From time to time I receive comments from readers who express opinions about what they will consider in treating their dog’s cancer.
These particular folks segregate themselves into a single group…the “anti” people.
First, we have those who are very impressed with conventional veterinary care. This is my background, so I see the appeal. Big machines, big words, big science, big studies. Strong, powerful, reliable, reproducible.
And getting re-soundly beaten, mercilessly, by canine cancer.
Members of this camp tend to be “anti” herbs, supplements, dietary manipulation, and other forms of “hocus pocus” that don’t have multiple double blind, placebo-controlled studies done to support efficacy and safety.
The other “anti” people want to rely on things like homeopathy and acupuncture to cure their dog’s cancer. They don’t want to “poison” their dog with anything that is not “natural”.
Please, everyone, it is time to wake up!
First, to the “anti alternative” set (conventional care only): have you taken a look at the efficacy data for chemo and radiation treatments of systemic cancers lately? If you have, you will no doubt agree that the numbers, overall, are abysmal.
And you guys, who don’t want to use anything that comes compressed in a tablet or in an injection vial, you need to wake up too (the “alternative people”). If a certain conventional protocol can give your English Mastiff another year of life, you just extended your dog’s life 10-18% or something. Suppose a human lived for 80 years. This human’s life would be proportionally extended another 8 to 14 “human” years with this treatment!
On top of that , if you think that a little Carcinosinum under your dog’s tongue will cure the osteoarcoma making his leg swell twice it’s size, you are probably living in a dream.
Now, let’s get a grip on the big picture. It is absolutely critical to balance efficacy with life quality, to weigh survival times with what is manageable, and to factor in personal ethical considerations and beliefs with guardianship. Aspects like these are fundamental.
But, it is high time to avoid letting our rigidity, bias, and resistances get in the way of what can help. Weigh all options, be flexible, formulate a plan choosing from all the of what is available, modify it as needed, and do it.
If you need help getting the structure and data you need to look at all these aspects of canine cancer care, from all angles, consider the Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
I wish you all the very best,
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.