Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

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What Is The Best Supplement for Dog Cancer?

We are faced with some hard choices when in a war against dog cancer.  The truth is, as dog lovers,  often we feel pretty undergunned and overwhelmed, with choices that range from not-so-great to downright awful.

One of the difficulties many have is the choice among the supplements discussed in this blog or in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.  In the Guide I write about a rotating plan, using the main supplements for a period of about 2 weeks or so and then rotating to new ones.

Why is this?

The answer lies in the information we have available, or lack thereof.

As it turns out, actual studies yielding  information comparing the effects of a given supplement with the effects of another supplement simply do not exist.  We are not talking about test tube studies here, everybody.  Test-tube studies are all over the place and can be meaningless when used in living animals.

I am referring to a comparison, in living bodies, preferably dogs, between EGCG and curcumin, as an example.  Or Artemisinin versus Neoplasine. And so on.

The data simply is not yet available to us!

So what do we do?  The answer is this:  we rotate between them.  In this way we are able to average out the effects so we get an overall benefit that was greater than if nothing was used.  Say Luteolin works really well for a given dog’s T-cell lymphoma, but in another dog with hemangiosarcoma it does not work that well.  Or it works well in early lymphoma but not in late lymphoma.

Since we just don’t know, but we can gather evidence that it has worked in lab animals, test tubes, and in my personal research in some dogs, well, let’s use it!  But can we bank on it for all dogs with all cancers at all stages? No, we cannot.

Thus, use a couple of your big guns, for 2 weeks or so, and rotate to new ones.  You can keep the leftover pills for the next rotation!

Best,

Dr D

About the Author: Demian Dressler, DVM


Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM is known as the "dog cancer vet" and is author of Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog's Life Quality and Longevity. Visit his blog and sign up free to get the latest information about canine cancer. Go to http://www.DogCancerBlog.com.

  • Angel

    I hope everyone who has a dog with cancer or who simply wants to be “armed and dangerous” should this formidable foe attack there companion animal give themselves the “gift” of Dr. Dressler’s book. While many professional and lay persons alike are unfamiliar at best, and down right hostile at worst, to the idea of nontraditional treatment, I have had personal experience time and time again in a kennel setting of the effectiveness of treatments out of the realm of normal. Particularly with diseases usually deemed “untreatable” by the veterinary community (i.e., early stage distemper). I have a 8-1/2 year old Great Dane with multicentric lymphoma who enjoyed remission (courtesy of Wisconsin protocol) for almost 4 years and half of that time without maintenance chemotherapy (not by choice) until 2 months ago. As an open minded researcher, I was overwhelmed with the amount of holistic/homeopathic remedies and treatments discussed on the internet with regard to lymphoma and, until I read Dr. Dressler’s book, Cancer Survival Guide: Beyond Surgery, Chemotherapy and Radiation, I purchased many different products in the hopes of saving this dog’s life. After the past 2 months I have made a couple of observations: first, in selecting nontraditional therapies I believe you have to set reasonable goals to determine if there is truly a positive response in your dog. I believe that a condition that gets better is by far the best outcome. But with lymphoma, I now realize that no change is a pretty close second. Lastly there is deterioration, when your dog gets worse (enlargement of lymph nodes, lack of appetite, pain, etc. Then, the real test – how long do I continue to use my therapy or therapies of choice? When can I determine if the therapy is actually not working? I’m not sure there are answers for every dog in every clinical situation available to us. I hope Dr. Dressler can address this at some point in time. I think as a dog owner, I am too impatient to see progress and devastated to see deterioration. Even understanding things like lysing and detoxification, I am looking at Nicky and I am afraid I am losing him as his energy levels and ability to get around are getting worse. In rushing to try some of the latest discoveries, I believe I incorrectly combined certain therapies or gave them at the wrong times or in the wrong amounts. I want to urge people wanting to win the battle against cancer to prepare themselves, within their capabilities – research (the internet is truly a blessing), education, information, veterinarians, etc. – and prepare a plan. And not just for a few days, but an overall game plan for a several weeks. Sometimes changes in your pet’s condition or subtle. Sometimes it can happen in a few days, more often than not, it will take much longer than that. I think you really must observe your pet closely, keep a diary if necessary, to accurately determine if any changes occur. I believe there are many alternative therapies that can be positive in treating cancer. I pray that my Nicky lives long enough for us to find the right ones. Good luck to those out there in the fight.

  • Dr. Dressler

    You said it!
    Dr D

  • http://photobucket.com/patricia1594 patricia1594

    Can you give me any information on nitrosylcobalamin NOCbl?

  • Susan

    Dr. D,

    Can you give me any information on metronomic chemothery? This apparently is a lower dosage that will help decrease the blood supply to tumors. I’m considerering this instead of the 5 doses of doxorubicin.

    My dog loves your cancer diet and seems to be doing great. I am thankful for everyday we have together. Yesterday he swam in the lake, played balled and got a nice bath afterward!

    Thanks,
    Susan

  • http://www.nativevillage.org Gina

    In February, 2009, my 10-year old Shi Tzu (18 pounds) was diagnosed with a lymphoma tumor which had metastized to his lymph nodes in his neck. He had surgery to remove the tumor, but we couldn’t get it all.

    The tumor measured 5.0 cm.

    We then took our dog to a dog cancer specialist who said it was probably a secondary tumor, but the primary tumor couldn’t be found. They suspected oral cancer and gave Tiger just a few months to live.

    In the meantime, we decided to go for the weekly cancer treatment shots, but they made Tiger ill, so now we are on low-grade daily liquid chemo treatments which are administered here at home.

    In regards to the holistic approach, Tiger receives 800 mg of turmeric and 2000 mg of garlic (capsules) twice a day mixed with peanut butter and honey.

    Tiger gets plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise every day. His litter mate (brother) is a wonderful companion. And we’ve done everything possible to de-stress Tiger’s life. (Like he didn’t have it good already, :-) )

    We also have many people praying for him.

    It’s been almost a year. Tiger’s tumor, after a portion was removed, was measured at 1.9. Last week, it measured 1.4. HIs blood tests are perfect. Is is just as active and happy All his vets are astounded and call him an amazing success story.

    We feel blessed.

    I’m hoping sharing this story doesn’t “jinx” the wonderful results, but it’s also important to share such success stories to promote new ideas and document positive results.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Gina
      The bounty of a recognition of good is grace.
      As they say in Aussie land, “Good on Ya!”
      Best,
      Dr D

  • Michelle

    I was told that DHA (algae form, NOT from fish) is the best supplement for dogs with cancer. Isn’t algae toxic to dogs?

  • Carla

    Dear Dr. D,
    I was informed by my vet a 2 days ago that my 9 year old lab/golden mix most likely has a brain tumor based on the symptoms she’s been displaying this past week. She had a seizure last Sunday. Up to that point she was a perfectly healthy dog. This is all happening so fast.

    We are going to meet with a neurologist early next week but in the meantime, I would like to start her on tumeric. Can you give me the dosage for an 80 lb. dog. Would 1/8 tsp. sprinkled on her food twice a day be sufficient? I’m not sure what grams is converted to tsp. She gets 1/4 can of wet food on top of her dry food. Perhaps I should mix the turmeric up in her wet food?
    I’m so glad I found your website. Thank you very much.

    • Dr. Dressler

      Dear Carla-
      I answered this in your other post, fyi…
      Good luck,
      Dr D

  • Allie

    Dr. Dressler,
    I’m interested in the same thing the other commenter asked about NOCbl. Could you discuss NOCbl and if there’s any way one might obtain it?

    Thanks!
    Allie

  • Joanne

    Dr.Dressler
    My almost 8 year old Bernese Mtn dog has just been diagnosed with stage 1 hermangiosarcoma. Can u recommend and herbal supplement that i can give to him?

  • kevin madigan

    Hi Dr. Dressler,

    A friend brought us some pure luteolin powder from China. How do I determine how much powder equals 600 mg?

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear Kevin,
      you had better also have a CA (certificate of analysis) showing the purity, and more importantly, documentation that there is no lead, solvents or other contaminants in hand. If you do not have proof of this from a lab independent of the producer, use extreme caution.
      I use Apocaps, which has luteolin in it at the recommended doses along with other apoptogens discussed in the Guide.
      If you want to take the chance of using what you have, you will need to get a gram scale to weigh it.
      Best,
      Dr D

  • CC

    Hi Dr. Dressler,

    My 13 yr old Shi Tzu had just found sufferring in diabetes and a big tumor (or lump) right below the heart, near lung. Dr has not determine what it is but probably cancer. As he is at old age, has 3-5 level heart attack and bladder stone before, we decided not take him to do the operation. What supplement can we treat him to reduce the tumor(or lump) and probabilty of cancer?
    Best regard,
    CC

    • http://DogCancerBlog.com DemianDressler

      Dear CC,
      I would spend some time learning about the Dog Cancer Diet, beta glucans (K-9 immunity), apocaps, artemisinin, omega-3’s, and the other approaches discussed in this blog and the Guide. You can use the search bar on the right side of this page, and for more complete discussions get the Guide, which is easy reading.
      I send you best luck
      Dr D