Your pet has a lump or sore that won’t go away? She is eating but is losing weight. It is hard for her to chew or swallow. There is a discharge or bleeding from any body opening. She has a bad smell. She tires easily and doesn’t want to exercise. Pets are susceptible to the same types of cancer that people get. Cancer can strike at any age, but it is usually a disease of middle-aged and older dogs and cats. And it is all too common: Cancer causes almost half the deaths of pets older than 10 years.

Pets cancer causes, has a lump

Veterinarians believe that many cancers are caused by unhealthy things in the environment, such as smog or chemicals. And modern pet foods, according to some holistic vets, may be another problem. “The preservatives and chemical additives in some foods may even promote cancer,” says Roger L. DeHaan, D.V.M.

While you may help prevent some types of cancer by letting your pets drink bottled water, treating your lawn without chemicals, or neutering pets when they are young, often it is just the luck of the draw. If your pet does get sick, she is going to need both traditional and holistic care.

“Even if you do conventional treatment, you have to treat holistically to get rid of whatever caused the cancer in the first place”.

Natural remedies do more than battle cancer, adds Carolyn Blakey, D.V.M. They tend to have fewer side effects than mainstream treatments. In addition, they can help pets feel healthier and more energetic while they are battling their illness.

Cordyceps Energy & Endurance Mushroom Capsules

Cordyceps Energy & Endurance Mushroom Capsules

Focus on nutrition.

Research has shown that some cancer cells thrive on carbohydrates and proteins but don’t do as well with fats. Veterinarians sometimes recommend that pets with certain kinds of cancer be given a diet that is high in fat and lower in protein and carbohydrates, says Gregory K. Ogilvie, D.V.M. Every pet (and cancer) is different, however, so be sure to talk to your vet before making major changes in your pet’s diet.

It is not unusual for dogs and cats to lose their appetites now and then. When they quit eating for more than a day or two, however, it is time to call your vet. A reduced appetite is one of the main warning signs of cancer, says Roger L. DeHaan, D.V.M., a holistic veterinarian in private practice in Frazee, Minnesota. “Refusing food isn’t normal and could mean there’s a problem,” he says.

In pets that already have cancer, a reduced appetite can be even more serious because they won’t be getting all the nutrients they need to recover. “You have to get food and water into these guys,” says Dr. DeHaan. If you have already tried making food more appetizing—by warming it up, for example, or adding tasty liquids or broth—and she still won’t eat, you need to call your vet right away, he advises.
Stimulate her appetite.

Pets with cancer often lose their appetites, but they need to eat in order to heal. One way to renew your pet’s interest is to warm the food to about 100°F, suggests Dr. Ogilvie. Doing this releases aromas that pets like, he explains.

Give them extra enzymes. Some of the enzymes in raw foods may play a role in killing cancer cells, says Dr. DeHaan. A convenient source of healthful enzymes is raw or very lightly cooked egg yolks. He suggests giving one egg yolk a week to pets under 15 pounds, and two egg yolks a week to larger pets.

Help with digestion. Cancer robs the body of key nutrients, so it is essential to make sure that your pet gets every possible benefit from the foods she eats. The beneficial bacteria in acidophilus, available in supermarkets and health food stores, will help pets absorb more nutrients from their food.

Simple story

The lump on Chani’s neck didn’t look good. Even though her owner, Dusty Rainbolt of Flower Mound, Texas, was about to leave town for a trip, she made time to take the 11-year-old cat to a vet—and the news wasn’t good. The lump was a rare, highly aggressive cancer, and Chani was scheduled for surgery the same day.

Chani’s veterinarian wasn’t optimistic. She said the tumor would almost certainly return, and Chani had only a few weeks to live. In despair, Dusty began looking for alternative treatments. A week later, while attending a cat show in Atlanta, Dusty began talking with an herbalist. “The woman recommended pau d’arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa) and red clover (Trifolium pratense), and she said that they cured her cat of cancer,” Dusty remembers. “I didn’t think it would help her, but I was ready to try anything. I started pouring the stuff down Chani.”

A month later, she took Chani back to the vet. There was no sign of the tumor. “She said if Chani made it to New Year’s, we’d beat the cancer,” says Dusty. A year later, the tumor still hadn’t returned, and her vet pronounced Chani a miracle cure.

“It’s the combination that cured her,” says Dusty. “A highly skilled surgeon, the fantastic herbs, and our loving bond. If I hadn’t gone on the trip to the cat show, Chani wouldn’t be here today.”

Give them extra vitamins. The antioxidant vitamins C and E have been shown to slow the growth and spread of some kinds of cancer, and they may help prevent cancer as well. A healthy amount for cats is 250 milligrams of vitamin C twice a day, while dogs can take up to 800 milligrams twice a day, says Dr. Blakey. Check with your vet for the dose that’s right for your pet. It is best to use the ester form of vitamin C because it is more digestible, she adds. Since vitamin C can cause diarrhea, you may have to cut back the dose until you find an amount your pet will tolerate.

Vitamin E—given alone or in combination with vitamin C—may also be helpful. Dr. DeHaan recommends giving pets weighing under 15 pounds 30 to 100 international units (IU) of vitamin E a day, while larger pets can take 200 to 400 IU a day.

Add some algae. Blue-green algae, available in health food stores, is packed with healthful nutrients, says Dr. DeHaan. He recommends giving cats and dogs under 15 pounds half of a 500-milligram capsule of blue-green algae a day. Pets 15 to 50 pounds can take one to two capsules, and larger dogs can take two to four capsules.

Protect them with selenium. The mineral selenium is another antioxidant that helps slow cancer growth, says Dr. DeHaan. “You can give a daily dose of 25 micrograms of methionol selenium to pets under 15 pounds, 100 micrograms to pets 15 and 50 pounds, and up to 200 micrograms a day to dogs over 50 pounds.”

Fight cancer with fish-oil supplements. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil act as a natural anti-inflammatory and have been shown to prevent the spread of cancer, says Susan G. Wynn. Give cats and dogs under 20 pounds 1,000 milligrams a day, she says. Pets 20 to 50 pounds can take 2,000 milligrams. Give 3,000 milligrams to dogs 51 to 80 pounds, and 4,000 milligrams to dogs over 80 pounds. Oils made from the whole fish, like salmon oil, are a good choice because they contain more omega-3 fatty acids than those made from just a part of the fish, like cod-liver oil.

Surround them with healing sounds. Soothing music reduces stress, which can help the immune system work more vigorously to battle cancer. “Sound is vibration, and it can have a positive influence on healing,” says Deborah C. Mallu, D.V.M., a holistic veterinarian in private practice in Sedona, Arizona. When your pet is ill, she says, fill the house with soothing music—something like classical, New Age, or soft jazz. You can also buy recordings of natural sounds—a water fountain, for example, or the sounds of birds chirping. Sounds from nature will help pets relax and take their minds off their illness, she explains.

Heal them with color. All colors contain unique kinds of energy, which some holistic veterinarians believe can help promote healing. “Green is a general healing stabilizer, or you can use red and green together to stimulate the immune system,” says Joanne Stefanatos, D.V.M., a holistic veterinarian in private practice in Las Vegas. She recommends placing items containing these colors, such as a sweater or a lamp fitted with a colored lightbulb, near your pet’s bed. This way she will absorb the healing colors for many hours a day.
Try an herbal blend. A tea made from a packaged blend of burdock root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm, and Indian rhubarb root will help clear toxic substances from the body, which can help prevent and possibly stop cancer, says Dr. Blakey. You can buy this blend, called Essiac, in health food stores.

To make the tea, mix a package of Essiac in about 2½ quarts of spring or distilled water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then let it stand, covered, for 4 hours. Bring it to a boil again, simmer for 5 minutes, then pour it into a narrow, covered container. Refrigerate for 16 hours to allow the sediment to settle, then pour the resulting amber liquid into a glass or plastic container and store in the refrigerator. “Give pets one to two ounces twice a day,” says Dr. Blakey.

“Either squirt it in their mouths with a dropper or put it in their drinking water or food—it’s not that bitter.”

Strengthen her immunity with herbs. The immune system normally fights cancer cells just as it fights viruses and bacteria. “The herbs maitake (Grifola frondosa) and green tea (Camellia sinensis) may stimulate the immune system and have an antioxidant effect,” says Dr. Wynn. “ And turmeric (Curcuma longa) may inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.” Health food stores carry these herbs loose or in capsules and tinctures.