Conventional medicine saved her during a life-threatening emergency caused by cancer.
Holistic medicine made that life last.
In June 2012, at age 14, Haley was dying in the backseat of my car as I rushed her to the ER. A tumor had burst in her spleen. My vet told me her prognosis was slim – she might not make it to the emergency hospital 20 minutes away and, if she did, given her age she might not make it through surgery. But he encouraged me to try. I forged ahead.
After the successful surgery, her doctor told me Haley might only survive one to three months. He had diagnosed hemangiosarcoma, a particularly nasty and usually “fast-acting” kind of cancer.
When Haley was diagnosed, of course I wanted to explore all options to help her: both conventional treatment, such as chemotherapy and “alternative” treatment such as herbal medicine.
After reviewing the treatment, side effects, cost and possible outcome of both conventional and alternative options, I decided to pursue an alternative approach.
I asked myself what I would want as a cancer patient and an alternative approach resonated with me. I found fantastic holistic veterinarians who helped create a treatment plan, but I still worked very closely with her conventional vet.
This is integrative medicine: using both types of veterinary medicine to best treat the patient.
Haley’s hemangiosarcoma was helped by the following treatment plan. I found most of these through personal recommendations and research; some were prescribed by her holistic vets.
For further reading, please check out these resources. You can find a holistic vet in your area here. I’d love to hear about your experience with canine cancer and your favorite resources, so please share in the comments or here.
Haley’s Cancer Kit
- Canine CAS Options by Kemin – for cancer support
- Celloquent by Vitality Science – supports and balances the immune system; part of the advanced immune restoration protocol
- Denamarin -by Nutramax Laboratories – for liver support
- Dog Gone Pain by The Harmony Company – for pain
- Flor-essence Dry Herbal Tea Blend by Flora Health – for cancer support
- Herbal Anti-Inflammatory by Vitality Science – tonifies and disinfects the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts; part of the advanced immune restoration protocol
- I’m-Yunity by Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Inc. – specifically for hermangiosarcoma. Here’s an article about a study conducted at University of Pennsylvania.
- Luxolite by Vitality Science – absorbs toxins; helps with loose stool
- Premier Omega Fish Oil by Icelandic Naturals – for healthy skin/balanced nutrition; uses pharmaceutical/human-grade wild-caught sardine and anchovies, in safe, brushed aluminum bottles
- Organic Coconut Oil – for balanced nutrition
- Poly-MVA for Pets – antioxidant and free radical protection
- Raw colostrum (fresh is best if you can find it). Learn more about colostrum here.
- Vital Lipids by Vitality Science – enhances all physiological functions; part of the advanced immune restoration protocol
- Vitamin B12 – for balanced nutrition
- Vitamin C – for balanced nutrition
- Vitamin E – for balanced nutrition
- Yunnan Baiyao – helps heal internal bleeding (after surgery)
Raw, Grain-free Food Recipe
Here is Haley’s raw, grain-free food recipe (adapted from the BARF diet, breeder’s recipe, my own research), but it can be interpreted very loosely. For example, sometimes I eliminated the higher fat items (dairy) if she was gaining. Be sure to feed in stainless steel only. Use organic items.
2 lb. or so assorted vegetables (no sweet potatoes, potatoes)
5 lb. ground meat with bones and organs (I prefer Primal and Bravo products; if concerned with weight loss, use buffalo or beef instead of poultry)
6 raw eggs with eggshells
3 cloves garlic
3 teaspoons Solid Gold Sea Meal Kelp Powder
1 large tub cottage cheese
1 large tub plain yogurt
Mix in food processor and store in refrigerator no more than five days.
1 tsp. flax seed oil
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. almond butter (eliminate if system is very compromised)
1 tbsp. cottage cheese
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 cup offal (usually beef organs from Bravo)
Feed Raw beef bones (marrow or knuckle) 2-3 times per week. Never leave your dog unattended as she works her bone.
Play with her little sister, Harper, to keep her mind and spirit happy. A variety of toys (preferably made in the U.S.) only made for more fun!
As much as she could tolerate, twice daily. She was a very active dog since her young days – long walks, hikes and later in life, running, and I attribute her longevity to making sure she stayed fit and at an ideal weight.