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Cancer Treatment

written by Patti Smith

Both Valerie’s Doberman and mine were diagnosed with Lymphoma.  The first step was an accurate diagnosis–I spent a month with 3 different veterinarians trying to find the cause of Nick’s BLACK diarrhea.  (Later, I learned, the black color indicated an UPPER gastric problem).  An ultra-sound & needle biopsies confirmed gastro-intestinal lymphoma.  We were told that rarely does a dog survive over 9 weeks. We were devastated!

A treatment protocol had to be selected, and in Nick’s case, he was put on the “Wisconsin Madison” schedule.

It began with a chemo treatment weekly for 12 weeks; then every other week through the program, then every 3 weeks, and he just ‘graduated’ to every 4 weeks. The one chemo on the schedule, Doxorubicin, can affect the heart function.  Because Nick was 3 1/2 at the time, he was treated with the Doxo with no heart protectent.  However, after the second Doxo treatment, an ultrasound on his heart showed that his refraction had gone from the normal 50% to 22%.  We then gave him the Zinecard (about $550 per vial) before the Doxo was administered.  He will not receive any more Doxo. 

Having heard of Valerie’s success, Phil & I drove to Las Vegas and spent an afternoon with her. Nick was on Predisone in the beginning stages.

DIET:  Carbohydrates feed cancer cells. At first, I did a lot of cooking for him:  beef roasts in the crock pot, chicken, broiled salmon, etc.  Dr. Hershey had us put him on Wellness Puppy dry meal, and canned Wysong.

I am now also adding Azmira holistic canned/dry.  It was difficult to get him to eat in the early stages, but he has a good appetite now.  We gave him anything he would eat, including scrambled eggs, high calorie Hill’s Prescription canned food., bacon, etc. Avoid preservatives, color dyes or additives–check labels. Do not buy color-dyed snacks, hooves or pig’s ears. Best snacks are fruits & veggies that have been washed free of pesticides–remember, their immune systems are down from the chemo. Never heat food in microwave as it destroys the enzymes in food & makes your pet’s digestive system work twice as hard to digest the food. Oven baking, broiling, steaming or boiling are best. Always feed 2 meals a day so as not to over-burden the digestive system all at once & allow for a more efficient assimilation of food. Avoid dairy.  Sardines in tomato sauce is good for them.

STRESS:  all stress was removed from his life.  He has his own bedroom with a king-sized bed.  There is a small table-top fountain running all the time, and soft relaxation music playing.  The color ‘yellow’ stimulates the lymphatic & digestive system, so his room, sheets, are ‘yellow’.  It’s VERY calm to sit with him in his room.

EXERCISE:  Very limited.  He goes outside with no other dogs and we do not encourage him to play or run extensively.  Forced rest was suggested by Dr. Hershey.


  • Udo Oil Blend
  • Ester-C – 2000-3000mg/day
  • Pepcid A/C
  • Vit E – 800 IU/day
  • Selenium – 200 mg/day
  • Betacarotene – 50,000 U/day
  • B-12 – 500 mg/dayl
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Dandelion
  • Digestive Enzyme

Valerie also put magnets under the bed — we did not do that.  None of us know “what” is working, but we’re sticking with it as the dogs are doing great.  In fact, I often ask Dr. Hershey if we didn’t make a mistake in the diagnosis as Nick looks  & feels so good.  He’s had a wonderful, normal quality of life this past year so it has all been worth it.

I hope this helps — Good luck!

written by Valerie Stanert
Las Vegas, Nevada
submitted by Pat Policastro, Tazzman Dobermans
Phoenix, AZ
Valerie states: My beautiful Daphne is enjoying 4 years in healthy remission this month due to this regimen and we feel very lucky.

NOTE: Here is a tidbit of mine about microwaving:  Micro wave ovens use radio waves to excite the water molecules in foods that are being cooked.  The water molecules become active thereby heating the food.  While it is true that microwaving food kills the enzymes that are naturally present in live/plant foods, the same thing happens when we cook over a stove.  The growing myth that microwaving food is somehow nuking it is not based on science but rather uncertainty about how microwaves really work.  The name microwave is a misnomer and gives people a sense that some mysterious process is happening to food as its cooked when in fact cooking food by any means kills essential enzymes in food. 

Diet and Nutrition Sources:

These are some that I have used, my favourites are marked with an asterisk (*)

  1.  *Strombeck, Donald R. D.V.M. Ph.D. Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets. Iowa State University Press. 1999. (This book is an outstanding, highly accessible book that can help you calculate the caloric and nutritional needs of your dog based on his weight, and condition.  **Even better is explains why commercial diets are not sufficient for your dog right now (he obviously proposes home prep for all, but the first chapter or so will help you understand why your dog simply cannot benefit from dog food during his illness)  There are lots of sample diets, most are for 40lb dogs that you simply double for your dog.)
  2. *Goldstein, Martin D.V.M. The Nature of Animal Healing. Ballantine Books: New York. 1999.   (This book is great, it has a chapter devoted to “taking on cancer”  is easy to read and is extremely informative.)
  3. *Pitcairn, Richard D.V. M. and Susan .  Dr. Pitcairn´s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.  Rodale Press Inc: PA. 1995. (This book is loaded with Information.  Pitcairn is extremely well published and respected.  This is an outstanding book and usually on the shelves at bookstores and in health food stores.)
  4. *Brown, Kerry D.V.M. and Volhard Wendy. The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog.  Howel Book House: New York. 1995. (This book is in my opinion the most scientifically sound Holistic guide that I have read.  It has tons of information about alternative treatments and is well organized and easy to read.)
  5. Billingshurst, Ian B.V.Sc.  Give your Dog a Bone.  1993
  6. Mindell, Earl R., PhD, and Renaghan, Elizabeth.  Earl Mindell´s Nutrition and Health for Dogs.  Prima Publishing: CA. 1998.
  7. Brennan, D.V.M., Mary L. and Eckroate, Norma. The Natural Dog: A Complete Guide for Caring Owners. 1993.

Daphne´s Chemotherapy:

Three-drug protocol:  Injected vincristine and cyclophosphamide pills to inhibit cell Pision, and prednisone to attack the lymphoma cells.

: ask your Vet or Holistic Vet about:

Enzyme supplements :   enzymes help the body break down ingested food so nutrients can be properly absorbed.   Enzymes are only in raw food because they are destroyed by heat and therefore can´t survive packaging processes.  **When the dog is not eating much or has diarrhea, maximizing absorption is crucial.

One I have used is : PROZYME, 1-800-522-5537

I also used an Ester-C product for dogs.  You will hear arguments for and against the value of Vitamin C.   Dogs do produce some C but you want to support the immune system right now so she needs more.  It must be Ester-C– not ascorbic acid, its more absorbable and won´t irritate an already upset stomach.  Inter-Cal Nutraceuticals has one. Try

 When choosing diets:

  • Some side effects of chemotherapy include bone marrow suppression, bladder inflammation, and liver problems.   Try to choose diets from the holistic diets that support these organs. Many of the books I recommended above organize the diets accordingly. 
  • Boiling makes food bland, Vets recommend it for irritated stomachs and poor appetite, which makes sense.  I always keep in mind that vitamins, minerals and enzymes are lost this way.
  • I have attached some of the diets I made for Daphne during her Chemotherapy.
  • White fish, Chicken, white rice and macaroni are the staples, they are easiest to digest while on the chemo.  Notice the diets are higher in protein and slightly higher in fat.  In the earlier stages you will want to leave out the extra oil and the salt substitute.   Later, the cancer maintenance diet should be higher in protein and fat and lower in carbohydrate, and you can jazz it up with herbs and garlic.
  • Sardines in small doses (2 TBS serve two purposes: omega fatty acids, a must and they make the otherwise boring diet irresistible!!)

 Daphne       (range  1500 -1672 kcal) 

3 eggs
1 cup  Rice  (white)
2 TBS Sardines
2 TBS Veg oil
½ C Tuna
1tsp Bone meal
¼ tsp salt subs
964 kcal   112.1g Protein  49.4g fat
1/3lb Chicken
1 egg
1 ½ c Rice
¼ tsp salt sub
1 vitamin E
553 kcal   46.3g Protein  9.48g fat
1517 kcal total for the day


3 Eggs
2c Rice
2 TBS Sardines
2 TBS Veg oil
¼ tsp salt sub
1 tsp Bone meal
970 kcal   34.1g protein 49.4g fat
1/3lb Poultry
1 egg
1 ½ c Rice
¼ tsp salt sub
1 vit E
553 kcal   46.3g protein   9.48g fat
½ lb Chicken
2 c Rice
¼ tsp salt sub
multi supp
653 kcal   46.3 g protein    9.48g fat
1/3lb Chicken
2 c Rice
¼ tsp salt sub
575 kcal  40g  protein    4.18g fat


Choose Higher Calorie options for AM meal:

 ½ lb Chicken
2 ½ macaroni
2 TBS Sardines
1 TBS veg oil
1/3 tsp salt sub
Ester -C
1065 kcal    63.6g protein    43.9g fat


3 Eggs
2 c Rice
2 TBS  Sardines
2 TBS veg oil
¼ tsp salt sub
1 tsp Bone meal
Multi -supp
964 kcal  34.1g protein   49.4g fat


Choose Lower Calorie options for PM meal:
½ lb Chicken
2 c Rice
¼ tsp salt sub
653 kcal 46.3g protein    9.48g fat


1/3 lb Chicken
2 c Rice
575 kcal 40g protein   4.18g fat

Important!   Give B-12 supplement every week!  My vet gave me some pre-prepared injectable B-12.    Dogs on chemo get weak like people do and they made Daphne feel much better.