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

Articles by Demian Dressler, DVM

Oleic Acid, Red Meat, and Mammary Cancer

As readers of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide know, dogs who have not been spayed by their fourth heat run a higher risk for mammary cancer. (Spaying offers its own risks for other types of cancer, but that’s another post.) But other factors can contribute to canine mammary cancer, and some of these are not…

Read More

Could Killing “Good” Bacteria Increase GI Cancer Risk?

Could destroying the normal bacteria in your dog’s body be a risk factor for cancer down the road? This may sound very far-fetched.  However, in the spirit of avoiding condemnation before investigation, read on! It turns out that the so-called “healthy” bacteria in the body may provide cancer protection.  And therefore, if this bacteria is…

Read More

Ginseng, a common Chinese herb, For Dog Cancer

Ginsing is a common herb used in eastern medicine, and is now being used for dogs by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. There is good reason for this.  Ginseng has some very definite effects that are real, and may help a dog with cancer.  I’d be thinking mainly of using ginseng for mammary cancers…

Read More

Calcium in Dog Cancer

Calcium levels in your dog’s body can be  a tricky business. Like any medical care step, there are different sides of the coin that need to be looked at for your dog with cancer.  First, many dog lovers are feeding their dogs home made diets.  Since these dogs are not eating pieces of a carcass…

Read More

DCA Not Advised At This Time for Dog Cancer

DCA, also called dichloroacetic acid or sodium dichloroacetate, is gaining popularity for dog cancer. It is now widely available.  In the search for something better, Guardians are scouring the internet to get an edge on the disease.  And this is understandable, as a dog cancer diagnosis with statistics can be very difficult to accept for…

Read More

Bioflavonoid Quercetin has Anti-Cancer Effects

Quercetin has been around for some time as it is a naturally occurring compound found in the peels of citrus, capers, certain herbs, onions, and grapes**. Quercetin is also found in the Chinese Scholar tree, one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Quercetin has some interesting and fairly potent anti cancer…

Read More

My Dog is Young…and Has Cancer??

These days cancers in young dogs do not seem to be that rare.  And they are especially difficult since it is such a shock.  Often we have the perception that things like this do not happen, or should not happen. Yet we are faced with this brutal reality that seems impossible to accept and even…

Read More

Some Science Behind Acupuncture for Cancer Pain

Cancer is very tough.  And because we do not have a reliable cure for cancer, we must use every tool that helps to deal with cancer in a loved dog. One of these tools is acupuncture for cancer pain. Acupuncture in cancer has in the past been debated, and the use of acupuncture for pain…

Read More

Prejudice in Chemo Side Effect Treatment for Dogs

Bias (prejudice) is an important issue in medical treatments being withheld.  Some of these treatments may have benefit, and dog cancer is no exception. Managing the side effects of chemotherapy is an important part of cancer care.  Chemotherapy is most commonly delivered at the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD).  This means the highest doses that the…

Read More

Analysis Paralysis With Dog Cancer

When faced with a dog cancer diagnosis, many guardians experience an immediate sense of overwhelm.  Of course, there is profound anger, sadness, numbness, grief, and the whole array of different responses to crises news. After a time, treatment options arise.  And the facts are that modern medicine in many cases does not provide options that…

Read More

Genetic Testing for Cancer Treatments Studied

An article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday discussed genetic testing dogs afflicted with cancer .  These tests could help develop individualized treatments for human patients.  The good news is that indirectly, our loved dogs will likely benefit from this work. The reason for the research is that in many cases chemotherapy does little to…

Read More

Osteosarcoma, Cisplatin and Magnesium

Low magnesium may be a threat for dogs receiving chemotherapy. Magnesium is a mineral in the body that is needed for proper functioning of over 300 different enzyme systems.  A study was done on critically ill dogs, and over half were found to have low magnesium. Low magnesium levels increase the risk of toxic reactions…

Read More

Right and Wrong In Dog Cancer

When coping with a diagnosis of canine cancer, many guardians worry about decisions they are making.  Often  there does not seem to be a “right” answer. Similarly, when learning about topics in cancer treatment, we may have a tendency to categorize as “good” and “bad”. An important fact of dog cancer, and many medical topics,…

Read More

Abnormal Immunity and Cancer

Cancer is a very strange and horrible creature.  The disease in very similar in dogs and people, and this post will use information from human literature so you can apply it to your dog. There are several ways the immune system is involved in cancer. One of the problems afflicting cancer patients is their immune…

Read More

Not All Soft Lumps are Lipomas!

Many times dog lovers will be told that their dog’s soft lump is a fatty tumor, and is no problem.  The veterinarian is usually thinking about lipomas, benign tumors made of fat that may be genetic in dogs. This information is not always correct, and sometimes the mistake is life threatening.  Although it is true…

Read More

Thanksgiving and Coping With Dog Cancer

Thanksgiving and dog cancer….a horrific pair. Coping with canine cancer is heart-wrenching any time, and during the holidays can be almost unbearable.  Here are some tips that can help a guardian cope with dog cancer during this season. During holidays, there are expectations that people will act or feel certain ways.  If we see family,…

Read More

Can a Dog Cancer Diagnosis Be Wrong?

The news that a loved dog has cancer turns the world upside-down. Shock, dismay, disorientation, anger, and profound feelings of loss or sadness are common.  Another common response is questioning the diagnosis. “My dog seems fine.  The lump does not seem to bother her.  His appetite is good.  She still plays.  How can he have…

Read More

Newspaper Columnist Faces Dog Cancer Diagnosis

Kerstin Shamberg received the devastating news that her beloved dog Peebucks has cancer.  Peebucks was recently diagnosed with a type of tumor of the nose called a carcinoma, likely an adenocarcinoma. Kerstin writes for the Huffington Post, and describes what this experience was like.  Many reader will recognize what she is going through: shock, dismay,…

Read More

How to Get A Diagnosis Before Surgery

There are several different ways of finding out if a lump is a cancer.  Each involves having some of the growth tested, but which is best? There are several ways to collect a sample.  Often a biopsy is done.  A biopsy involves collecting a piece of the growth for analysis.  Sometimes the growth is removed…

Read More

Prednisone for Dog Cancer

Cortisone drugs have a bad rap. Pharmaceuticals like prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, budesonide, and triamcinolone are drugs in the cortisone family. And over the years these medications have achieved much attention as bad chemicals. This is very likely due to what could be described as overuse.  These drugs of have historically been prescribed for a wide…

Read More

Man Meets Dog With Same Brain Cancer Treatment

A recent article in USA Today featured a man who met a dog receiving the same kind of experimental brain cancer treatment. Two years ago, John Huls underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation for a brain tumor.  He opted against continued chemotherapy and radiation for brain cancer treatment due to side effects.  He then enrolled in…

Read More

Premature Fatty Acid Media Frenzy

A recent Dutch study has been published that is creating a large media ripple and alarm concerning the use of fatty acid supplements and cancer. The study showed that two specific fatty acids, when used in mice and in-vitro (in cells in a laboratory), can interfere with the effects of chemotherapy drugs. These fatty acids…

Read More

CCNU Use for Lympho Rescue Protocols

Chemotherapy in dogs is used differently than in people.  In people, there are protocols that might in some cases eliminate the cancer for many years. In dogs though, the cancer usually comes back, many times in months. (For this reason, we use a wide variety of treatments above and beyond chemotherapy in the Guide). However,…

Read More

Low Dose Chemotherapy and Cancer

Over the last few years, there has been much work in attempting to improve canine cancer treatment. One strategy has been to use lower, continuous doses of oral chemotherapy drugs.  The goal in this is to lessen chemotherapy toxicity, reduce trips to the oncologist for IV injections (the medications are pills), and hopefully gaining life…

Read More

Cancer-Prone Dog Breeds

If you have a purebred dog, be on the look out for problems that are more common in your dog’s breed. Different breeds are more prone to certain health issues.  Many are familiar with genetic diseases like hip dysplasia, more common in large breed dogs.  However, there are more examples of breed-associated diseases, and cancer…

Read More

Landmark Study Confirms Cancer is Top Cause of Dog Death

A study done in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine backs up the fact that canine cancer is now the number one cause of death in dogs. Data from 74,556 dogs over 20 years (1984-2004) were analyzed. This data was archived for the National Cancer Foundation’s Veterinary Medical Database and then surveyed.  27 veterinary hospitals…

Read More

New Fundraiser For Canine Cancer

Canine cancer treatment can be quite costly.   Since many do not have pet insurance, veterinary bills can be overwhelming for dog cancer, especially in this economy. There is a new fundraiser that has been started to help raise funds for those coping with canine cancer and the bills they face.  This fund is sponsored by…

Read More
Scroll To Top