Homeopathy in dog cancer is a mixed bag, but may be useful for certain cancers.
Homeopathy is the administration of very diluted amounts of substances that have effects on the body that mimic the symptoms of the disease being treated. There is much debate on whether there is enough active ingredient in these dilute preparations to even do anything, but it seems there is some evidence that the answer is yes.
The most interesting use of homeopathy in cancer medicine is for brain cancer, by far. In a real clinical study at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center in Houston, a number of human brain cancer patients were treated with a homeopathic remedy called ruta 6. One type of brain cancer, gliomas, appeared very sensitive to the effects of the homeopathic remedy.
The ruta-6 was combined with another agent ( Ca3(PO4)2 ) and used to treat these glioma patients. Out of 7 patients treated, 6 of them had complete regression. This is quite an achievement.
To read the abstract, click here. One reason this is a remarkable result is that brain cancer, in particular in veterinary medicine, is so difficult to treat. Very, very few have access to the facilities needed to diagnose and treat brain tumors in the dog.
Ruta 6 is made from the common rue, otherwise known as the “herb of grace”. This is a shrub that is used both in medicine and also as a cooking herb. However, please note that this plant is not the same as the homeopathic remedy, and extracts can cause some potent effects including causing abortions. Read more here.
Take note that homeopathic remedies should only be administered to your dog by a licensed vet familiar with their use.
In some in vitro (literally, “in glass”, or in test tubes, as opposed to living bodies) studies showed that homeopathic remedies were able to cause cancer cells to commit suicide.
In this study, homeopathy was found to slow the rate of growth of prostate cancer cells that were implanted in lab rats. There was no effects on cancer cells that were exposed to any of the five homeopathic remedies. It seems that the remedies were able to alter the rats physiology enough to increase their bodies’ ability to fight the tumors a bit.
However, the evidence for using homeopathy across the board for cancer does not exist. Take a look at these tidbits.
Another study, which was a systematic review of a lot of other studies, found no real evidence for the remedies helping cancer patients. Yet another showed no benefit of ruta 6 in extending the life of lab animals with solid tumors.
What is the bottom line? If your dog is suspected of having a brain tumor, contact a vet with knowledge of homeopathy and consider ruta 6. Also, if your dog has prostate cancer, you may be well served getting homeopathic intervention. Since options are usually limited in these cases and side effects pretty limited, homeopathy is one possibility that could (maybe) make a difference. (See the last post on contacting an “alternative” vet.)
For more on dog cancer treatments that you may have not heard of before, see The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
Best to all,