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

EGCG and dog cancer: beyond chemo, radiation and surgery

Updated: March 25th, 2020

So you feel that there is more than chemotherapy, radiation and surgery for dogs with cancer? So do I, and we are correct!

Here’s just one example: EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). This is a naturally occurring substance found in green tea.   EGCG has several anticancer effects that are very real.  This substance is in trials at the Mayo Clinic due to its beneficial effects in human cancers.

Here is the skinny:

In mice, it has been shown to inhibit mammary cancer growth and spread. In the same study it was also been shown to shrink these tumors. EGCG has also been shown to cause apoptosis of sarcoma cells (programmed cell death), and cell cycle arrest (stopping the cancer cells from growing). Similar findings in mice were found using prostate cancer tumors, which shrank when the mice were given this compound.

In addition, when EGCG was combined with other drugs for cancer (COX-2 inhibitors, like piroxicam commonly used for transitional cell bladder cancer in dogs), less of these other drugs could be used, with greater effect.  Check it out. The benefit: since these drugs had side effects, one could lower the chances of side effects with less drug by adding EGCG to the regimen.

There are also gobs of test tube studies supporting EGCG’s effect against cancer cells of various kinds.

Pundits will say…well, those are only mice!  Not dogs!  Okay, okay.  But dogs and mice are a lot closer than humans and mice, and the Environmental Protection Agency uses mice to assess whether or not something causes cancer in people.  Next,  they pass laws based on that the rodent model has validity!!

And the diligence crew will go out and find a study that was done on dogs available on line that ended up with a bunch of dead beagles at the end of the study.  First of all, the authors of this study should be ashamed of themselves.  They used amounts in the ballpark of one hundred times the standard EGCG supplement amounts for weeks on end and killed these dogs.  What is the point? I was aghast after reading this. Yes, drink a hundred glasses of wine a day, drink a hundred cups of coffee a day, you will die too.  Unbelieveable.

For more helpful information and tools, get a copy of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Sorry for the rant but this was an agenda-oriented study that served no good use and is really upsetting.

Anyway, if you feel you have too few options, EGCG is one (of many) that may help prolong your dogs life and keep it at good quality.  A new source of purified EGCG is becoming available called Teavigo.  Talk to your vet after presenting the info I cited here.

CAUTION: do NOT give your dog tea extracts that contain the stimulants that are naturally found therein! Caffeine and methylxanthines in tea can be toxic to dogs!

Consult with your vet before embarking on any treatment plan.


Dr. D


Leave a Comment

  1. Aleda on September 18, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    Is it ok to give an EGCG supplement versus green extract to my 9 pound Pomeranian? If so, can you recommend a brand that carries it in a liquid state, and decaffeinated?
    Toby has nasal carcinoma.
    Thank you

  2. Gram on July 23, 2023 at 5:44 pm

    What should dosage of egcg flavanoid be for. 80 lb dog?

  3. Dr. Christoph Klueppel on August 27, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    Thank you for this encouraging and inspiring article. I am giving one 500 mg Green Tea extract capsule (containing 250 mg of EgCg) to my aging dogs every morning to prevent cancer (with some Vit. C to enhance absorption), but was starting to become doubtful, if I am doing them a favor, due to all the articles on the net about EGCG’s alledged liver toxicity. Your article thankfully confirmed that I am doing the right thing. In any case, I also supplement my aging dogs with Silymarin on a daily basis.
    Thanks again for your expert insight on this subject.

  4. Paul Buehler on July 29, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    My dog was just diagnosed with an aortic chemodectoma. we have a follow up in 4 months and in the meantime I’ve started my dog on a product called Onco Support which contains a daily dose of 340 mg of EGCG. She is a 52 pound dog. Do you see any problem with that dosage? I’m taking her to a holistic vet this week but just curious in the meantime what you think. Thank you,

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on July 30, 2019 at 6:52 am

      Hello Paul,

      Thanks for writing, and we’re sorry to hear about your girl. As we’re not veterinarians, we can’t offer you medical advice. That’s a good question, and one you should ask your vet as they know your dog, and your dog’s current treatment plan, and they will be able to make dosage recommendations to suit your dog’s particular health requirements 🙂

  5. Andrew H on May 28, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I have a cross-bread who is a cross between rotty and lab … and probably a few other breeds too. He’s about 9 years old and still very active and loving. He’s been struggling to urinate and has recently been leaking urine. He’s just be diagnosed with prostate cancer. A combination of chemo and radiation has been recommended. I’ll do anything for him but we’re concerned about the side effects of treatment. He weighs about 82lbs. His prostate is enlarged to about 5.5cm. There are no other signs that the cancer has spread. Is ECGC a viable option for him? I’m desperately seeking any and all guidance. Thanks!

    • DemianDressler on June 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      Dear Andrew,
      I am very sorry to hear this news. The most important thing right now is data gathering and defining what your priorities are (these steps are discussed at length in the Guide). You need to find out what the gained life expectancy is from the treatment. You need to find out what the odds are of the side effects, and what they “look like” to get a real picture of the real deal. Then, using your basic sense of how you want to go about treating this (life extension with perhaps more side effects or life quality with less side effects), you step into decision making mode for your dog. This is guardianship.
      EGCG by itself is not a treatment. You are dealing with a forest fire and need every weapon in your arsenal, both nutritional, chemotherapy, supplements, and the whole deal. Have you read the Guide?
      Let me know

  6. Lori on May 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I just downloaded your ebook and also ordered 150 mgs of teavigo. I have a 20lb italian greyhound with hemangiosarcomas also a 75lb Borzoi with a large tumor in his foot which my vet recommeded amputating. I recently went to a holistic vet and she has the borzoi going through a treatment made from plants with a sauve that supposed to eat away the tumor. It is very nasty and it is taking a while to fall off but, I would like to also give both of them this teavigo, what is dosage recommendations for the borzoi and italian greyhound. Your input would be appreciated.

  7. Kat Meyer on March 4, 2009 at 6:50 am

    I’ve been giving EGCg by the company, NOW, to my rottweiler, Jake, who had his left humerous amputated 4 months ago & has completed his 4 chemo trmts(3 wks apart). It says it contains 400 mg of Green Tea Extract w/ 4 mg of caffeine,98% total polyphenols, 80% total catechins & 50%ECGg(200 mg), & 50 mg of Decaf Geen Tea. Is there anything toxic to him in this formulation? Can I get the Teavigo on-line or from you? Thanks, Kat

  8. Dr. Dressler on October 16, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I cannot make specific recommendations for your dog on this blog, I am sorry.
    EGCG is taken on an empty stomach, or close to it.
    Glucosamine is no problem. High blood lactate (lactic acid functionally, with lactate being what is produced after the acid releases the actual acidic part, the proton…all of this is a result of cancer use of sugar for growth) is not the actual problem in dogs with cancer. It is a sign, or an end-product, of the abnormal metabolism of glucose, mostly by the tumor. These are the problems (the acid production and the tumor feeding). The presence of lactate is not the problem, it is a sign, or a marker, of the problem, not the cause of the problem. Focusing on lactate is a little like putting the carriage before the horse. Hope that made sense!

  9. Lilly F on October 16, 2008 at 3:05 am

    That is amazing about the quercetin–I wonder if I should try it in Candy’s mouth for her Mycosis Fungoides tumors.

    I have a question about the EGCG- though—I wanted to put some of that in Candy’s drinking water–probably good for the gums. You mention that extracts with caffeine and methylxanthines can be toxic–The teas that I have found all contain some caffeine–even the decaffeinated ones. I brewed up some decaffeinated tea and put THAT in my dog’s water but maybe that wasn’t a good idea???

    Is there a link for getting some doggie green tea? I went to the Teavigo website but I did not like the other things in their product–like the lactate and glucosamine etc…. I just want plain old doggie EGCG or a human brand that doesn’t contain the methylsanthines that you mention are toxic.

    Can you please guide me to a link or how to determine if a product contains the toxic ingredients you mention?

    Is gree tea safe for dogs with liver enzyme issues? Should it be taken only with food? Thanks.


  10. Chris on October 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    My Staffordshire Terrier developed two histiocytoma tumors on her ears. These types of benign tumors are driven by excess histamine that collects in the tissues and develops the tumors. Typically they dissapear on their own after a few months. Since the bioflavonoid, Quercetin, is an extremely effective anti-histamine, I decided to give it a try. I researched and found that it is not toxic to dogs. I gave her 250 mg of Quercetin orally per day for a week in her food (I opened the capsule and put it in her food, it has no taste). I also opened a capsule and sprinkled the Quercetin powder directly on her tumors (at first I mixed the powdered Quercetin with water and applied the paste to the tumors with a small paintbrush). The tumors started looking really gross as the histamine started oozing from them. I kept at it and in two weeks her tumors are almost gone!

Scroll To Top