my minpin has a lump in his throat. I took him to a vet two weeks ago and they did a needle asperation and sent it to a lab and it came back as cancer. The vet said if it was her dog she'd give him an x-ray and surgery to remove the lump. Well the cost was to be over a thousand dollars and my dog is 13 1/2 and I don't want him to have to endure surgery. Now I don't appreciate what the vet said as I told her I didn't want to spend alot of money on my dog as he is old and I did that with my cat, who had cancer and it returned a year later. In spite of that she still recommended the expensive procedures. I am using alternative treatments on my dog now which I researched. It isn't easy, but it is all I know to do. The vet did say that steroids could be used. I know nothing about this. Does it help without adverse side affects? I am giving alternative treatments and open to any suggestions in that area including healthy food to feed a dog with cancer and any alternative treatments.
The only sure-fire way to remove a cancer is to have it surgically removed. Usually, after that, the cancer is either: totally gone, or needs medical follow-up (such as radiation or chemotherapy) Supportive alternative therapies are also a good idea. But in my estimation (and I use herbs for everything!) -alternative treatments alone will not cure cancer. As for giving him more time....well, it is possible I suppose, but not so likely that any alternative treatment will give him much more time than he would have already with an untreated cancer. That could end up as a lot of hassle, and expense anyway. Also, some of the "cancer-breakthrough" herbal preparations sold over the internet are unproven, and expensive. I wonder about the so-called "miracle cures" in the testimonials.
I don't mean to sound negative. I am actually someone who works with herbal medicine.(Western) And there are herbs which are wonderful supportive treatments after surgery, or alongside chemo or radiation. And there are other herbs which work on the immune system, such as Echinacea, or Astragalus (not certain about those two and their continual use for dogs though) There is also another herb (which grows wild where I live in profusion! and is extremely cheap to buy) If this can't be bought easily where you live, I am sure it can be bought online, either in tincture form, or as a dried herb. CLEAVERS also known as "Goosegrass" That is definitely safe for dogs. It has a reputation as an "Anti-neoplastic" herb (that is it discourages 'new growth' such as tumor growth)
But I very much doubt if it would slow down, or cure an already-established cancerous tumor!
By far the best option in my opinion is surgery. The only contra-indication would be if your dog is definitely unfit for surgery, owing to heart problems, or some other health issue. His age, on its own is not necessarily a bar to surgery. Although of course there are greater risks with surgery and anaesthetics the older a dog gets.
Steroids will help with any associated inflammation. But will not make the cancer disappear. Prolonged use of steroids could stress his system even more than a dose of anaesthetic if the lump were removed. Steroids stress the kidneys and adrenals.
My own instinct would be to have the lump removed.
It might be a good idea to post your question on the "Ask a Vet" forum here. Dr Aleda Cheng is an expert in Western and Chinese Herbal medicine, and may have some good advice for you.
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