What to do when your pet has cancer: Conventional and natural treatment

natural alternative conventional cancer treatment pets animals

Trying to decide between natural or conventional cancer treatment for your pet?

Finding out that your fur baby has cancer can be an extremely emotional time for any fur parent! As you struggle to wrap your mind around the devastating diagnosis, the veterinarian is likely to describe your options, which may include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Before you jump the gun or give way to grief, first get pro-active. You need to find out as much as possible about your pet's condition so that you can provide him/her with optimum care. Cancer is a serious diagnosis and should always be treated under professional veterinary guidance and supervision. However, there is also much that you can do at home to support the health and immune system of your pet, while giving them the best chance of recovery.

Find out all the different treatments available and consider which would be suitable for your pet's condition. In addition to conventional treatments (which are often effective although harsh) there are a number of alternative treatments which have proved extremely helpful in treating cancer in pets, including acupuncture, aromatherapy and homeopathy. All may be used on their own, or in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments as supportive therapy.

We hope this article will help you make an informed decision on how to treat and manage your pet's cancer. There are various forms of cancer treatment and the best thing you can do for your pet is to educate yourself on both conventional and alternative cancer treatments so that you can make an informed choice about their treatment.

Recognising the signs of cancer in pets

pet cancer signs symptoms

Early detection of cancer is one of the key aspects to successful cancer treatment! While it can be tricky detecting symptoms in early cancer, there are various warning signs you can be on the lookout with your pet. Keep in mind that sometimes a pet who displays the below symptoms does not have cancer but is suffering from another condition which displays similar symptoms. However, it's always best to be vigilant and take your pet to the vet regardless.

Depending on the type of cancer, your pet may display varying conditions. The below list of common symptoms of cancer in dogs and cats is a generalisation of the most common symptoms an animal will display when they are suffering from cancer.

Common symptoms of cancer in dogs and cats:

  • Lumps or bumps on or under your pet's skin
  • Abnormal swelling of any body part
  • Evidence of pain
  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained weight-loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Disinterest in previously loved activities
  • Bleeding or discharge from orifices 
  • Odours from your pet's orifices
  • Changes in your pet’s urinary or bowel habits

Conventional treatment for your pet's cancer

cat conventional cancer treatment pet oncologist

Conventional practices will advise on different types of cancer treatment depending on the specifics of your pet’s condition. Unfortunately, in certain cases, the animal's cancer cannot be completely cured and will then be placed on a treatment plan to manage pain and improve the quality of their life. Depending on the type of cancer, growth stage and the location of the cancer, your vet may put your pet on a stand-alone treatment plan or a combination treatment plan.

Common conventional cancer treatments for pets:


Also called x-ray therapy, radioisotope irradiation, or cobalt therapy, radiation is a widely used cancer treatment method. Often, radiation therapy is used to either help make chemotherapy more effective or to decrease the size of a tumor in order to make surgical removal more likely to succeed. Radiation works by damaging the DNA in cancer cells so that they cannot grow or multiply and over time, the cancer cells die. Most types of radiation are considered local treatments because the radiation is aimed at a specific area of the body. Radiation is used to kill cancer cells as well as shrink tumours, but it also affects cells of normal tissue. The damage to normal cells may cause unwanted side effects to the animal.


Chemotherapy is a widely used method for treating cancer in animals by administering certain chemicals (drugs) that prevent cancer cells from dividing and growing. It is one of the most intense cancer treatments as the side effects are harsh and can sometimes be extremely severe! This is because the drugs target not only cancerous cells but also healthy cells. Having said that, people tend to experience worse side effects from chemotherapy than animals; animals usually lead a more comfortable life while undergoing chemotherapy. While chemotherapy comes with adverse side effects, if given early enough it may have the ability to completely cure your pet's cancer.


Surgery is often the first line of treatment when localized cancer is present. It's one of the oldest forms of cancer treatments and is considered highly effective. The goal is to remove all or a portion of the cancerous cells in the animal’s body. In extreme cases, amputation may be necessary. In other cases, surgery may not be best for the animal if the cancer is located in an inaccessible body part, if the cancer has spread, or the cancer is located in a vital organ where its functioning will be affected by surgery. 

    Natural ('alternative') treatment for your pet's cancer

    natural alternative home cancer treatment pets

    While many speak of ‘alternative’ treatment for pet cancer, conventional and natural treatment for cancer can often be used together to give your pet the best chance of recovery! Many holistic vets are increasingly aware of the benefits that natural remedies and complementary therapies can offer in the total cancer treatment program. The importance of boosting your pet's compromised immune system is also being recognized as essential in slowing down the spread of cancer cells to the surrounding tissue. Your aim is to keep your pet as comfortable as possible by minimising any pain and providing the best possible quality care.

    Cancer places a huge amount of strain on your pet’s body and the body is doing all that it can to fight off the abnormal cancer cells and stop their spread within your pet’s system. Although conventional treatments for cancer can be effective, the drugs used place additional strain on the body as they need to be broken down and eliminated to prevent toxic build-up. Conventional drugs can also have side effects which can further compromise your pet’s immune system.

    Natural medicines have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. As more and more clinical trials are showing the effectiveness of natural remedies such as herbalism and homeopathy in treating illness, more pet owners are resorting to natural, side effect free remedies to treat their pets – giving them a more balanced and all-round treatment.

    How can C-Caps help your pet with cancer?

    C-Caps contain a combination of especially selected and highly respected herbs known for their anti-tumour properties and their ability to optimise immune functioning! Used for centuries in traditional medicine, many of these herbs have been subjected to clinical research which has confirmed their ability to slow down the spread of cancer to surrounding cells, retard the growth of malignant tumours and strengthen a compromised immune system.

    Here's how C-Caps can assist your pet's cancer treatment

    • Helps in the prevention and treatment of cancer
    • Slows down the spread of cancer cells to surrounding tissue
    • Improves compromised immune systems
    • Accelerates healing and relieves fatigue
    • Strengthens the lymphatic system to decrease toxin build-up and promotes waste elimination
    • Improves liver functioning for optimum health

    *Cancer is a serious illness and while the ingredients in C-Caps have shown very promising results in the treatment of cancer, we recommend that they be used as supportive therapy in the overall cancer treatment program of your pet. Please advise your vet that you are using C-Caps for your pet so that he or she can monitor results.

    How can CBD Oil help your pet with cancer?

    CBD (Cannabidiol) is a natural chemical compound found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant. People often associate the cannabis plant with the sensation of getting 'high'. However, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis which is responsible for the 'high'. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and is safe to use on humans, dogs, cats, and other pets! CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil.

    Feelgood Pets absolutely LOVES this Healing CBD Oil formulated especially for pets by a local brand called Cannaco. Cannaco provides full spectrum, terpene rich, CBD products. Each product is delicately formulated with USDA certified organic CBD oil and natural ingredients!

    CBD oil is gaining increasing recognition in the natural treatment of cancer for both people and pets! Various studies have shown how CBD oil causes the cancerous cells to destroy themselves, causing tumours to drastically decrease in size! Studies have also shown how CBD oil has prevented metastasis, which is when the cancer starts spreading into the bloodstream. Despite the evidence, many conventional doctors and medical professionals will argue the healing benefits of CBD oil. We recommend that every person does their own research and comes to their own conclusion regarding CBD oil as a holistic cancer treatment for their pet.

    Feelgood Pets is sending out love, support and comfort to any Fur Parent who has a pet that is struggling with cancer. If you have any questions, please contact us or leave a comment below for FREE health advice. We always love hearing from you!

    Saskia Michele natural holistic pet health blog

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