Most Common Cancers | Canine Care

NATURAL HEALING By JULIA SZABO May 13, 2007 -- A few weeks ago, my mother's cat Torkan developed a growth on her right flank. This fluffy little Persian is Mom's favorite baby, and at 6 pounds she's also the smallest, so the hazelnut-size lump on her leg was disproportionately disturbing. I've reported on the many ways alternative veterinary medicine can help ailing pets, so my mother agreed to consult holistic vet Dr. Jill Elliot ( I'd first met the excellent Dr. Elliot back in August, when this column broke the news about Neoplasene, a plant medicine that offers hope in the fight against cancer. Neoplasene attacks only diseased tissue, leaving healthy cells unharmed. (It's made in Montana by Buck Mountain Botanicals.) Dr. Elliot had used Neoplasene on a Belgian shepherd that was given six months to live. Within weeks, the dog's recurrent tumor had vanished. Dr. Elliot was so impressed by Neoplasene that she said, "With results like this, it's worth devoting the rest of my practice to," which inspired me to make an appointment for my pit bull Sam. He's been in remission from cancer for two years, but as a preventive measure he now takes oral Neoplasene daily. For Torkan, Dr. Elliot injected Neoplasene several times around the tumor's perimeter. To prevent the cat from bothering the growth, Torkan was outfitted with a soft blue collar that frames her face - a pretty mug that appears often in many of my mom's paintings. (To see them, visit One week later, Torkan returned for a second round of Neoplasene injections followed by an oral course. And just the other day, the tumor finished shrinking, leaving behind a crusty scab that fell away to reveal healthy tissue. Torkan is going to be OK a while longer. That's not jewelry or chocolate or flowers, but it's the best gift I can think of. Happy Mother's Day, Mom!


Cancer is a treatable disease.
Cancer is defined as "a malignant growth of tissue tending to spread and associated with general ill health and progressive emaciation. "

(Click here to read about a NEW TREATMENT in the fight against animal cancers)

Bladder Cancer
Bladder cancer dogs are in a unique, and particularly unpleasant situation. The only known treatment is Piroxicam which typically is effective for only 3 to 5 months. If you suspect that the dog has this type of cancer, it is recommended NOT TO ALLOW ANY TYPE OF INVASIVE PROCEDURE because it will cause the cancer to spread. 

For bladder cancer dogs there is a urine test that will tell whether or not that is the dog's problem This cancer is transplanted EXTREMELY easily if it is disturbed, and even the removal of the majority of the bladder WILL NOT STOP IT.

In our limited experience with about 10 bladder cancer dogs, every dog who had surgery developed what appeared to be a "secondary" tumor about 4 months later. The secondary tumor was much faster than the original cancer in the bladder. In fact my BASIC cancer program (not the full program which did not exist at that time) continued to hold back the original cancer and continued to protect the bladder, kidneys and liver but could not stop the exponential growth of the secondary tumor.

Those dogs that we tracked who had no invasive procedures had a longer lifespan and secondary tumors did not develop. If you think your dog may have this type of cancer and want to know with certainty, there is a urine test that your vet can perform in 3 minutes using the centrifuge in his office.

Canine Bladder Cancer Detection test is made by Polymedco Inc., PO Box 698, Crompond, NY 10517-9903 1-800-431-2123. V-BTA is an in vitro device which accurately detects the presence of bladder tumor analytes in canine urine. V-BTA serves as a useful adjunct to canine TCC diagnosis. It takes about 3 minutes to read. A buffer is added to the urine sample, pipette buffered urine and V-BTA reagent into a supplied test well, add a test strip and read the result (positive - yellow at top, negative green at top.). If the dog is definitely diagnosed with bladder cancer you should know what amount of Piroxicam is to be given. In five cases (including my own dog), the treating veterinarian prescribed the WRONG amount of Piroxicam.

Typically they gave too little. You should also know that it takes FOUR weeks for Piroxicam to reach the desired level in the dog's body. So, my best advice is that once your dog is diagnosed, you get it on the CICI cancer program AND Piroxicam AND Cytotec as fast as you can and NEVER take the dog off the program or off the Piroxicam and Cytotec. Piroxicam powder is weighed by your local drugstore and put inside capsules. DO NOT GIVE LIQUID FELDENE. The manufacturer has said that there are NO STUDIES to show that liquid will slow this cancer.

They recommend that you only use the powdered Piroxicam inside gel caps. The amount to give is 0.35 mg/kg. and it MUST - -MUST - - be given on a full stomach as it can cause bleeding in the dog.

Watch your dog's stools.  If they look BLACK, it means the dog is bleeding high up inside the body.  Contact your vet at once!

To figure the amount your dog should have, you multiply the dog's weight times 0.45 which converts the pounds into kg. So, for example, if your dog weighs 63 pounds, you will multiply 63 X 0.45 = 29.25 kg. Next, you multiply 29.25 kg X 0.35 mg. = 10.2375 which rounds off to 10.2 - - BUT - - you then add an additional .4 (point four) to the total, so a 63 pound dog would get 10.2 Plus .4 = 10.6 mg per day.

In addition to the Piroxicam you will get a second prescription to take to your local drugstore for Cytotec which will protect the dog from any bleeding caused by the Piroxicam.

Cytotec is given half in the a.m. and half in the p.m. ANTACIDS DO NOT GIVE THE SAME PROTECTION NO MATTER WHAT YOUR VETERINARIAN TELLS YOU!!!! Also get the dog on the CICI Cancer Program which can slow/shrink this type of cancer very effectively. For more information on new ways to treat this cancer, contact University of Guelph in Canada. I would also suggest that you get a referral from your dog's veterinarian or oncologist for a "Qualified" holistic veterinarian who can provide your dog with the best nutritional diet for this type of cancer.

Lymphoma (Lymphosarcoma)
Cancer of the lymphatic system, called lymphosarcoma, occurs most commonly in middle-aged animals. Clinical signs will depend on the parts of the body affected. Animals may initially show vomiting and diarrhea, or coughing and difficult breathing, or multiple swollen lymph nodes. Tissue biopsies or bone marrow analysis is usually required for diagnosis. Since this is not a local disease, lymphosarcoma is best managed by chemotherapy. However, lymphosarcoma of one site may be treated with local radiation therapy. Localized tumors will often show regression within 12 hours of the initiation of treatment. This response can be life saving in animals with masses causing obstruction or compression of organs. Many older animals develop this most common kind of cancer. Unfortunately it is not diagnoses until it it too late in many cases, as an animal may not exhibit any abnormals signs other than sleeping a bit more than normal and loss of interest in play. Many people will associate this behavior with an aging dog and ignore it. Therefore it is very important to have every dog over the age of 10 taken for an examination and blood test at least once a year, if not once every 6 months to catch it early!

Osteosarcoma is a local disease of bones most often seen in large and giant breeds of dogs. Pain is most often the first sign. The dog will be lame and may have a swelling on the leg. Diagnosis is made with x-rays and verified with a bone biopsy. This tumor is very fast to metastasize. Successful treatment of osteosarcoma consists of local tumor control as well as treatment of systemic spread. Excision, usually by amputation, achieves local control. Following amputation with chemotherapy may increase survival time, as amputation alone will probably not cure many patients. Radiation therapy may be beneficial in areas of the body where surgical removal is extremely difficult or perhaps impossible. Radiation therapy may also be used for pain control in cases in which amputation is not an option.

Mammary Tumors
Mammary tumors are seen in older female dogs and are the most common tumors diagnosed in female dogs. The risk of this tumor is decreased if the animal is spayed prior to her first heat cycle. Approximately one-half of all mammary tumors are malignant. Of these, only half are likely to spread to other parts of the body. Surgery is the treatment of choice for all dogs with mammary gland tumors except those with distant metastasis.

Skin Tumors
Skin tumors are commonly seen in middle and older aged dogs and older cats. Mast cell tumors account for almost one-quarter of all skin tumors in dogs. These tumors metastasize to lymph nodes and may also cause systemic signs involving the intestinal tract. Treatment protocols include wide surgical excision, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Brain Tumors
Tumors in the brain may occur in dogs and cats as primary or as metastatic tumors. Epileptic-like seizures or other extreme behavioral changes may be the only clinical signs. CAT scanning will allow precise localization of these lesions. Surgical excision followed by radiation therapy is the indicated treatment if the tumor is in an accessible portion of the skull. Radiation therapy alone can control some inoperable tumors.

Melanomas are usually solitary, black pigmented tumors. They may be benign or malignant. The malignant melanoma is one of the hardest tumors to control. Ideal treatment is wide surgical removal. A combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy following surgery may increase the longevity of remission.