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

What about Ozone Therapy and Dog Cancer?

Updated: December 18th, 2018

Ozone therapy is one of those things that people ask about sometimes.  Kind of an odd bird, ozone. What’s the deal with ozone therapy and dog cancer?

First of all, what is ozone anyway? Ozone is a gas that can be administered after it is dissolved in liquid, most commonly either IV or as an enema.  It is a powerful oxidant.

In cancer, at least two points about oxidation are important.  First, oxidation is the process that creates harmful free radicals (reactive oxygen and nitrogen) when the cell cannot eliminate them.  Excess free radicals hurts cells (damages the DNA, lipid, protein and more).

Second, the body has ways of combating free radicals naturally (dietary antioxidants, enzymes, pH buffers and more). When the body takes in an oxidant like ozone, the body will crank up it’s natural defenses against the damage caused by the oxidant.

Cancer cells have a tendency to produce lots of free radicals normally.  That’s actually a common theme in different  cancer types. Their defenses against free radical accumulation are low.  Thus, they are running on high gear, producing a lot of free radicals, but are living dangerously since they can barely neutralize their own free radical production.

This is where ozone comes in.  There is some evidence that it kills cancer cells in the test tube (see article), which is nice, but lots of things do that. Ozone increases the free radical production in the cancer cells, and these free radicals are toxic to the cancer cell.

The problem is this:  often something will kill a cancer cell in the lab but not in the body.  A cancer in a petri dish in not a cancer in a dog.

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

Unfortunately, there was no survival advantage when ozone was actually studied in cancer patients, as you can see. But it did seem to help with side effects from chemo and made the patients feel a bit better.  The reason why this occurred seems to be that the ozone therapy boosted the body’s natural antioxidant defense systems.  This is kind of like an immunization…a little of the bad stuff in the body boosts its defense.

A kind of neat fact is that ozone, dissolved as a liquid, does kill germs very effectively when applied directly to them.  Inhaled ozone is toxic to the surface of the lungs.

What’s the take home message? Basically,  I’m not excited about it for dogs with cancer.  The pro-oxidant effects do not seem to kill tumors in the body, and these effects initially may not be all that healthy for the body (prior to when the body recovers with it’s  own antioxidant surge).  Plus, there’s cost and availability issues.

Best to all,

Dr Dressler


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  1. Susy Bradner on December 8, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Dr. D. How do you feel about topical ozone, cold pressed olive oil for the derma tumors which erupt in the skin? We have successfully used powdered Yunan on those derma that bleed. We would like to heal those that have opened and scabbed over.

  2. brit on October 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

    glad to read this as ozone was recommended by my holistic vet but somehow I don’t feel good about it. Plus seems it should be administered often to even work which would be too costly and uncomfortable for him.

  3. Lidia Guzik on February 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Hello. My dog is 12.4 years
    and has been diagnosed only by examination and ex ray to have tonsil squamous sarcoma .Due to her one swollen lymph node it has metastied there. Is photodynamic therapy out of the ? since it has spread or laser therapy. I heard that in order to enhance her immune system it would take 2 or 3 months and the cancer being that aggressive could end her life before that. Dr Karen Becker , I believe
    said to fast for awhile and that could speed the immune system to respond quicker. I’m not sure how to fast her properly. I’m also giving her 120,00 Ui
    serrapeptase enzymes twice daily , advice from Dr Merecol but the dose is too high that I’m giving her.

  4. DogCancerBlog on October 9, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Debby, thanks for posting. It sounds like you need to talk to your veterinarian, the one that is supervising the ozone therapy, and see what they think. Sometimes recurrence can be just the sad fact that cancer sometimes recurs, no matter what we do, but it’s possible that the ozone therapy has reached the limits of what it could do. As you can read in Dr. Dressler’s original post and in his further comments, there is no clear cut evidence one way or the other about ozone’s ultimate benefit. It may have helped for a while and now isn’t, or possibly, it may not have had effect, or it may no longer be helping. All treatments and strategies may need to be tweaked over time, because as you know, cancer is sneaky and it can “learn” how to defeat what we do. Always keep a flexible mindset, and it will help you to cut treatments or need them as needed, as your dog’s condition indicates.

  5. Debby Rochlin Liberman on October 6, 2017 at 5:52 am

    Hello dr. dressler Hoping you can weigh in on this. At the time of diagnosis my rhodesian ridgeback was 4 yrs old. Upon surgery and histopathology it was determined she had aggressive intestinal lymphoma, but they were able to save her ilieall/cecal valve. I immediately bought your book…which helped me navigate through this nightmare. I found a holistic doc who worked with the oncologist for an integrated approach. She went through 12 of the 16 rounds of chemo, simultaneously being supported with acupuncture, herbs, homemade diet, alkaline water, etc. Her GI tract has been a constant problem. We stopped chemo in november of last year and she has been in remission. Every 8 weeks we do ultrasound. 2 days ago the found enlarged lymph nodes and thickened cecum. FNA suspect both lymphoma has returned and she has an infection. They r sending for additional stain. 4 months ago we added ozone therapy to her protocol every 2 weeks….My question is could this ozone therapy be casing more harm then good?????? Please advise…Thank you….Desperate to help my girl

  6. Robert on October 21, 2013 at 8:30 am

    One study, with as the reviewers stated, a small number of patients is not a good example of the potential benefits of ozone therapy. In Germany it has been used for 50+ years with zero “side” effects. There are many other studies which show the opposite, that ozone does help against cancer. It is not toxic when breathed if bubbled through olive oil, and as such is an excellent treatment for the lungs. It is relatively easy to purchase a medical ozone generator. I am using ozone on my two dogs for a host of issues (they are both 13). Robert

  7. Michael Morris on April 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    My dog started sneezing about two months ago and occasionally some blood would come out. I used saline nasal spray and it cleared up. About two weeks ago his snout swelled on the right side where the blood came out and I took him to the vet, SPCA clinic, another clinic in Richmond and North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital where they performed a CT scan and a biopsy. I am waiting on the biopsy results to come back. Dr. Barco at NC State said he may need radiation and/or chemo therapy.

    Someone told me about ozone therapy and I don’t know of a clinic that practices it in The Hampton Roads area. I have seen a few sites that offer oral medication and I am desperate to try to get this under control. Can you recommend any advice as I cannot rest until this problem is cured? Please E-mail me to let me know.

    Kind regards, Mike

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on April 24, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Hi Michael
      sorry to hear about your loved dog. One thing you should realize is that treatments are based on what is going on with your dog, so recommendations concerning treatment need to be tailored to what is actually causing the swelling, and if it is cancer, then what type, which we don’t yet know at the time of this writing at least.
      Before reaching for ozone if you have a cancer diagnosis in your dog, you should educate yourself on the treatment options that are available as opposed to jumping to something that is “outside the box” first. You should get a copy of the Guide– it is easy to read and is designed to address what you may be going through.
      Here are some thoughts on ozone, which is a very interesting family of molecules:
      Hope this helps
      Dr D

  8. Idania on January 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Hi, my 9 year old English Cocker Spaniel, Rufo, was diagnosed last year with Anal Gland Adenocarcinoma. He had surgery to remove the tumor and radiation therapy (20 treatments) because the margins of the surgery were not clean. He finished the radiation therapy in September and since November he started to have problems to go to the bathroom, crying and squatting for long time. The abdominal ultrasound showed that the wall of the colon that was in the field of radiation is thickening (6mm). Also, the symptoms suggest that he has inflammation in the rectum. He just finished one month on prednisone and metronidazol but he continues with tenesmus. I would like if you have experience in this kind of late side effect of radiation therapy and if you have any other suggestion that can help him.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on January 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Dear Idania,
      perhaps you can discuss osalazine or sulfasalazine and tramadol with your vet or oncologist? A drug we used to use that might help to is centrine which may be available.
      I hope it helps

  9. Denise on May 14, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    My Scottiie has been receiving Ozone Therapy for squamous carcinoma of the jaw. He seems to respond well to the treatment. He is also on the Budwig protocol & Dr. Eison anti-cancer protocol. I was also reading about the 100% real
    maple syrup mix with alkaline baking soda used as a trojan horse. The syrup tricks the cancer cells & the alkaline baking soda attacks the cancer cell,

    There are so many things I have researched that it becomes mind boggling & you don’t know who to trust anymore. My Scottie is mainraining his weight going for walks & I pray this thing has shrunk & keeps going in the positive direction. Somebody has to beat the statistics & he’s perfect & then we can attempt to help others along with my other dog. Having been in the medical field the traditional methods & medications are the same that they used 20 & 30 years ago. Between the FDA,pharmaceutical company’s medical school they would horrified if they didn’t have this big cash cow. It makes you wonder how greedy people get until it happeneds to a being they love.

  10. C on March 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I also am friends with a person who cured his wife of breast cancer with Ozone therapy. Perhaps we should look at the findings of ozone and more importantly, who conducted the study of ozone therapy? Who was the study funded by? Were there double blind placebo studies conducted? Who were the participants, how many for how long.?

  11. Francisco Damorim on February 28, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I have a close friend that cure himself of a terminal metastatic cancer with ozone therapy. He has a sauna build for this purpose plus injections. A friend’s father who also know him got his advice after being diagnosed with a recurrent prostate cancer. Three months later he was completely clean. I’m not lying. This is a fact, believe it or not. Maybe it’s not a therapy that laboratories would recommend but for sure it’s something to try.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on March 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Dear Francisco,
      what type of cancer did your friend have?
      What type of injections?
      How long has your friend been free of cancer?
      We are always looking for info, so thank you in advance!

  12. Jan Rasmusen on January 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I read the study you sited and it seems to contradict your recommendation against ozone therapy.

    The study says: “…ozonetherapy appears to have had some positive effect during the treatment of patients with advanced H&N tumors. The potential usefulness of ozonetherapy as an adjuvant in chemo–radiotherapy for these tumors warrants further investigation.”

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on January 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Dear Jan
      If you read the blog post, there is no recommendation against ozone therapy. The statement is that I am not that excited about it, since it did not yield a survival advantage. The paper summarizes its findings (which is an interesting thing to examine- conclusions reached given the data) as there is are some positive effects, and that it should be looked at some more (investigated further).
      We need to be cautious about making black and white statements in these matters.
      I hope this clears up the topic
      Dr D

  13. alison on August 5, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I wanted to ask a question but wasn’t sure if this is the right place. We just found out first of June our 11 year old lab has osteosarcoma. It all started out really strange. We noticed one of her toenails was becoming large.Took her to our vet and they treated her with antibiotics for infection for 2 week. After two weeks the toe didn’t get better. He then did surgery reomoved the top portion of her toe and sent it off. It came back Osteoblastic Osteosarcoma I. At that point we took her to oncology specialist which removed the other portion of the toe and lymph node. It came back clean. She had her first round of chemo Monday and is doing great. I wondered if you had ever seen this in the toe??? Thanks for your time and comments!

  14. Dr. Dressler on October 27, 2008 at 11:40 am

    You need to try to ascertain what is the problem in the back end. Is the lympho in her vertebral column? Is it a problem with the vertebrae or an intervertebral disc? Is is just nerve breakdown (degenerative myelopathy)?
    Advise X-rays and other diagnostics as appropriate as the treatment for the different causes is different….
    By the way, you want low carbs, not really low protein, unless you are doing that for some other reason..
    Dr D

  15. deann on October 25, 2008 at 7:40 pm


    I have been trying to maintain my dog penny, in a comfortable, manner, and hopefully keep her with
    me longer. She had a incident, and I thought I was
    going to loose her, however she came back. I was
    told to increase her dose of pred. which I did, and it
    it seemed to work. She is alert and happy, but, with
    one bad, part, she is completely unable use her back
    legs. She seems paralized. She can wag her tail, so
    I know that part works. She was diagnosed wiht Lumphoma,
    about 1 1/2 years ago. I gave her, Q e10, everyday, and
    super green capsuels, vit. c, vit, e, and D3, very little grains, but also, a low protien diet. She has stayed around loger than
    expected, but now the paralysis is severe. She is incontenant.
    What to do from here???
    I am in Kihei, and Dr. Dressler, is a good vet, and has treated
    my dogs in the past.

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