Treating - Cancer
According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, cancer is the main cause of death in 47% of dogs, which is about the same rate as humans. There are over 100 types of cancers in dogs.
During the 12 years we’ve been running Headrock Dogs Rescue, we’ve cared for several old dogs with terminal cancer. For us, the most important aspect of treating cancer is pain control. We endeavour to give our dogs the best quality of life possible during their cancer illness and sometimes it can be hard knowing that their lives will end soon.
As we are upcountry in Thailand, we don’t have access to sophisticated treatments. We’ve often been advised against radiography or chemotherapy and to give our dogs the best palliative care we can. We’ve taken the natural therapy route with cancer diets containing lots of antioxidants specifically designed to help delay the cancer progress. We also use oils such as primrose, coconut and fish oils together with turmeric and honey to dress the tumours. The dogs we’ve treated have all enjoyed a good quality of life until the cancer is too advanced. Then we have to say a very sad goodbye.
It’s not until we treat a tumour which we can’t eradicate that the possibility of it being malignant is questioned. As the nearest animal hospital that can perform biopsies is 500ks away in Bangkok, we can only observe carefully to see if more tumours appear. When they do we can be confident they’re malignant.
One old Temple dog we treated for a range of different illnesses from blood parasites which she recovered from but was also limping. We treated her for arthritis for a couple of months taking her for regular vet visits. When her condition didn’t improve we took her 100ks for an ultrasound examination which highlighted the mass. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and her leg was amputated in a bid to save her but sadly the tumour eventually went into her lungs.
We are currently (2020) treating one dog diagnosed with cancer of the ear canal and one with suspected nasal cancer. Both dogs are taking CBD (Cannabis) oil to help stop the cancer from spreading.
If your dog has cancer my advice is don’t be sad as he/she will pick up your mood and be sad too. Sadness is very bad for cancer patients. Let your dog do whatever makes him/her happy with lots of exercises which is a great cancer deterrent.
Below are some of the dogs we sadly miss whom we had to say goodbye to. Only 2 dogs died naturally from their cancer.
Angel Love – Melanoma
Birthday – Melanoma
Maud – Osteosarcoma
Gloria - Lymphoma
Riley - Pancreatic
RIP all you sweet ones.