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

Where Do I Begin?

Updated: January 3rd, 2019

“I am overwhelmed with all the information I am reading to help my dog with cancer.” Does this sound familiar to anyone out there?

Most of the readers of this blog are searching for information.

Once a true malignancy has developed, the realities can feel utterly unacceptable.

This leads to information gathering.  Whenever we are faced with situations that appear unsolvable, many will search for solutions.  And here you are.


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The problem is that there is too much data out there, and you might lack a road map.

This was the motivation behind the Dog Cancer Survival Guide: sift through all the data, pick only the best, and provide a framework yielding improved outcomes.

I thought it would be useful to provide you with an outline here that you can start filling in with your data, if you do not have the Guide.

First: put on your oxygen mask.  This means that you need to deal with whatever emotions come up for you so you can think clearly to help your dog.  The Dog Cancer Coping Guide is one option. Others include counselors, support groups, old friends and so on.

Next, if appropriate, perform a Life Quality Analysis.  This involves widening back, considering how much risk and side effects you are willing to risk given your dog’s expected lifespan. Then the expected positives are weighed against the negatives.

A part of Life Quality Analysis is to define what your personal ideas are about treatment and take a stand. At this point it is critical to have the courage to be your dog’s primary health care advocate.


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Now choose what you will utilize in conventional veterinary care for your dog. Options are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.  Clinical trials may be available in your area.

Consider also more rarely used but promising options like IV Vitamin C and neoplasine, which require your vet’s involvement.

Discuss with your vet and oncologist the pros and cons, side effects and expected outcomes.  Take notes.

After noting side effects, consider what you will use to lessen them.  Many are discussed in the Guide and in this blog.

Minimize pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bone marrow suppression, heart damage, kidney injury, liver harm and other toxicities related to treatments.

Get your dog on a cancer diet.  One blanket recommendation is carbohydrate restriction. Sugars and starches turned into sugars are cancer food, so avoid if possible. There are recipes in the Guide as well.

Do what you can to stimulate your dog’s immune system. I discussed many approaches like cancer vaccines, medicinal mushrooms, astralagus, Beres Drops, Avemar, AHCC and others. Many are in this blog.


Get a copy of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide for more helpful tools and information


Rotation between supplements helps get an average. Some may help and some may not, but if you rotate you will likely get some wins.

Choose among the supplements that have solid in vivo (in living bodies) evidence for shrinking tumors, slowing growth, and decreasing metastasis.

Some of these include Artemisinin, curcumin, luteolin, EGCG, flax lignans, melatonin, and more.  Rotation details are in the Guide.

Do what you can to maximize life quality and happiness by boosting your dog’s self esteem, social activity, stimulation, exercise if possible, and minimizing stress.

This is a basic framework you can use like an outline.   I use it to organize my thoughts when starting on a treatment plan for Full Spectrum Cancer care.

Best to all,

Dr D


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