- Pets and Animals
Herbal Treatment for Dogs with Cancer
Chloe, my heroine
Chloe, my beloved sheltie is now almost twelve years old. Her presence in my life has always been one of comfort and love. Traveling all over the United States with me in my RV has been a bittersweet journey, one that met with heartache and despair, and also joy and happiness. So when Chloe became ill in the spring of 2008, it was not without anguish that I brought her to the veterinary clinic in the middle of the night. It seemed that Chloe had developed a urinary infection and could not stop urinating every five minutes or so. After many tests, it was also determined she had an enlarged heart, and was suffering from congestive heart failure.
Bringing her home, my heart sank. I knew time would be short for my dear friend, and I was having a difficult time assimilating the news that I would soon lose my best friend. As time went on, we found that Chloe seemed to bounce back from the CHF and was now taking diruretics to alleviate her congestion. She seemed to be more lively, and was not in any kind of distress.
It was in November 2009 that we returned to the heart specialist to "see what condition her condition was in" and she referred us to an internist, as her recent malaise was not heart related. Upon testing Chloe's stomach via ultrasound he dipped a bit lower only to find a small tumor that was beginning in her bladder. An inoperable tumor, but in the first stages of growth. His recommendation was to have her start chemotherapy, something that would only stay the growth of the tumor, but would cause her undue discomfort and only assured a few months of time. And it would cost about $2500.
Once again, my heart sank. I came back from the vets office and proceeded to bawl my eyes out like a child. How could I put my dear friend through such intense pain with the knowledge it was only lengthening the time for ME to have her? My husband and I lamented, and then took action by going online and doing some research into other options available to us.
We found that my dog's breed is particularly prone to bladder cancer. I had no idea of this prior to the research. We also found that there were alternatives in the form of herbal remedies which would not eradicate the tumor, but would help it not to grow. We decided to forego the chemo in favor of the herbal. We also decided that if, at any time, Chloe was in pain, we would go with her to the vet and hold her while she made her transition. I had held my beloved Corgi not ten years earlier when she passed fro cancer, and never regretted being with her at the end.
What we found was a "cocktail" that has appeared to work in Chloe's case. Graviola is a herbal remedy that has been found to work in humans who have cancer and in pets as well. It is a rather bitter flavor, so we have to hide it in her food. We changed her food from regular dry food to "raw" dog food as well. We found a local distributor of Darwin's ground chicken or duck mixed with vegetables, and alternate between giving her it raw, or cooking it up in the oven, like meatloaf first. Chloe LOVES this food, and she has assimilated it well, although has had much gas. To stave off the gas, I add plain yogurt into it, which has helped immensely.
In addition, she eats cranberry herbal tabs on her food. Any dog susceptible to bladder cancer should have these given to them from day one. Ladies already know cranberry helps when we get a UTI. Cranberry is a natural for this area. Because she is almost 12, Chloe also gets a tramadol for the aches and pains of aging, and she still takes a diretic, which has kept her flow of urine working well. We have not taken her back to the vet to do another ultrasound, but Chloe seems to still be doing relatively well, as each day we are happy to see her sweet face greet us as we awaken.
While many would not be prone to give these alternative therapies a try, it is worthwhile to know at the very least that they offer at least another way of handling cancerous tumors, at least in pets. There are some other herbal remedies that have been useful in this area as well, but I only feel as though I can speak for this one. I am happy my dog did not have to go through the pain and misery of chemotherapy.
Chloe was given a 3-6 month window to live her life on chemo. She is now into her 8th month on herbal remedy. I do not know if she will live another day or another year, but I know I have given her the best choice I felt I had for her life. And if the time comes and seems to be suffering in any way, I will say goodbye to my friend, knowing I have done what I could do to help her, and thank her for her long and devoted service to me all this time.
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