 38% and the end result would most likely be a short extension of her life, not a cure.  The side effects alone could kill her.  So, we moved on to alternative medicines.

Currently, we are working with a veterinarian who specializes only in homeopathic regimens.  I can tell you that I am pleased with the results so far, but I’m not sure it is a cure as much as it is a way to support a quality of life while she is here on this earth.  I’m reserving judgement.

At this point in her homeopathic regimen, her coughing has subsided, she no longer gets yeast infections, she still has an appetite, and she still runs outside.  We have other issues to deal with, including Degenerative Myelopathy aggravated by arthritis, but she is still relatively active and responsive.  I credit the homeopathic medications for this.

If your pet has cancer, I would recommend consideration of holistic medicines either as an alternative when mainstream treatments won’t work, or as a supportive regimen.  Either way, find a veterinarian who specializes in the field.   Your team should include an oncologist as well as a vet who specializes in internal medicine.  

Meanwhile, education is critical, so learn how to help your dog FIGHT CANCER:

Additional reading:  In Honor of My Brother

Please feel free to post your thoughts or ask questions here.

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