Osteosarcoma, and other types of canine bone cancer, can be especially hard for a dog lover to cope with. Not only are most of these cancers very malignant, but often they require major surgeries to help deal with the immediate crisis.
Once the decision is made and the surgery performed, we are faced with cancer spread (metastasis). One reason this is tricky is osteosarcoma often will send out microscopic tumor cells into the circulation by the time the diagnosis is made.
This can be devastating for a dog lover.
In The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, many ways of addressing cancer spread are discussed. Let’s look at the use of a common prescription medication available from veterinarians: doxycycline.
Doxycycline is known as an antibiotic since it can destroy certain microbes. However, there is new research on some of it’s cancer-fighting properties.
One of the nice things this medication can do, at least in labs, is block enzymes that seems to be very important in cancer spread. These are called matrix metalloproteinases, or MMP’s.
MMP’s are kind of like pac-men, from the old video game. These enzymes are secreted by the cancer cells into the surrounding neighborhood, and they start gobbling. They literally break down protein in the tissue around the cancer cells, leaving tunnels or holes.
The channels made by the MMP’s allow the cancer cells to take off into the surrounding neighborhood, and spread. Cancer cell spread is central in the harm they cause the body.
In mice with experimental cancer that had spread into the bone, it was found that doxycyline was able to block cancer cells invading into bone by about 70%.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that this medication is the cure for cancer. A full plan must be implemented to get a real edge.
In dogs under my care, I advocate focus on diet, designed supplements, conventional care, stress and isolation reduction, vaccine avoidance, photoperiod regulation, timed therapy, pain control and more.
By using all of these together, many dog lovers report tremendous gains in their four legged friends.
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.