Overcoming Osteosarcoma: Defeating Canine Cancer with Natural TherapiesCheryl Baldwin, BSc (Hons), CNHP September 1, 2010
Diesel is a highly energetic and loving 4-year-old Boxer. He is my sister’s dog, but I love him as though he were my own! To our great dismay, in late March he awoke (after having enjoyed a long walk the day before) suddenly lame in his left leg, and seemed to be in a great deal of pain and discomfort. After a trip to the emergency vet, little was revealed as to what was ailing him. We left with some anti-inflammatories in hand and a couple of different pain medications, but no diagnosis.
Initially, it was theorized that Diesel may be suffering from hip dysplasia, although x-rays quickly revealed that his knees were also in poor shape. His veterinarian decided to do blood work and to also take a sample of the fluid from inside both knees. Some other mobility tests (checking for “drawering”) were also conducted to determine whether Diesel had torn his ACL ligaments (alongside the potential hip problems they suspected).
While awaiting results, we could do little but watch Diesel toil. Over the next week, Diesel either slept with aid from the pain medication or was in obvious distress. His mobility was limited, he yelped on every attempt to get up, and he struggled to do his ‘business’. He was also no longer interested in eating – even his favourite liver treats. His situation seemed dire, and no solutions seemed readily available.
I decided it was time to employ some natural medicine! We had been giving Diesel homeopathic Arnica from the onset of the injury, but it did not appear to be doing all that much to remedy his condition. With greater analysis, I realized his symptom picture better resembled that of the homeopathic remedy Rhus toxicodendron (Rhus tox). This remedy suits someone who has difficulty initiating movement, but feels better once moving, so long as movement is not taken to excess. I convinced my sister to purchase and administer this remedy to Diesel.
Within a few hours of taking the remedy, Diesel got up and limped over to devour his bowl of food. He then asked to be let outside and proceeded to do his ‘business.’ Prior to heading back inside, he ambled over to pick up his tennis ball – his favourite toy – and the first glimmer of hope shone through!
From that day on, Diesel was given Rhus tox (200CH) three times daily, dissolved in water and administered orally via a syringe.
We also added organic flaxseed oil to his food to help lubricate Diesel’s joints and also to help as a natural anti-inflammatory. Later, more in-depth research revealed the amazing healing attributes of flaxseed oil. I referenced April’s issue of Vitality, which discussed flaxseed oil’s amazing cell regenerating properties (through assisting with nutrient uptake and waste removal as well as increased oxygenation of the body).
I also referenced www.caninecancer.com, which cites flaxseed oil’s anti-cancer properties.
Luckily, Diesel loved the flaxseed oil and heartily ate his dinner like never before! Diesel has always been a picky eater and had difficulty keeping weight on. Now with the addition of the flaxseed oil to his food, he was eating more, gaining weight, and getting stronger!
Three weeks from the onset of symptoms, a battery of tests were still being conducted to diagnose Diesel’s condition. My sister had to shuffle Diesel to an assortment of clinics to see various specialists. After an MRI scan and a failed ultrasound-guided biopsy, his file was transferred to a musculoskeletal expert in Washington. It was decided that Diesel likely had a tumour near his lumber vertebrae. An additional ultrasound-guided biopsy confirmed our worst fear – cancer. Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) was the final diagnosis.
With bone cancer – an aggressive, painfully debilitating, and fatal disease – as the verdict, my sister and I headed to the local wellness centre, and were advised to introduce a homeopathic remedy specific for targeting tumours (cancerous/benign). We started Diesel on R17, Dr. Reckeweg’s formula, at a dosage of 15 drops, 3 times per day.
With some additional online research into natural anti-tumour/anti-cancer cures, I discovered molasses, which is reputed to be a strong antioxidant with inherent anti-tumour properties. So my sister introduced 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses (1 in the morning and 1 at night) into Diesel’s daily diet. I also performed some energetic and crystal healing work with Diesel whenever possible.
With the additional natural therapies, Diesel seemed to be getting better and better! Unfortunately, the vet’s prognosis was getting worse and worse. It was recommended that Diesel undergo surgery to remove the tumour and radiation to destroy the cancer. My sister conceded to the surgery (in hopes of removing the tumour and improving Diesel’s chances for a full recovery), but not the radiation.
Six weeks after his first trip to the emergency vet, surgery was conducted, which revealed that the tumour was calcified, and indeed attached to the lower vertebrae as the scans had suggested. Unfortunately, the location of the tumour rendered it inoperable unless they removed part of the spine, which would have carried a significant risk for damaging mobility in the hind legs permanently. The only procedure which could safely be conducted was another tumour biopsy to determine the cancerous stage. With the surgery being mostly unsuccessful, and my sister declining radiation, the veterinarian’s prognosis was clear – Diesel was deemed to be in palliative care.
In mid-May, the histology report from the tumour biopsy came back negative for osteosarcoma cells. The vets were completely perplexed.
Today, with the help of the natural remedies, I am elated to report that Diesel has rebounded back to his normal happy, bouncy, and playful self! He has regained all of the mobility in his left leg and seems to have made a full recovery.
For me, this has reaffirmed the value of natural remedies for healing many chronic, as well as acute, conditions. I feel that Diesel is a living testament to the rejuvenating power these therapies can have on the body – canine or otherwise! I would also like to direct readers to www.caninecancer.com for more amazing testimonies, great natural therapies, and helpful advice for pet owners. This is a valuable resource and a great support network if your pet is struggling with cancer!
I hope Diesel’s story inspires and empowers others to do all that they can to utilize natural therapies to complement medical practices and greatly assist their canine friends in their healing process – it seems they really can and DO work miracles!
To read more survival stories, and for other canine cancer resources, visit the following website: https://caninecancer.com
To contact a vet focussing in Traditional Chinese Medicine and nutrition:
Dr. Rona Sherebrin, DVM, CVA
Secord Animal Hospital
3271 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M4N 2L8
Tel: (416) 486-1700 Fax: (416) 486-1795 Cell: (416) 274-3366
To contact a naturopathic vet:
The Holistic Vet
Dr. Autumn Louise Drouin, D.V.M., N.D.
Tel: (905) 830-1030
987 Davis Drive, Newmarket ON, L3Y 2R7