How to Fight Canine Cancer

dog cancer
photo courtesy Deposit Photo.


Canine cancer affects one out of every three dogs.  Of those, over half of them will die of cancer.

The good news is that there are things you can do to help prevent your dog from becoming one out of every three dogs who will acquire cancer.

The C word. Disguise it, whisper it, or even give it a code word: The bottom line is this is every pet parent’s worst nightmare (or at least one of them). A diagnosis of cancer in pets is something none of us ever wants to hear or face.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney was recently interviewed for the BlogPaws Cares and Shares video series. Mahaney is speaking at the upcoming BlogPaws Conference in Nashville on the topic, “The Holistic Approach to Canine Lymphoma: A Veterinarian’s Case Study.” If you never heard Patrick speak, this is your opportunity. His background and philosophies are ones that many embrace and are not often talked about.


Some of the highlights to watch and listen for:

3:25: The art of Chinese medicine and how it is useful for people and pets

4:40: How can I tell by clinical signs if my pet might have cancer?

5:28: Things Dr. Patrick does to prevent his dog’s disease from flaring up: And this is solid info for all pet parents to hear: Of note: minimal vaccines, certain type of diet, teeth cleaning – and in honor of National Pet Dental Health month, this topic is even more important after hearing Dr. P’s advice.

10:50: Do dogs really age 7 years for every one human year?

18:50: What to do if your pet gets a cancer diagnosis.

23:00: What treats should I avoid?

24:50: Can my pet eat some of the healthy foods I eat?

Current Strides on the Canine Cancer Forefront

As a dog mom whose own dog has been diagnosed (twice) with mast cell cancer, I know the all-encompassing sense of shock that encompasses a dog mom upcoming hearing the diagnosis.

About five years ago, a 7-year-old Labrador retriever was operated on using a technique eventually patented by Virginia Tech biomedical engineering faculty member, Rafael Davalos. The dog had a a cancerous mass in the brain, and all other forms of medical treatment had been exhausted. The operation eradicated the malignant tumor, and postop exams proved the procedure successful.

Now, some 7 years later, the National Cancer Institute granted monies for malignant glioma destruction by colleagues of Davalos.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) have identified the biological mechanism that may give some cancer cells the ability to form tumors in dogs. This study means researchers are onto the path an aggressive form of bone cancer takes; it also means human cancer implications are involved.

Close to Home

For those who know of canine rock star, Bocker Labradoodle, who is a buddy of ours, he is currently battling cancer and kicking butt with treatment including chemotherapy. His mom report he is a real fighter, once again proving the spirit and power of a dog’s will. Keep fighting and we’ve got your back, Bocker!

bocker labradoodle
Photo courtesy Bocker Labradoodle Facebook page.



Have you ever had a dog with cancer? What treatment(s) did you opt for?

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  1. Great informative post.A little over 2 years ago I became very much aware of pet cancer statistics.It was a horrible day.My Riley(11 year old Cocker Spaniel) had a very aggressive bone cancer on his skull.We were given a very poor prognosis and told that we probably only had about 3 weeks left.We managed to love and care for him for another 3 1/2 months before we had to make the terrible decision that it was time to help him cross the bridge.From the moment we found out,we never left Riley alone…one of us was always with him and his needs were first.Because we were told that there was not much we could do,we simply provided our sweet boy with hospice care.
    We have learned a lot over time now and our current Cocker,Beauregard just had his 2nd Birthday and we have already spoken with our vet about things to do so that perhaps we can prevent losing him to cancer many years down the road.He will have titer testing done as well as other things.It is as hard to have to watch your beloved pet go through cancer as it is having to watch other family members go through this terrible disease.

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