A Natural Anti-Cancer Protocol for Dogs (& Other Animals)
(The Best Years in Life) “Cancer” is probably the word we most dread to hear, yet one that all of us who have dogs, cats or other pets and animals are likely to hear at some time. It is estimated that one in ten dogs will have some form of tumor. It is also a subject on which there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions, not only among owners but in the veterinary profession. The last is probably due to the fact that widespread treatment of cancer in animals is still relatively new.
What is cancer?The proper name is neoplasia – literally “new growth” – and the features which define it are persistence/purposelessness/proliferation. There are two types of neoplasia: malignant which destroy, invade, and metastase (spread); and benign, which grow locally and by expansion rather than invasion. A benign tumor is like an egg, with well defined edges which can be felt around. It can usually be removed by surgery. Even a benign tumor, though, can cause problems through pressure, for example if it occurs in the brain.
A malignant tumor has no clear edges and will ulcerate and spread. Since the boundary cannot be defined it is usually impossible to remove all the cancer cells by surgery. Malignant tumors metastase by lymphatic invasion, via the blood stream, or transcoelonic spread. Such metastasis in dogs is generally to the lungs but it can be to any part of the body. The only way to tell the difference between a benign and malignant tumor is to examine a sample under a microscope. Benign tumors can become malignant.
What kinds of cancer occur in dogs?In dogs generally 50 per cent of all tumors are of the skin (of which about 40 per cent are malignant and 60 per cent benign), 20 per cent are of the mammary glands (which account for 58 per cent of tumors in bitches, of which about 50 per cent are benign), only 10 per cent are of the alimentary system (which is one of the prime sites in Man), 10 per cent of the lymphatic system, 5 per cent of the reproductive system, and 5 per cent others.
However, bone tumors are much more common in the large and giant breeds. They are most likely to occur at the ends of long bones in the growth plates but may occur on the skull, pelvis, etc. Bone tumors are mostly extremely malignant. Signs are swelling, pain, heat, and lameness (if the tumor is in a limb bone). However, although bone tumors on the forelimb (especially at the distal [lower] end of the radius/ulna – just above the knee joint and a favorite site) or those on the distal end of the tibia/fibula (just above the hock joint) on the hind leg are easy enough to detect, particularly when the typical hard swelling starts, those in other sites can be much more difficult to diagnose.
This is especially so if they are on bones where there is heavy surrounding musculature, such as the shoulder-blade, upper arm, or thigh. These are all too likely to be diagnosed as pulled muscles, damaged tendons, arthritis, etc. Also, osteosarcoma (the most common form of bone cancer in these breeds) often starts up after some kind of trauma such as a collision or fall and is most likely to occur in the age range of 6 to 8 years, so the tendency is for a diagnosis of bruising, arthritis, etc. in any case.
Oral tumors are quite common and mostly malignant. One problem is that they are often well advanced before being noticed. Signs are bloody saliva, bad breath, difficulty in eating, or unwillingness to eat. Malignant melanoma are particularly dangerous and spread rapidly.
Nasal tumors are quite rare but mostly malignant. Signs are sneezing, difficulty in breathing, discharge from the nose, or nosebleeds. They do not spread quickly but cause much local damage.
Tumors of the gut are rare but usually malignant and generally well advanced by the time they are noticed. Spleen tumors are usually malignant with early secondaries. Signs of internal tumors are non-specific but include weight loss (sometimes rapid), diarrhea or constipation, pain which may be shown by a stiffness of movement, passage of blood or vomiting of blood or “coffee-grounds”, and loss of appetite.
Tumors of the lungs (a prime site in Man) do not occur as primaries in dogs but frequently as secondaries. Signs are difficulty in breathing, particularly after exercise, coughing, and wheezing.
Cancer of the lymph system is quite common and can involve a combination of lymph glands, bone marrow, circulating blood, and internal organs. Signs are enlargement of glands, depression, anorexia, and weight loss. These cancers include lymphosarcoma and leukemia. There are two types of canine lymphoma: the multicentric which affects the whole body, and one which develops only in the alimentary, cutaneous, and thymic glands.
Skin tumors can vary from granuloma, which are pea-sized, to vast lumps. Not all lumps which appear on the skin are tumors. Sebaceous cysts are very common, particularly in the elderly dog, but are only blocked sebaceous glands and quite harmless, although they do sometimes burst. It is a good rule, though, to have any lump tested.
Treating cancer, including canine and feline cancers with chemotherapy drugs is plagued with dangers. Most veterinarians are against the use of these drugs since the side effects are sometimes worse than the ailment. Mostly veterinarians suggest chemotherapy if the dog owner insists and is adamant to prolong the life of his dog, irrespective of its quality.
If you are looking for a better quality of life rather than just adding to the number of years, you should look towards a holistic treatment for cancer. A natural approach is devoid of toxicity, has no side effects and attempts to fight cancer cells in a natural way. You may have a good chance of success, but even if not you can provide a comfortable life to an already ailing animal.
The first step should be to clear the pet’s environment of all potentially carcinogenic materials and chemicals. Change his environment so that there is no contact with harmful pesticides, chemicals and toxic materials. Clean the household where remnants of these tend to accumulate. Throw out the plastic feeding bowl and use ceramic or metal. Start giving filtered water to the dog.
When a dog is fighting cancer, the first concern is to get the immune function back to normal. The next most important issue is diet. A dog with cancer is building a lot of new tissue, and adequate proteins and cell membrane compounds (omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids) are required to do this. When the adequate amounts of the correct proteins and fats are not present in the diet, the body will rob it from other places, leading at best to muscle wasting, but more likely complications with the functions of the kidneys and liver. This can lead to kidney and liver failure, which is something your poor dog does not need on top of the cancer. Fortunately, these secondary liver and kidney complications can usually be avoided by watching the dog’s diet.
Homeopathy can do wonders if a remedy is found that meets all the symptoms present in your dog. Such a remedy can prove to be one of the best tools to manage cancer.
There is a strong correlation between nutrition and cancer. Commercial foods available in the market contain preservative and synthetic substances that may be carcinogenic and may cause harm to the process of healthy cell multiplication. Home cooked and organic food is best for your dog’s health. If home cooked food is not an option, opt for health foods for dogs that are available in health stores. Before buying, make sure that they do not contain hormones, pesticides or antibiotics.
You may also choose to give therapeutic-level supplements of antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Many herbs also help in fighting cancer and can be given directly or along with a meal. Discuss this with your veterinarian and select a few herbs and natural foods that are rich in zinc, selenium and omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil or flaxseed oil have cancer-fighting properties and increase oxygen uptake to cells.
Caring for a dog with cancer requires dog owners to be well-conversed with the minute details of how symptoms of cancer manifest in pets. Cancer tends to remain concealed for a long time. For example, the symptoms of liver cancer in dogs are vague and are normally ignored or associated with milder conditions. Creating a program for home cancer care will help to curb the growth of cancer cells. If you can start such a program right from the time you bring your dog home, it may even prevent the dreaded disease.
- Make sure that your pet has plenty of clean, filtered water. Cats can be fussy drinkers and may only want to drink from a running tap, out of your glass of water or from rain puddles.
- Ensure your pet is eating a balanced, high-quality diet with plenty of raw and unprocessed food, (preferably organic), and avoid onions and chocolate, as they can be toxic to animals.
- Try and eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides, and make your house a no-smoking zone. Your pets need to have healthy lungs as well – and the whole household will benefit!
- Talk to a holistic vet before immunizing your pet every year. Conventional over-vaccination may stress the immune system unnecessarily, leading to negative side effects.
- Food and water bowls should be made of glass, stainless steel or porcelain, and not plastic. Wash your pet’s water bowl and food bowls regularly using hot water. Make sure to rinse them well, so as not to leave any harmful chemical residue behind.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise! A good ball throwing session in the park or a catnip mouse ‘seek and destroy mission’ will benefit your pet, as a fit, healthy pet is less likely to develop illness.
- Provide your pet with the herbs he would usually eat in the wild. These could include liver-cleansing herbs like Milk Thistle and Dandelion, and immune system tonics like Echinacea and Astragalus.
- Be sure that your dog or other pet gets plenty of fresh air, sunshine and indirect sun from being outside even if in the shade.
- Eliminate stress and give your pet plenty of love, affection and understanding. Just as stress and trauma have been proven to be associated with higher cancer risk and impediments to recovery in humans, the same is likely true for dogs and other pets. Note: pets, especially dogs, pick up on human stress so it is imperative for the owners to eliminate stress from their own life and environment.
- The BARF Diet (slightly modified)
- “Dogs rarely die of cancer. They usually succumb to secondary liver or kidney failure. These are cancer side effects that can usually be avoided by controlling the diet”
Dogs are descended from a common ancestor of the grey wolf and are very closely related. As such they are predominately carnivores (meat eaters) whose digestive system is most suited to a diet of raw meat and meaty bones – although it might actually be more appropriate to use noted authority Dr. David Mech’s description:
“What scientists do know about wolves is that they are opportunistic omnivores. Left to their own devices, they will eat whatever they can whenever they can.”
This is not to say that Dr. Mech has suddenly decided that wolves are not carnivores; however, it does illustrate the point (that) canines are carnivores that also eat omnivore foods. Dogs tend to be even more scavenger like than their close cousins the wolve and, contrary to what some would have you believe, some vegetables and fruits are well tolerated and even healthy.
Most canine cancer patients will do best on a grain free partially cooked or raw food diet. If you are concerned with how your dog will react with a raw diet, start off with rare cooked meat and slowly wean them to raw.
Due to the high acid in their stomach, dogs are not susceptible to the bacteria that humans are and a raw diet is a benefit to them. Their stomach acid also allows them to digest bone.
The raw food diet (or BARF diet – Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods) should consist of 75% to 80% meat and 20-25% vegetables and fruit (and fruit is optional).
BARF Diet Ingredients:
Recipe for 1 week of raw meat patties for a 50 pound active dog:
No two dogs are alike in the amount of food they require; dogs typically eat 2% of their body weight, but more active or dogs with a high metabolism may require 3-4%.
It is a good idea to give the raw diet in the morning and some dry, grain-free kibble in the evening.
You can also be creative and give chunked meat along with a mix of fruit/veggies/yogurt. Change is good to ensure a variety of nutrients.
NOTE: Once you determine how much your dog eats, you can mix in many of the recommended supplement items you choose.
Recommended Cancer Fighters, Immune Boosters and other Supplement Items
Inositol/IP6 is a rising star in natural health that has been very effective, especially when taken in combination with colloidal silver. at removing many cancers and other tumors – sometimes in as little as a few weeks. It has been especially effective in eliminating tumors in animals. It also enhances health at the cellular level and is highly recommended.
Is a supreme anti-pathogen which has been very effective against many cancers in pets, particularly fatty tissue cancers. Colloidal silver helps prevent and treat parvo, restores lost energy and vitality and is effective against arthritis and other joint problems. Highest recommendation. For fighting active cancers, you can mix colloidal silver up to 50/50 with drinking water and then after a couple of weeks or so graduallly back off to from two tablespoons per day for small dogs up to two ounces per day for large dogs until the cancer is defeated.
Black Seed Oil (Nigella sativa)
Black seed is an amazing plant that has been effective against cancer and many, many other conditions in both humans and animals with a history of use dating back thousands of years. Physicians of the pharaohs used the seeds as a digestive aid after opulent feasts and as a remedy for colds, headaches, toothaches, infections, inflammatory disorders and allergies. Black seed oil has been a beauty secret of women since ancient times. Queen Nefertiti, praised for her exquisite complexion, was an avid user of black seed oil.
Pliny the Elder crushed black seeds, mixed them with vinegar and honey, and applied the paste to snake bites and scorpion stings.
Black cumin and its oil have been used to purge parasites and worms, detoxify, ameliorate amoebic dysentery, shigellosis, abscesses, old tumors, ulcers of the mouth and rhinitis. Recent research confirms these uses for humans, dogs, cats and horses.
It is also reported to be very good for the skin and coat of animals.
Artemisinin has been shown to induce cell death in several types of canine cancer cells in vitro and has been reported to be particularly successful against bone cancers (osteosarcoma), lymphoma, and metastases from osteosarcoma.
Flax seed oil contains ALA, which can be converted into EPA and DHA by dogs and humans. If you instead have a cat, you should ideally give it fish oil instead of flax seed oil for dog, because the cat body does not convert ALA very efficiently. In coldwater fish, ALA present in algae has already been converted into EPA and DHA, which means that the cat does not have to do it. For dogs, you can use flax seed oil, fish oil, or ideally a combination of both.
Flaxseed oil, particularly when mixed with cottage cheese as is used in the Budwig Diet for humans, has also been reported to be effective against dog cancers. Like blackseed oil and fish oil flaxseed oil is good for the skin and coat, as well as other conditions.
Has strong anti-cancer properties, is an immune modulator, and also helps older dogs with arthritis and other joint problems.
Grapeseed extract is a supreme anti-oxidant with proven cancer fighting and other health benefits.
NOTE: Grapes and raisins are considered toxic to dogs and cats but grapeseed extract has been used successfully with both. Recent unpublished data indicates that the toxic component is water soluble, and within the flesh of the grape/raisin, not the seed. Thus the current thinking is that grape seed may be safe to use.
Medicinal mushrooms have essential cancer fighting and immune boosting compounds like beta-glucans and other long-chain polysacharrides. Although in general it is not a good idea to mix dogs and mushrooms, the following mushrooms are recommended:
Also known as Amygdalin or Vitamin B-17, Laetrile is famous for it’s anti-cancer properties in humans, particularly when combined with a good diet and nutrition program. Do not exceed 10-15 mg per pound of body weight.
Recent research indicates that Bromelain, an enzyme that comes from pineapples, may have an anti-cancer effect. Bromelain is used with dogs as an anti-inflammatory and for many other conditions, and should be safe to give. It may work best when given away from meals.
Chlorella, Spirulina, and other green superfoods
A great source of protein and antioxidants, Chlorella and Spirulina have had many reports of success against cancer and a wide variety of conditions in both humans and dogs.
Cartilage supplements may inhibit tumor growth. One anecdotal report came from someone with a toy poodle that had a major mass in his chest. After two bottles of Cartilage supplements, the mass was almost gone, and he went on to live another six years. Since cartilage is safe and inexpensive (and may help with arthritis as well).
Recommended Vitamins and Minerals:
These are herbs that have been listed for immune boosting, please use the tinctures for best results. Look for glycerine based tinctures for dogs. Some of these may be found in combinations for easier administering.
Common Supplement Amounts:
Three Essential Supplements from PetAlive
Promotes system detoxification to eliminate harmful wastes and toxins
- Supports the body’s natural processes of cleansing and elimination
- Support healthy skin, coat, joints and digestive system
- Facilitate healthy energy levels and general well-being
- Astragalus membranaceous (Huang Qi) is well known in traditional Chinese medicine. More recent research has highlighted the ability of this remedy to support the functioning of the immune system . Astragalus also helps to maintain blood sugar and blood pressure levels within the normal range, support vitality and a healthy appetite and maintain regular water metabolism. Currently, much of the pharmacological research on Astragalus is focused on its immuno-supportive polysaccharides and other active ingredients useful in supporting a healthy immune system. (Wang DC. “Influence of Astragalus membranaceus (AM) polysaccharide FB on immunologic function of human periphery blood lymphocyte”. Zhonghua Zhong Liu Za Zhi 1989;11:180-183).
- Viscum album (Mistletoe) is used to support normal blood pressure and maintain a healthy immune system. Viscum album has been widely tested in both human and animal studies with many positive findings. In a recent study, it was determined that cellular components of the body’s natural immune system (such as monocytes and granulocytes) bound Viscum album agglutinin-I molecules to a higher degree than lymphocytes, suggesting that this herb can support natural immune responses. (Hajto T, Hostanska K, Fischer J, Saller R. “Immunomodulatory effects of Viscum album agglutinin-I on natural immunity”. Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland. PMID: 9179367).
- Echinacea purpurea is well known for its excellent benefits for immune functioning. Echinacea is also effective as a tonic for the lymphatic system. Regular use can help to keep your pet healthy. Over 500 scientific studies have been documented on this herb. Specific studies have investigated the immune-supportive action of Echinacea ( Barrett BP, Brown RL, Locken K, et al. “Treatment of the common cold with unrefined Echinacea: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial”. Ann Intern Med 2002;Dec 17, 137(12):939-946).
- Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng) is one of the most important Ayurvedic tonic herbs, supporting growth, health and vigor. Regular use can help to nourish the blood and support healthy hemoglobin levels. This herb is often recommended as a strengthening and restorative tonic and has been shown to have a tonic effect on the immune system. (Davis L, Kuttan G. “Immunomodulatory activity of Withania somnifera”. J Ethnopharmacol 2000;71:193-200.)
- Sylibum marianus (Milk Thistle) is regarded as one of the most important herbal liver tonics and restoratives, and therapeutic use of Milk Thistle may be traced back more than 2000 years. Milk Thistle has been subject to many clinical trials which clearly demonstrate its effectiveness. Scientific analysis of Milk Thistle shows that it contains a flavonoid complex called silymarin, which is largely responsible for the therapeutic benefits of this herb. Silymarin is a powerful anti-oxidant and its positive effect on maintaining healthy liver functioning would have a direct impact on the overall systemic health of your pet as the liver is one of the most important organs in the body. (Pares A, Planas R, Torres M, et al. “Effects of silymarin in alcoholic patients with cirrhosis of the liver: results of a controlled, double-blind, randomized and multicenter trial.” J Hepatol 1998;28(4):615-621.)( Benda L, Dittrich H, Ferenzi P, et al.”The influence of therapy with silymarin on the survival rate of patients with liver cirrhosis (author’s transl)”. Wien Klin Wochenschr 1980;92(19):678-683.) Milk Thistle is also regarded as a potent antioxidant.
- Uncaria tormentosa (Cat’s Claw) has been used by the natives of Peru for hundreds of years. Cat’s Claw boasts many therapeutic benefits, among them its supportive role in maintaining immune system strength. It has been studied for its ability to support healthy cells. (Rizzi, R., Re, F., Bianchi, A., De, Feo, V, De Simone, F., Bianchi, L., and Stivala, L. A. “Mutagenic and antimutagenic activities of Uncaria tomentosa and its extracts.” J.Ethnopharmacol. 1993;38(1):63-77)
- Rice Powder (inactive ingredient)
- C-Caps may be given whole or opened with the contents mixed with food or a treat, depending on your pet’s size and preferences.
- Cats and small dogs: 1/2 capsule twice daily.
- Medium dogs: One capsule twice daily.
- Large dogs: One to two capsules twice daily.
Promotes healthy digestion
Digestive Support Benefits:
- Maintains healthy digestive functioning
- Soothes gastric mucus membranes
- Maintains health energy levels and general well-being
- Supports routine absorption of nutrition
Digestive Support contains the following ingredients:
- Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) is an excellent tonic for the intestines, bladder, kidney and entire digestive tract. This herb is also very effective in soothing the lining of the digestive tract. It has long been used as an herbal remedy for gastro-intestinal health and is well known for its immune-supporting properties. Licorice also exerts a gentle relaxing action on the bowels, helping to support healthy digestion and waste removal and has been investigated for its promotion of liver health. (Arase Y, Ikeda K, Murashima N, et al. “The long term efficacy of glycyrrhizin in chronic hepatitis C patients”. Cancer 1997;79(8):1494-1500.)
- Ulmus fulva (slippery elm) is known for its bark, which is an excellent digestive herb rich in trace minerals, manganese, iodine, protein and soothing mucilage. It is a very highly respected herb in naturopathic circles and is regularly used by holistic veterinarians to improve the health of the digestive tract. (DeHaan RL. Home remedies for pets. J Am Holistic Veterinary Med Assoc 1994;12:26.)
- Althaea officinalis (marshmallow) is a well known remedy for digestive health and contains large sugar molecules, called mucilage, which exert a soothing demulcent effect on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. This makes Marshmallow an ideal natural remedy to support a healthy lining in the digestive tract.
- Rice Powder (inactive ingredient)
- Cats and small dogs: 1/2 capsule twice daily.
- Medium dogs: One capsule twice daily.
- Large dogs: One to two capsules twice daily.
- Bones – they MUST be raw – cooked/smoked bones are never safe as they will splinter
< >Meat – chunked or ground (beef, lamb, chicken, pork, etc)
- Offal (liver, kidneys, heart, unbleached green tripe (which can be purchased in a can at your local gourmet pet food store))
- Vegetables – broccoli, spinach, celery, bok choy, carrot, capsicum, broccoli, cabbage (red and green), collards turnip greens, summer squash (zucchini and crook neck), Chinese cabbage, parsley and kale.
- AVOID grapes, raisins, avocado, onions, green peas, potatoes (except small amounts of yams), asparagus, plums, pineapple, rhubarb, tomato, black cherry, lima beans pumpkin, and corn and other grains. Grapes, raisins and avocado are quite toxic to dogs, onions are toxic to dogs and very toxic to cats.
- Fruit – In general, limit fruits to small amounts and use fruits such as cored apples, cored pears, blue berries, honey dew, water melon, cantaloupe, orange sections (no pits), grapefruit sections, and bananas
Other Goodies – Whole egg, flax seed, garlic (except not for cats), kelp, alfalfa, kefir, ground raw non-irradiated almonds (make sure there is no mold and note that walnuts are poisonous to horses)
Yogurt and cottage cheese are good to mix with the fruit/veggies to entice the dog to eat them
Never feed a dog chocolate – it can be fatal in even small amounts.
4 lbs ground meats – beef and/or lamb and/or chicken and/or turkey
2 cups raw goat milk or 1 cup yogurt or cottage cheese
3 raw eggs
1 apple (cored, no seeds)
1 glove garlic (not for cats though)
1 to 1.5 pound mixed veggies (such as sweet potato, broccoli, zucchini, kale, spinach)
- Mix in food processor and make into patties to freeze.
Agaricus Blazei Murrill (ABM)