Complementary Treatments for Cancer in Cats or Dogs

A diagnosis of Cancer in Cats and Dogs can be devastating. You worry about the misery that this horrible disease will cause, and treatment costs can be beyond your budget. You often suffer, too, with feelings of guilt and sadness.

You may not want to think about your pet dealing with chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Yet, the idea of doing nothing makes you feel worse. 

There are some alternative medicine for pets you can consider. Some vets have treated patients using herbs and supplements for over 20 years, and found that most of them had a better quality of life with the time they had left. 

Some patients live much longer than expected, while others did not. Some didn’t improve at all; many died from something besides cancer.

There are hundreds of alternative pet therapy products to treat cancer in cats or dogs, but it’s difficult to know which ones to choose. Giving your pet dozens of things is not a good idea either. 

Sometimes the best thing is to keep it as simple as possible, with the goal of improving your pet’s immune system so it can eliminate tumor cells. Some of the herbs also have anti-tumor effects and help to shrink a tumor. They do, however, take some time to work.

Pets who do not improve at all often have a cancer that is very aggressive and spreads rapidly. In these cases, the pet’s immune system is overwhelmed and there isn’t enough time to help. In other cases, the pet’s body is “run down”, usually from having cancer for several months, and it can’t heal itself anymore.

Conventional Approach vs Alternative Medicine for Pets

Cat Alternative Medicine

To find out the options available to you, see a veterinary oncologist. Ask the doctor about the benefits and side effects of her suggested treatment plan. How long will your pet live if you do the treatment or if you don’t? These answers will help you decide what is best for you and your pet.

Herbs and supplements can be used along with conventional treatments. Many oncologists won’t recommend any alternative medicine for pets because they aren’t familiar with them and fear they could interfere with the typical treatment for cancer in cats and dogs. 

This is especially true for antioxidants. Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals and other supplements that control things called free radicals in the body. Free radicals destroy body cells. Chemotherapy and radiation produce free radicals to destroy the tumor.

The fear is antioxidants will make the treatments less effective. Studies in humans have shown that, except for a few exceptions, antioxidants don’t interfere and actually help.

Alternative Pet Therapy: Things You Can Do

Besides antioxidants, give fish oil for the immune system and to help fight the cancer.

Then use herbs. Some examples of this alternative pet therapy can have very profound effects on cancer. Mushrooms, especially, boost the immune system and have anti-cancer effects.

Acupuncture is another therapy that can be used. It is especially good for pain and nausea. 

Shark cartilage was the rage a number of years ago for treating cancer. Today, it’s more likely to be used for arthritis. Shark cartilage can work for some tumors but it requires a high dose. The dose to treat tumors due to cancer in cats or dogs is 4 times the dose needed for arthritis.


Dog Nutrition

Hill’s makes a prescription diet, n/d, for cancer in dogs and cats. Research found that dogs with lymphoma lived longer if fed a diet with fewer simple carbohydrates.

n/d is labeled for dogs having chemotherapy. It would probably be beneficial for most dogs that have cancer. If your pet has cancer, avoid giving any biscuits or treats that are a carbohydrate base. Give pieces of meat, cheese, or vegetables for treats.


Decide early if you are going to use any alternative pet therapy or alternative medicine for pets. If you wait until you try everything else and it doesn’t work, it may be too late.

Finally, try to keep a positive outlook. Remember, for all the odds the oncologist gives you, some pets beat them. Why shouldn’t that be your pet? Your pet will benefit from your hopeful attitude.

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