A distressing part of dealing with dog cancer is data on the current standard of care in veterinary medicine for our dogs with this disease.
Conventional veterinary care includes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, with a little emphasis on diet. The problem we are facing is that most people are a bit surprised at what we gain using these tools.
The data varies depending on the individual cancer type and the stage (how far along the cancer is), among other things. If we were to make a very rough estimate on what we are looking at overall, one could guess at somewhere in the area of six months. Some more, and some less.
The Dog Cancer Survival Guide was written to arm guardians of dogs with cancer with information to help increase longevity and life quality beyond what is achieved in conventional veterinary care.
These extra steps include the use of diet, supplements, herbs, activation of cancer-fighting brain chemistry, touch therapies and more. There is quite a lot out there that a guardian can use to help a dog with cancer in addition to chemo, radiation, and surgery.
One of the strategies discussed in the Guide is artemisinin. This substance is extracted from an herb in the wormwood family. Artemisinin is an apoptogen, which is a substance that activates “suicide genes” in cancer cells, among other things.
Suicide genes sound rather nasty and violent, but in this case, they are good things. When a cell is damaged, deranged, infected or aged, it is supposed to dismantle itself (commit suicide) in an effort to help the body.
This process is genetically controlled in the cancer cell. And the good news is that apoptogens, substances that turn on apoptosis genes, are found in plants and natural sources.
Apocaps is a combination apoptogen supplement that was designed for patients under my care. Using this apoptosis strategy, a large number of dogs have benefited from apoptogen supplementation.
One of the barriers that we face is getting research institutions the funding and interest needed to assess the best use of all of these new treatments for canine cancer. Thankfully, the minds of parties in these institutions has started to open.
For example, I was speaking with Dr.Susan Lana, who is an oncologist at Colorado State a while back. Her group is looking at the effects of silymarin, one of the substances included in Apocaps. And now we have another university, Washington State, starting clinical trials with artemisinin.
This clinical trial has opened enrollment for dogs with multicentric B-cell lymphoma. Lymphoma is the same as lymphosarcoma, a cancer of the white blood cells. The type (B-cell or T-cell) can be determined with a biopsy.
The dogs in the trial will receive the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, which is effective against lymphoma in causing the signs of the disease to go away and extend the lifespan of these dogs. One group of dogs will receive this conventional approach, and the other group of dogs will receive this treatment along with artemisinin.
Even if your dog does not receive the artemisinin he or she will still receive high-quality oncologist care. And the price is right, with the guardian’s costs limited to a $300 cap.
To get more information and enroll your dog, click here.
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.