Surgery‑ Surgery can totally remove a cancer or make it smaller so that
chemotherapy and radiation are more effective. Risks include anesthesia,
bleeding problems, and postoperative pain. Cures are possible with certain
cancers and early intervention.
Chemotherapy ‑ Chemotherapy uses drugs to try to kill the cancer cells with
the least amount of damage to normal cells. Side effects can include nausea,
lowered immunity, and bleeding problems. Dogs don’t usually experience major hair
loss. Not all cancers are susceptible to chemotherapy.
Radiation ‑ Radiation uses specially calibrated X-rays to damage cancer
tissues with the least amount of damage possible to normal tissues. Side
effects include tissue sloughing, lowered immunity, and damage to normal
tissue. Anesthesia is required. This treatment is only available at veterinary
referral centers. Not all cancers are susceptible to radiation and location of
the cancer may make this impossible.
Cryotherapy ‑ Cryotherapy uses probes to freeze cancerous tissues. The goal
is to destroy the cancer with the least damage to surrounding normal tissues.
This is only available at veterinary referral centers. Not all cancers are
susceptible to cryotherapy, and the location of the cancer may make this
Hyperthermy ‑ Hyperthermy uses heat probes or radiation to destroy
cancerous tissues by overheating them. The goal is to destroy the cancer with
the least damage to surrounding normal tissues. This is only available at
veterinary referral centers. Not all cancers are susceptible to heat damage.
The location of the cancer may make this therapy impossible.
Diet ‑ Diet has been shown to be helpful in controlling cancer. The goal is
a diet with limited simple sugars, moderate amounts of complex sugars such as
carbohydrates, highly digestible protein in moderate amounts, and set amounts
of certain types of fats. These dietary guidelines tend to “starve” the cancer
cells and help the normal cells stay healthy. There is a commercial cancer diet
called n/d from Hill’s, or you can make a homemade diet that fits these
Immunotherapy ‑ Immunotherapy use immune reactions to fight off the cancer
cells. This method may use a nonspecific immune modifier such as interferon, or
vaccines specifically tailored
to the cancer of the individual. Much of this work is experimental but shows