How to Shrink a Dog’s Tumor

How to Shrink a Dog’s Tumor: 12 Different Ways

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Can Dog Tumors Get Smaller?

Can-Dog-Tumors-Get-Smaller

Yes, dog tumors can get smaller. Some types of tumors have natural size-shifting features. For example, mast cell tumors can enlarge and get smaller in no time – the large bump can turn into a small lump unexpectedly and then grow again. 

There are also ways of decreasing or shrinking dog tumors using special approaches and nutrients. These methods are considered therapeutic and can be used alone or combined with other cancer treatments. 

How Can I Shrink My Dog’s Tumor?

Shrinking a dog’s tumor is possible, and there are several ways of doing so. Which tumor-shrinking method is best depends on the type of cancer and the dog itself (age, breed, sex, lifestyle). 

Here is a short overview of some popular and efficient ways of shrinking dog tumors. 

Intratumoral Injection for Dog Tumors

Intratumoral injections for dog tumors are the latest solution for the treatment of mast cell tumors (mastocytoma). They are efficient, non-invasive, and with minimal side effects. 

What is Intratumoral Injection for Dogs?

Intratumoral injections are a groundbreaking cancer treatment. The solution is made from the blushwood plant seed (Fontainea picrosperma) native to the Australian rainforests. 

The intratumoral injections are launched by Virbac and are FDA-approved. Their brand name is Stelfonta (active ingredient tigilanol tiglate). 

Tiglianol tiglate works by boosting the immune system and triggering tumor destruction. In a nutshell, the injection cuts off the tumor’s blood supply, and once the cancer cells are dead, it leaves a pocket or wound which heals afterward.  

When is Intratumoral Injection Used for Tumor Treatment?

Intratumoral injections are a relatively novel concept used in the treatment of cutaneous and subcutaneous non-metastatic mast cell tumors. 

Intratumoral injections are quite efficient. Namely, intratumoral injections destroy up to 75% of the mast cell tumor with one treatment. 

Mast cell tumors are the most common type of skin cancer in dogs. Before the development of such injections, the treatment of choice was surgery. However, the injections are far less invasive. 

How is Intratumoral Injection Given to Dogs?  

As the name suggests, intratumoral injections are administered directly into the tumor. Based on the dog, sedation may be required to prevent self-inflicted injuries. 

The side effects of intratumoral injections are minimal and transient. During the first days of the treatment, dog owners may notice swelling and bruising, which causes discomfort or pain.

Chemotherapy for Dog Tumors

Chemotherapy-for-Dog-Tumors

Chemotherapy is the golden standard for shrinking and treating certain tumor types in dogs. 

What is Chemotherapy for Dogs?

Chemotherapy is a specific cancer treatment based on the use of chemo drugs – medication that can kill or destroy cancer cells. 

Commonly used chemo drugs are carboplatin, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, L-asparaginase, lomustine, prednisone, etc. 

Depending on the type of tumor, there are different chemotherapy protocols. Some of them include using more than one chemo drug for boosted efficacy. 

When is Chemotherapy Used for Tumor Treatment?

Chemotherapy is the best treatment option for dogs with lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system and lymph nodes). Chemotherapy increases the likelihood of going into remission for dogs with multicentric B-cell and T-cell lymphoma

The standard lymphoma chemo protocol is called CHOP, and it involves cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride, vincristine sulfate, and prednisone. There is also an L-CHOP protocol that includes one more drug – L-asparaginase. 

Chemotherapy can be used alone, but it is more frequently combined with other treatments – either traditional or holistic. 

How is Chemotherapy Given to Dogs?

Chemotherapy is usually given in the form of intravenous injections. However, based on the chemo medication and treatment protocol, it can also be administered orally. 

Luckily, the dog’s body is much better at handling chemotherapy than the human’s. Potential chemotherapy side effects in dogs are transient vomiting, nausea, and appetite changes. 

Radiation for Dog Tumors

Radiation is a common treatment option for dog tumors. Same as all other options, it is not universally fit for all types of tumors. 

What is Radiation for Dogs?

Radiation therapy is a specific type of cancer treatment used on tumors with low metastasis rates – confined to specific organs or parts of the body. The treatment destroys cancer cells (by damaging their DNA) using high-dose radiation or x-rays.  

Certain types of lymphoma, brain and nasal tumors respond well to radiation. In general, the treatment is efficient for tumors with fast-dividing cells. 

 When is Radiation Used for Tumor Treatment?

Radiation treatment is used when the dog can benefit from tumor shrinking – for example, if the tumor pressures causing breathing issues or loss of bladder/bowel control. Or, to prepare the tumor for easier surgical removal. 

Oncologists recommend radiation when surgery is not possible, or it could cause severe side effects that can compromise the dog’s quality of life. Radiation can be used alone or together with other cancer treatments. 

How is Radiation Given to Dogs?

Radiation is given to dogs under general anesthesia. This is because the high-dose radiation needs to be given very precisely. 

As for the radiation protocol itself, there are several options, such as strontium plesiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT). 

Possible side-effects of radiation therapy include local skin irritation (redness) and ulceration. However, more often than not, the benefits outweigh the risks. 

Surgery or Amputation of Dog Tumors

Surgery or amputation may seem like a radical approach, but it is efficient and usually results in recovery. The bad news is that surgery is not always an option. 

What is Surgery or Amputation for Dogs?

Surgery or amputation refers to the surgical removal of the tumor. The tumor is removed with some surrounding tissue to prevent regrowth. 

The surgical removal of the tumor is performed under general anesthesia, and afterward, the dog needs adequate recovery and postoperative care. 

When is Surgery or Amputation Used for Tumor Treatment?

Surgery or amputation is the cancer treatment of choice when dealing with bone cancer or osteosarcoma. However, there are other types of tumors that can be treated surgically. 

Sometimes, surgery or amputation are combined with other approaches such as chemo or radiation. It can also be used in conjunction with holistic cancer treatments. 

How Can I Shrink My Dog’s Tumor Naturally?

How-can-I-Shrink-My-Dogs-Tumor-Naturally

There are several ways of shrinking dog tumors naturally. Usually, holistic tumor-shrinking approaches are used in combination with other mainstream cancer treatments. 

Here is a short review of some popular natural tumor-shrinking options. 

Turkey Tail Mushroom for Dog Tumors

Turkey Tail Mushroom supplements are recognized for their immune-boosting properties and ability to support dogs with cancer.  

What is Turkey Tail Mushroom for Dogs?

Turkey Tail Mushroom is a specific mushroom growing on dead logs. The health benefits and cancer-fighting properties of Turkey Tail Mushrooms stem from their levels of beta-glucans as natural immune-boosters. 

When is Turkey Tail Mushroom Used for Tumor Treatment?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine found that the use of Turkey Tail Mushrooms in dogs with blood vessel cancer increases the survival time

Interestingly, the dogs supplemented with Turkey Tail Mushrooms did not receive additional anti-cancer treatments.  

How is Turkey Tail Mushroom Given to Dogs?

The modern pet market offers an array of Turkey Tail Mushroom Supplements. We suggest the Honest Paws Turkey Tail Mushroom Blend. The powdered blend is made with four types of organic mushrooms (Turkey Tail, Shiitake, Reishi, Maitake) and has a dog-friendly chicken flavor. 

Honest Paws Turkey Tail Mushroom Blend
  • Enhances the immune response
  • Supports immune system function
  • Helps decrease oxidative damage

CBD Oil for Dog Tumors

CBD oil is one of the latest hypes on the pet care market. However, CBD is more than just a trend – it is safe, efficient, and health-boosting. 

What is CBD Oil for Dogs?

CBD oil for dogs is a herbal remedy extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of hemp plants (Cannabis sativa). A high-quality CBD oil is rich in cannabinoids and can be helpful to dogs on several levels.

When is CBD Oil Used for Tumor Treatment?

CBD oil is used for dogs with cancer because of its various effects. Studies show that CBD can shrink tumors, thus enabling easier treatment or management. 

Plus, CBD induces apoptosis (programmed death) of cancer cells and may boost the effects of mainstream canine cancer treatments. CBD can also boost the dog’s immune system and help relieve pain and inflammation. 

CBD can be used to defeat the side effects of traditional cancer treatments such as nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss. 

How is CBD Oil Given to Dogs?

CBD oil is given to dogs orally and topically. The modern pet market offers dozens of pet CBD products for dogs – from oils to treats to peanut butter

We strongly recommend the Honest Paws CBD Oil and Treats (Soft Chews & Bites). They are made with organic full-spectrum hemp, added health-boosting ingredients, and feature dog-friendly flavors. 

Honest Paws Well CBD Oil for Dogs
  • Support sensitive skin & seasonal allergies
  • Boost immune system & cognitive function
  • Enhance bone & joint health
  • Promote relaxation & combat stress

Turmeric for Dog Tumors

Turmeric-for-Dog-Tumors-1

Turmeric supplements are gaining popularity rapidly due to their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to shrink tumors. 

What is Turmeric for Dogs?

Turmeric is a readily available yellow spice with outstanding medicinal properties. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. In addition to preventing inflammation, turmeric fights off free radicals, detoxifies, and supports overall health and wellness. 

When is Turmeric Used for Tumor Treatment?

Turmeric is used in cancer treatment for dogs with osteosarcoma. It can also be used for preventing bladder cancer in dogs. According to a 2016 study, turmeric is one of the most potent plant extracts for destroying cancer cells and inhibiting tumor growth. 

How is Turmeric Given to Dogs?

Turmeric is given in small amounts – usually between 1/8 and 1/4 of turmeric paste per 10 pounds of body weight a day. At first, turmeric is given once a day and then after each meal.

It is advisable to start with a smaller dose and then work your way up to these amounts. Also, do not use turmeric capsules made for people as they contain too much turmeric. 

Calcium Chloride for Dog Tumors

The use of calcium chloride solution in the treatment of benign tumors is beneficial and non-invasive. Plus, it is generally safe and effective. 

What is Calcium Chloride for Dogs?

Calcium chloride is a compound typically found in alcohol. As a necrotizing chemical, calcium chloride destroys cancer cells. The treatment is classified as non-invasive and recommended for older dogs with benign growths. 

When is Calcium Chloride Used for Tumor Treatment?

Calcium chloride is used for shrinking benign tumors. The method is particularly useful when managing subcutaneous lipomas in dogs. It is also indicated for large tumors that restrict the dog’s mobility and mammary tumors. 

The veterinarian may recommend this approach when surgery is not an option (due to the size of the tumor or the dog’s age) or if the pet owner is on a tight budget. 

How is Calcium Chloride Given to Dogs?

Calcium chloride is given in the form of injection. Luckily the procedure is not very painful and does not require the dog to be anesthetized. We should note that side effects in the form of skin necrosis and local irritation are possible. 

Hemp Seed Oil for Dog Tumors

The hemp industry is taking the pet care world by storm, and hemp seed oils are used for a variety of reasons – shrinking cancerous tumors is one of those reasons. 

What is Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs?

Hemp seed oil is an extract made from hemp seeds (from the Cannabis sativa plant). It is particularly rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as zinc and manganese. These nutrients have strong anti-inflammatory features and strengthen the dog’s immune system. 

When is Hemp Seed Oil Used for Tumor Treatment?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that hemp seed oil may inhibit cancer growth, especially when dealing with mammary tumors, lung cancer, and brain cancer. Usually, hemp seed oil is used in conjunction with other holistic and mainstream cancer treatments. 

How is Hemp Seed Oil Given to Dogs?

Hemp seed oil is given orally – one teaspoon of hemp seed oil can be mixed with one pound of dog food and served as usual. 

Dog owners can grind fresh hemp seeds instead of store-bought hemp seed oil. Either way, they should not mix them with poultry as it will mess up the fatty acids balance.  

Apple Cider Vinegar for Dog Tumors

Apple-Cider-Vinegar-for-Dog-Tumors

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) ranks high on the list of holistic anti-tumor strategies for dogs. The mechanism of action is poorly understood, but ACV seems to work in human patients. 

What is Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs?

Apple cider vinegar is a specific type of vinegar made by fermenting apples with bacteria and yeasts. It has a very strong scent and sour taste. 

It is believed that ACV may help with shrinking tumors. Apple cider vinegar is particularly rich in polyphenols – antioxidants that prevent cell damage in cancer dogs. 

When is Apple Cider Vinegar Used for Tumor Treatment?

According to anecdotal reports, apple cider vinegar may be beneficial for different types of cancer, including melanoma, bladder cancer, mast cell tumors, hemangiosarcoma, and bone cancer. 

How is Apple Cider Vinegar Given to Dogs?

Apple cider vinegar is given orally, mixed with the dog’s water or food. The repulsive smell and taste make ACV challenging to give to dogs with fussy appetites. However, mixed with the right food, its presence can be masked. 

Chamomile and Dandelion for Dog Tumors

Chamomile and dandelion are health-boosting herbs. They are well-known for their medicinal properties and are frequently used in veterinary medicine. 

What is Chamomile and Dandelion for Dogs?

Chamomile and dandelion are herbal remedies with potent anti-inflammatory features. They are also supporting various body functions and processes and have cancer-fighting powers. 

When is Chamomile and Dandelion Used for Tumor Treatment?

The anti-cancer effect of chamomile and dandelion is believed to be based on their ability to support liver and kidney function. In simpler words, they help detoxify the organism. 

Chamomile and dandelion are not cures for cancer. However, if used as part of multimodal canine cancer treatment, they can be beneficial and may help shrink tumors. 

How is Chamomile and Dandelion Given to Dogs?

Both chamomile and dandelion are given to dogs in the form of tinctures. The tincture can be mixed with commercial dog food or cooked into homemade meals and treats. 

Chickweed for Dog Tumors

Chickweed-for-Dog-Tumors

When talking about holistic ways of shrinking tumors, the use of chickweed in veterinary medicine definitely deserves a closer lookup. 

What is Chickweed for Dogs?

Chickweed is a cancer-fighting perennial annual plant native to Europe. It is long known for its strong medicinal (anti-cancer) properties, and luckily, it is perfectly safe for dogs. 

Chickweed is loaded with health-boosting nutrients that support the dog’s body. It contains high levels of flavonoids, beta carotene, potassium magnesium, zinc, ascorbic acid, calcium, and niacin.  

When is Chickweed Used for Tumor Treatment?

Chickweed is usually used in the treatment of dog lipomas (fatty tumors). The plant helps on several levels as it has strong anti-inflammatory features and helps remove harmful toxins. It can be used as part of multimodal canine cancer treatment.  

How is Chickweed Given to Dogs?

Chickweed can be given both externally and internally. Internal use is more effective when dealing with tumors. 

Internal use of chickweed includes teas and tinctures. They are usually mixed with dog food or baked into homemade, dog-friendly treats. Mixing with food improves the taste and makes chickweed easier to serve to dogs. 

 

https://bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12917-016-0774-9

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3972710/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399642/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279571

https://www.imprimedicine.com/blog/2021/5/15/understanding-the-differences-in-the-types-of-canine-lymphoma

https://www.veterinary-practice.com/2020/virbac-launches-stelfonta-a-ground-breaking-new-treatment-for-canine-mast-cell-tumours-mcts