The Dog Visitor & News Magazine 2022 & : Dog Cancer The Dog Visitor & News Magazine 2022 & : Dog Cancer en Copyright 2022 & All Rights Reserved. Reap the benefits of dog&walking this March with #PinkPawLove2023
Our annual virtual #PinkPawLove Walk/Run is here, and we couldn’t be more excited. Walking the dog can seem like more trouble than it’s worth, especially when the dog is not trained. But the benefits far outweigh the small inconveniences of the task. In this article, we will explore the proven health benefits of putting your dog (and yourself) on a regular walking schedule. We’ve also added some dog-walking tips to help you get started.

1. Walking the dog improves digestion and bladder health.

VCA Hospitals found that walking the dog regularly helps to build a routine that allows for better digestion. The exercise helps to prevent constipation, which is just as unpleasant in dogs as it is in humans. By keeping your dog on a regular walking schedule, you also help to build a bathroom routine, allowing your dog to ‘go’ at set times of the day. Emptying the bladder when necessary prevent urinary tract infections. Give your dog a healthy gut and bladder by walking for a few minutes every day.

2. Physical exercise dissipates excess energy in dogs.

Dogs, like little toddlers, are prone to bouts of excess energy that need to be spent somehow. When your dog is not given proper exercise, this pent-up energy will become destructive as your dog experiences boredom. Your furniture may fall victim to biting and scratching as your dog tries to release all that energy. Walking is a healthier and more constructive outlet for this kind of energy.

3. Dog walking improves mobility in older dogs.

Loss of mobility is a serious condition for canines. Symptoms may include constant bruising, loss of appetite, and skin lesions caused by incorrect movement. If you start to notice any of these symptoms, you may need to pay the vet a visit. Depending on your dog’s condition, the vet may include regular walks as part of your treatment plan. Walks help to keep the joints functioning properly.

4. Walking stimulates your dog both physically and mentally.

Some pet owners believe that a good romp in the backyard yields the same benefits of dog walking for half the effort. Surveys prove otherwise. Researchers have found that dogs get their mental stimulation from exploring new places. Keeping them confined in the same space limits their ability to gain a comprehensive understanding of their surroundings. So, while the backyard is a good start, it is nowhere near enough to keep your dog mentally stimulated. Going on walks for a few minutes a day allows your canine to develop a sharper sense of smell and to learn new and interesting things about their environment.

5. Dogs that walk regularly are generally more emotionally stable.

One of the reasons why dogs make such lovely pets is their emotional capacity. Dogs get lonely and stressed too. You may notice that your dog exhibits annoying behavior like constant barking, pawing, and whining whenever you’re around. Such behavior is usually a desperate call for attention. Sadly, this can lead to your dog becoming anti-social and stressed. Daily walks help to reverse this behavior. As your dog is exposed to other dogs and other people, it will start to develop healthier habits that will make it a pleasant pet when you’re back home.

6. Walking helps dogs with weight loss.

About 30% of dogs in America suffer from obesity. That percentage more than doubles for humans in America. Obesity in both dogs and humans causes more health complications and compromises the body’s ability to fight other diseases. Doctors recommend that humans walk for at least half an hour each day as part of their daily exercise routine. Taking your dog on these walks with you allows you both to keep your weight in check (or to lose weight if that’s the goal).

Make your dog your exercise buddy and begin your health journey today. Now that you know the benefits of creating and staying consistent with a walking routine for both you and your dog, here are some tips to help you get started.

Check the weather!

This easy-to-ignore step can make or break your dog-walking experience for both you and your dog. Most dogs respond poorly to extreme weather conditions, so you want to make sure you’re prepared. If your area has very cold winters, a dog coat can help to keep your furry friend warm as they exercise. In hot summers, the concrete can get too hot for sensitive paws. Do some research on how your breed responds to different weather conditions and prepare accordingly.

Get all the dog-walking supplies ready.

Nothing dampens the walking mood like realizing you’ve left an essential item back home. This spoils the rest of the walk as the owner feels terrible and the dog, sensing this change in temperament, becomes anxious. Such mishaps can be avoided with a little preparation. Make sure you have all your dog-walking essentials stored in one place. These include:

  1. leash
  2. dog waste bags
  3. a bottle of water
  4. pop-up doggie bowl
  5. treats
  6. a toy (frisbee, ball, etc) if you stop at the park.
  7. a phone for emergencies (and for capturing that perfect #PinkPawLove Facebook picture:))

Stick to a walking routine.

Dogs love certainty. They behave better when they know what to expect. Walking at a specific time each week establishes a routine for bladder relief, preventing urinary tract infections and constipation. Regular walks also promote digestion and have been shown to decrease stress in dogs prone to anxiety. Be sure to walk the same route until your dog is comfortable before exploring new areas.

Take your (dog’s) time.

Dogs need mental stimulation too. When you rush through a walk, chances are you are only focusing on the physical aspects of dog walking. Yes, the physical exertion is great; however, a healthy dog is also one that is regularly and sufficiently stimulated mentally. Dogs gather information by sniffing their surroundings, so allow them time to sniff around. That said, some dogs will take too much time sniffing absolutely everything. In such cases, you’ll need to train your dog to respond to certain cues so you keep sniff breaks in check. Try using “let’s sniff” and loosening your dog’s leash to signal that it’s time to explore. When it’s time to go, you could call out “let’s walk”.

That’s it! May these tips come in handy as you get ready for the #PinkPawLove walk this year.  Be sure to invite some friends so we can all share in the fun and help fight canine cancer together.

Sun, 12 Mar 2023 23:56:05 -0700 Dog-Fancier
New Liquid Biopsy Cancer Screening for Dogs Explained Canine cancer is a constant worry for dog owners. There have been limited ways to screen for cancer in dogs. In the past, veterinarians have used methods such as fine needle aspirates (FNAs), radiographs, and routine blood work to determine whether a dog has cancer. While the latter goes a long way in determining your dog’s health, it is incredibly limited in its ability for canine cancer detection. This has left vets and pet owners at the mercy of cancer, which is usually difficult to detect until it’s too late. We are left with the question of how to detect cancer in dogs.

New cancer screening tests for dogs are now available. Nu.Q® and OncoK9™, developed by Volition and PetDx respectively, are nothing short of revolutionary. In this article, we will look at what makes each of these tests special. We also break down their differences and the full implications of this new technology for dog owners.

The Nu.Q® and OncoK9™ are both liquid biopsy cancer screening tests that have revolutionized the early detection of canine cancer; however, there are key differences between the two. We have outlined the six most important differences to note below.

  1. How do the screening tests work?
  2. What cancers are being tested for?
  3. How much blood is drawn?
  4. How long does it take to get results?
  5. How much does the screening cost?
  6. Should I screen my dog for cancer?

How do Nu.Q® & OncoK9™ Liquid Biopsy Cancer Screenings work?

The Nu.Q® test measures the nucleosomes in your dog’s blood. Nucleosomes are bead-like structures that contain DNA pieces wrapped around a histone octamer. When a dog has cancer, these nucleosomes from cancer cells are released into the bloodstream and can be detected using enzymes specific to nucleosomes.

On the other hand, OncoK9™ uses next-generation sequencing technology (NGS) and bioinformatics algorithms to “interrogate” millions of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for alterations that indicate the presence of cancer.

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What Cancers Do Liquid Biopsies Test For?

The Nu.Q® test detects 76% of systemic cancers. It can also pick up 77% of lymphomas, 82% of hemangiosarcoma, and 54% of histiocytic sarcomas. The latter is a very rare but incredibly aggressive cancer that develops when histiocytes – found in almost all organs of the body – begin to divide uncontrollably. For this reason, early diagnosis of this cancer is very difficult.

The OncoK9™ targets 62% of the eight most common cancers, and this number goes up to 85% for the most common cancers, i.e. lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, and osteosarcoma.

These two tests bring about more options for dog owners in the area of canine cancer detection.

How much blood is drawn?

This is a liquid biopsy cancer screening, which is less invasive than a traditional biopsy. Drawing blood can make pet owners nervous but there is no need to worry. The Nu.Q® test only requires 2-5ml of blood. If you choose the OncoK9™ cancer test for dogs, your vet will likely draw about 14-17ml of blood. Though this is significantly higher, most dogs will not suffer adverse consequences.

How Long Does it Take to Get the Dog Cancer Screening Results?

The waiting that comes after the test is almost always the hardest part. Thankfully, you won’t have to wait long for the results of your Nu.Q® test, as they are usually available within 3-5 business days. The waiting period for the OncoK9™ test results can go up to 2 weeks.

How Much Do Liquid Biopsy Cancer Screenings Cost?

With all the above information, it’s pretty easy to guess which test is more affordable. The Nu.Q® test was designed with affordability in mind and costs $250 – $300, with a point-of-care test that costs $50. Most insurance companies will cover it but always check with your insurer first.

The OncoK9™ is a much more expensive test; quotes will vary between cities and vet facilities. In the rare event that test results are inconclusive, PetDx will test new samples at no extra cost. However, your vet office may charge additional fees for the collection of the new blood sample. Ask your vet how much you would need to pay for this test should your dog need it.  Check with your insurer to see if this test for cancer in dogs is covered.

Should My Dog Get Screened For Cancer With Liquid Biopsy Test?

Dog cancer screening has been hit or miss. Adding chest x-rays, blood tests or ultrasounds to your annual exam are good ideas, but all of them can miss something that isn’t strong enough to see yet.

Volition and PetDx recommend that you include Nu.Q® and OncoK9™ in your annual wellness check if your dog is over seven years old. The OncoK9™ is also recommended as an aid-in-diagnosis for suspected canine cancer sufferers and is available by prescription only. Check with your vet to see if this new cancer screening test for dogs is now available at your clinic.

What Should I Do If Either Test Returns A Positive Result?

Both blood tests for cancer in dogs don’t offer a conclusive diagnosis. If results return positive, your vet will likely order more tests such as ultrasounds and chest films to establish a diagnosis and create a treatment plan.

Other Articles of Interest:

Proud to be a Non-Profit with Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency

How To Help Pay For Your Dog Cancer Treatment Cost: 7 Fundraising Ideas

What To Expect If Your Dog Has Cancer | Advice From A Vet

Blood Banks For Dogs | Why & How Your Dog Can Donate

Probiotics For Dogs: Are They Beneficial?

Intestinal Tumors

10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Common Chemotherapy Side Effects

The post New Liquid Biopsy Cancer Screening for Dogs Explained appeared first on The National Canine Cancer Foundation.

Thu, 02 Feb 2023 09:42:08 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Why Xylitol Is Poisonous To Dogs & Foods To Avoid Are artificial sweeteners bad for dogs? Short answer – yes! Pet owners everywhere are waking up to the dangers of artificial sweeteners for their furry friends. Xylitol has especially come under scrutiny for its fatal effects on dogs. Yet, it’s not always easy to recognize these toxins in your pet’s food. In many cases, dog owners don’t even know that the snacks they are feeding their pets are toxic.

What are artificial sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners are food additives that are meant to give food a sweet taste without the increase in calories that regular sugar comes with. Because of this, many people opt to use artificial sweeteners in their food. In 2021, Study Finds reported on a study that found that 1 in 5 people was likely to share their food with their pets. That’s 20% of dog owners who could be unwittingly feeding harmful artificial sweeteners to their dogs. Additionally, some dog food also comes with these harmful additives unbeknownst to dog owners.

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is classified as a sugar alcohol. It is available as a white powder that can substitute for sugar in baked goods.  It is found in many sugar-free chewing gums, oral-care products, candies, and mints. It has no nutritional value so it is essentially empty calories. It is considered a carbohydrate but since it does not raise blood sugar in humans it is a popular choice in low-carb foods as well as foods for diabetics.

Why and How Xylitol Harms Dogs:

Xylitol is the most dangerous artificial sweetener for dogs. In answer to the question, “Is Xylitol bad for dogs?” The answer is certainly YES! Small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia, which is a sudden drop in the dog’s blood sugar levels, as well as seizures. Increased amounts of xylitol can result in liver failure and death.

Why is Xylitol bad for dogs but not humans?

Xylitol is not harmful to humans. Humans even produce a small amount of it as part of normal metabolism. For humans, it does not spike blood sugar levels making it an ingredient in many foods marketed to people with diabetes.  However, it has adverse effects when consumed by dogs.

How does Xylitol harm a dog?

It is known to cause sudden liver failure, but the reason is unknown.  If a dog is not supported properly in liver failure, he could die.

How long does it take Xylitol to hurt a dog?

Xylitol poisoning in dogs can be seen within as little as 10 minutes but can sometimes not show symptoms for several days. Two factors in the equation of successful treatment are how much was ingested vs your dog’s weight and how quickly you get veterinary care. It is so important to get your dog to the vet as soon as you see symptoms or know they have ingested the artificial sweetener.

My dog ate sugar-free gum, will they be alright?

One piece of Sugar-free gum has enough Xylitol in it to make a small dog very ill.  Xylitol is metabolized very fast, which is why it is very important to see your vet as soon as possible.

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Xylitol Goes By Many Names:

This toxic additive goes by many names which may be used to disguise its presence in foods. Some of the Xylitol brand names are birch sugar, birch bark extract, sucre de bouleau, E967, and Xylo-pentane 1,2,3,4,5 are some of the names that can alert you to the presence of Xylitol in any product. When you see any of these listed in the ingredients of a product you’re using, make sure to keep it away from your pet.

Peanut Butter, Yogurt, and Many Other Foods have Xylitol:

Peanut butter is popular with dog owners as a filler for Kongs and other dog toys. Now, owners need to be aware that manufacturers are putting Xylitol in peanut butter, and many times it is listed as birch sugar. Peanut butter with Xylitol can easily be avoided if you know the other names for Xylitol and read the labels. Even if you can’t remember all the names, buy a peanut butter that is just peanuts or peanuts and oil to be on the safe side.

Here are some other foods to take a closer look at:

    • yogurt
    • sugar-free baked goods
    • ketchups and bbq sauces
    • candies and puddings
    • chewing gum
    • breath mints
    • pancake syrups
    • certain medications (fastmelts and chewables)

But to be on the safe side, always check your labels.

What Are The Symptoms Of Xylitol Poisoning In Dogs?

Some of the symptoms of xylitol poisoning in dogs include:

  • vomiting
  • decreased activity
  • seizures
  • loss of coordination
  • unconsciousness

What To Do If You Expect Your Dog Has Xylitol Poisoning:

Call your veterinarian immediately. Give your vet as much information as you know about what they ingested and how much, as well as how much your dog weighs.  Do not try to treat the Xylitol poisoning of your dog at home unless instructed by your vet to do so.

List of other artificial sweeteners and what they are in:

Undoubtedly after reading about Xyliol you are paranoid about all of the other artificial sweeteners that are on the market and want to know how they affect our dogs.  Here is a short list of them and how they affect our pups.


Erythritol is a polyol that occurs naturally in some fruits, vegetables, and fermented goods. For example, it is present in watermelons, soy sauce, some baked goods, grapes, and wine. Its biggest appeal is that it contains no calories, and is thus a huge hit with people who are passionate about living healthy lifestyles.

Erythritol can be absorbed in the body without being broken down, so will not cause a spike in your dog’s insulin levels. For this reason, it is generally considered safe for dogs. However, when consumed in large amounts, it can still cause gastrointestinal issues which are very uncomfortable for dogs.


This artificial sweetener usually comes in a green packet. It is naturally present in the plant Stevia rebaudiana, which is native to Brazil and Paraguay.  Though it is much sweeter than sugar, it contains a bitter aftertaste. Apart from Stevia products, some of the common products containing this sweetener include sports drinks, soy sauce, sugar-free candy, and gum. PureCircle Stevia Institute reports that stevia is present in 14000 foods and beverages around the world.

Just like erythritol, stevia is not broken down by the body, hence why it is considered safe for consumption. But just like erythritol, it can induce diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues in canines when ingested in larger amounts.


Aspartame is a synthetic sweetener made from the aspartic amino acid which is a neurostimulator. It has been linked to memory loss and brain tumors in both humans and dogs. Admittedly, dogs need higher doses of this sweetener in order to experience its side effects. Nonetheless, it is safer for dog owners to steer clear of it at all costs.

Other sweeteners:

Monk fruit, saccharin, and sucralose are also artificial sweeteners that are considered safe for dogs. They can be found in some baked goods, drinks, protein bars, diet sodas, and salad dressings. The most common side effect is gastrointestinal upset as a result of consuming large amounts of the sweetener.

Advice From Veterinarians On Xylitol:

Vets all agree that sweeteners have no nutritional value for dogs, and are therefore not essential to include in a dog’s diet. Make sure your dog has no access to products that contain Xylitol or any of the sweeteners mentioned above.

Other Articles of Interest:

Proud to be a Non-Profit with Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency

How To Help Pay For Your Dog Cancer Treatment Cost: 7 Fundraising Ideas

Cancer Does Not Necessarily Mean A Death Sentence

Blood Banks For Dogs | Why & How Your Dog Can Donate

Is Fish Oil Good for Dogs? Dosage & Side Effects Every Owner Should Know

Intestinal Tumors

10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Common Chemotherapy Side Effects

The post Why Xylitol Is Poisonous To Dogs & Foods To Avoid appeared first on The National Canine Cancer Foundation.

Tue, 31 Jan 2023 16:35:05 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Blood Banks For Dogs | Why & How Your Dog Can Donate Animal Blood Banks Need Your Help!

Blood Donor Dog Heroes 

[picture of the Iamundos and their pets]

Just like humans, dogs can require blood transfusions for various medical reasons or procedures, and just like in human blood banks, animal blood banks save lives every day.

Can My Dog Donate Blood? What are the requirements?

Yes, dogs can and if they are physically able can give blood to help save the lives of fellow canines. While different animal blood banks have different rules, The North American Veterinary Blood Bank lists the minimum requirements for blood donation as follows:

  • Between the ages of 1 – 7 years old
  • Not aggressive
  • Not on any medications for chronic illnesses
  • Greater than 50lbs (healthy weight)
  • Must have a negative heartworm test in the last year & be on preventatives (heartworm and flea/tick)
  • Must have a Rabies vaccine and DHLPP vaccine within the last three years
  • Have never received an animal blood transfusion
  • Must be spayed or neutered

How Can My Dog Give Blood?

The blood donation process itself is straightforward and designed to make it easy for both dog owners and dogs to donate. Blood is usually taken from the jugular vein in the dog’s neck and only takes 15 – 30 minutes. Sometimes a sedative is given to the dog depending on what would make them more comfortable.

If you’re interested in you and your pet helping to save other dog’s lives, the chances are there is a dog blood bank or donation facility relatively near you that is taking appointments. You can ask your vet if they recommend one in particular and keep in mind that your dog’s blood will be tested for any blood born diseases. Dogs can donate blood every 6 – 8 weeks.

Why Your Dog Should Give Blood – Cosmo’s Story

Faced with the loss of their fur baby Boomer to Hemangiosarcoma in March 2021, Laurel Iamundo and her family channeled their grief into changing the landscape of canine cancer. In part, they help by participating in an annual fundraiser and visiting their local canine blood bank every three months. As Laurel explains, “canine cancer is an evil that no dog, person, or family should have to experience.”

For the second year in a row, the Iamundos are participating in our #PinkPawLove Walk & Run fundraiser. Once again, this family is one of our top fundraising teams! She explains, “participating won’t get me my dog back, but it may save yours….[His diagnosis] felt like an attack on our family. I couldn’t bring the cancer to court, couldn’t call the police, couldn’t physically touch it. The walk was the closest thing to ‘retaliation’ or ‘punishment’ that I could do. From there, we continue to donate and spread the word.”

Also, the Iamundos signed up Boomer’s adoptive brother Cosmo to become a blood donor dog. Cosmo donates in honor of his “fur brother,” who underwent three blood transfusions during his fight with cancer.

[picture of Cosmo]

Because Boomer lost his battle with cancer shortly after the third transfusion, Laurel felt inspired to pay forward the animal blood donations. Now, Cosmo gives blood to save lives and give back to the community that helped his brother.

Just like their fur-parents, dogs undergoing certain procedures and surgeries need blood transfusions. Naturally, this need includes canines with cancer. As medicine for pets advances, the need for donations grows.

There are 12 different dog blood types and, just like a person, a dog must receive the correct type. Currently, the U.S. has a small number of regional animal blood banks.

Laurel plans to sign up their puppy Frank, too, as soon as he meets the animal blood donor criteria.

To apply, to be a blood donor dog, Cosmo underwent a free physical evaluation and blood test. Once he got the all-clear within a month, Cosmo had his first dog blood donation appointment at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls, New Jersey. On top of gaining doggy-hero status, the benefits of blood donation at the Wyatt Goldthwaite Veterinary Blood Bank include:

  • A $50 credit on the vet account for every visit
  • A bag of dog food for every donation, which owners can use or donate back to the bank
  • A complimentary physical exam for every blood donor dog donation
  • A complimentary dog blood donation product, in case the dog needs it
  • A complimentary comprehensive lab testing annually

As wonderful as these benefits are Laurel, assured, “I’m very confident none of the volunteer families are doing it for the incentives….It’s a privilege for us to be one of those families now. We’re not doing it for the adulation, but for the opportunity to be a part of an empathetic community whose only mission is to help.”

What is the Process Like for the Blood Donor Dogs?

Laurel described their ongoing experience:

  1. She goes into the donation room with Cosmo for about an hour, but the actual dog blood donation only takes about 10 minutes.
  2. He receives treats, all the hugs, kisses, rubs, and attention he wants—this positivity associates donation day with fun things, instead of getting a needle.
  3. The canine blood bank manager and her assistant shave a little area on Cosmo’s neck for the needle.
  4. He donates a small amount of blood that his body immediately begins to replace.
  5. The professionals wrap his neck in a bandage that Laurel can take off once they get home.
  6. When he gets off the table, he gets his choice of treats and cookies. The manager or assistant hand-feeds him wet dog food.
  7. Cosmo receives a canine blood donor bandana around his neck.
  8. When Laurel and Cosmo walk through the faculty/staff-only section of the hospital, he gets extra attention for being a hero dog.
  9. They wait at least 3 months between donations.

[picture of Olie]

How Your Dog Can Become A Hero – Olie’s Story

Cera, from Chase Away K9 Cancer in Oregon, also owns a canine blood donor hero named Olie. After meeting the requirement of turning 1 year old, Olie started donating. From then until just before his 8th birthday, with at least 3 months between donations, he donated 30 pints total!

His dog mom explained, “he could have gone longer but I felt he had done his part for other K9’s and I’m happy to say that one of his sons ‘Bacon’ is now a blood donor dog.” Cera signed Olie up because she had heard so many stories of dogs with cancer or injuries needing blood transfusions. She knew of the important, growing need for canine blood donors.

Every time Olie went in, he would show wild excitement. Then, he would leap onto the table to donate and remain calm throughout the process. Afterwards, he would return to his excited, happy behavior.

When Cera made her visits to the canine blood bank, she’d often hear priceless, heartwarming stories of how Olie’s donations saved other dogs’ lives. When Olie retired, she received a list of where each of his dog blood donations went, including out of state.

How to find out how to make a dog blood donation near me:

If your fur baby meets the requirements, and you are able to take your dog to a regional animal blood bank, wonderful! One of the easiest ways to find the closest canine blood bank to you would be to call your vet’s office and ask where they get their blood supplies.  Another great way to help is to raise awareness that blood donor dogs are needed, so consider posting on social media and telling your dog friends.

The post Blood Banks For Dogs | Why & How Your Dog Can Donate appeared first on The National Canine Cancer Foundation.

Thu, 19 Jan 2023 08:07:05 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Preventing Osteosarcoma Metastasis: Maggie's Story Maggie's adorable face


We got Maggie on July 4th, 2009; we joined (Australian Cattledog Rescue Association) specifically to foster her.

Her family had been in a car accident and were in hospice care. The extended family didn’t want her so they turned her into a kill shelter in South Jersey. Maggie was probably about a year old (maybe a bit older) when we got her. She was thin and high-strung.

She was horrible on the car ride home. She screamed like she was being tortured. She met our two other dogs (Ding, deceased 7 years, and Tugger Bear, deceased 3 years). She never got along with Ding. Two girls that could not get along. She did learn to play Frisbee from watching Ding, though.

Maggs played ‘Bee (our shortened term for Frisbee) for many years.

Maggs was awful at the vet’s office. I mean AWFUL. The first time we took her she peed and peed and peed on everything and everyone.

As mentioned, Maggs was a foster dog, the plan was always to adopt her out and we did adopt her out within a week of getting her. A couple in Asbury Park wanted her IMMEDIATELY. They were so in love with her.

My husband didn’t have a good feeling about them. I should’ve listened to him.

ACDRA has a return policy whereby we refund the adoption fee if the dog is returned within 10 days (we always take our dogs back but after 10 days we don’t refund the adoption fee).

Exactly 10 days after we had left Maggie with her new family, they called me in the middle of the day and demanded I come get her IMMEDIATELY. I worked an hour away at the time and had a hair appt that evening after work. I couldn’t get there until around 9 PM. They reluctantly agreed that would be okay.

I hurried my hair appt (which was two towns south of Asbury so it was nearby) to get to Maggs quicker. She was waiting by the front door, a full view storm door and when she saw me, she frantically started wagging her tail.

I knocked and knocked but no one was coming to the door so I went to open the door just a crack and she bolted out.

Yikes. I was afraid I’d now have a dog loose in Asbury Park and would be looking for her all night. Not a chance.

She was sitting next to my car waiting for me to let her in.

Someone finally came to the door and handed me her stuff and demanded their check back. I handed them their check and drove away with Maggs.

She came back to us with a horrible eye infection. It took over a month and two different treatments for it to resolve. She’s had gunky eyes since then.

We never adopted her out again. She was too high-strung, we just couldn’t do it to her. She had no other interest from adopters. We put in the application and made her a member of our pack.

Cancer Diagnosis to the Present

Fast forward to December of 2019.

We noticed she was limping but she was still active and seemed okay. By January 2020, the limp didn’t resolve so we knew she needed to go to the vet (always a nightmare).

I had to go away for a few days for work, my husband made the vet appt and took her in, she has to be sedated to go to the vet (two different drugs, she’s a nightmare). As I was heading home my husband let me know that the limp was due to cancer, she had osteosarcoma.

My heart sank.

We scheduled an appt at Garden State Vet in Tinton Falls, NJ with Dr. Michelle Cohen (veterinary oncologist).

The course of treatment was amputating the leg and 6 rounds of chemo. I was pretty freaked out but there was no other way to go with this, I couldn’t just let it kill her.

She had the amputation in early February 2020 and was scheduled to start chemo a few weeks later. A few weeks later the world shut down due to COVID. My husband took her to every chemo appt despite the chaos going on in the world (I work from home full-time in the pharmaceutical industry, I was as busy as ever).

She responded well to the amputation and the chemo. She never once let us help her get around on 3 legs. She somehow always managed to get down the deck stairs to go out to potty.

We were fully prepared to have to help her but nope, she could do it on her own.

About 4 treatments into her chemo We Rate Dogs on Twitter asked for pix of 3-legged dogs and their stories. I posted Maggs and her battle with osteosarcoma and was surprised when someone DM’d me and told me about the Canine Cancer Clinical Trial at Yale.

They gave me Professor Mark Mamula's name and e-mail address and assured me he usually responded quickly.

I wrote to Mark and he agreed that Maggie would be a good candidate for the vaccine.

She had to finish chemo and be declared cancer-free. That happened in July of 2020.

We decided to get the vaccine for Maggie to help prevent the osteosarcoma from spreading - a common occurrence for majority of dogs even with surgery and chemotherapy.

Mark sent the vaccine to Garden State and Dr. Cohen agreed to administer it and do any follow-up. I don’t remember the exact dates but it was August of 2020 when Maggie got her first vaccine shot and then the second one in the designated timeframe.

She did have an injection site response to both of them. About 2 weeks after her first shot, it was a Sunday, I went to pet her while sitting outside on the deck and I felt a scabby mess of pus and blood.

My husband cleaned it up and took pictures which I sent to Mark. He was actually pretty pleased about this, it meant her immunities were kicking in. She had the same response to the 2nd dose.

That was now over a year ago. She has returned to Dr. Cohen every 3 months for blood work and x-rays. Which have remained clear (so far). She has had some tummy issues but nothing severe, and since she was never a very good eater I’m not surprised by this. We know that by now she’s a pretty old dog who has been through a lot but all things considered she’s doing GREAT.

She gets a leash walk every morning (just up the street, then we cross over and walk back down the street, not very far at all) and she initiates play with the other two dogs most evenings during outside playtime (and also inside on a whim).

No matter what happens, Maggs has made it more than 24 months post-diagnosis and that’s amazing for osteosarcoma.

She has a great quality of life for an old dog. She enjoys her Purina Pro Plan soft food with some Purina Pro Plan kibble mixed in.

She plays, and she demands affection (which we happily give her).

No matter what happens, Maggs has made it more than 24 months post-diagnosis and that’s amazing for osteosarcoma.

A Message from Canine Cancer Alliance

We're so happy to share that Maggie is still healthy and cancer-free almost 3 years after her diagnosis of osteosarcoma.

The EGFR/HER2 vaccine study is reopening starting in Washington State. To learn the current status of the study, please visit this page.

Please contact if you have any questions.

Sat, 07 Jan 2023 11:51:06 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Yale's EGFR/HER2 Vaccine Helps Dogs With Metastasis?! Canine Cancer vaccine developed by a Yale University team can help dogs become long-term survivors where other treatments have failed.

I first learned about this new vaccine-based immunotherapy created by Yale University researchers in 2019 from a friend whose six-year-old St Bernard was fighting cancer.

Stitch had his leg amputated after his osteosarcoma diagnosis. Despite all efforts, he was already showing signs of lung metastasis.

His mom, Amee Gilbert, began looking for options to help him and came across Prof. Mark Mamula’s trial.

Dog with bone cancer

Here is a summary of the Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine.

What are the benefits of Yale EGFR/HER2 Vaccine?

Today’s standard-of-care treatment largely relies on surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy.

For most canine patients, conventional treatments usually only provide temporary relief to cancer’s progression.

For example, canine patients diagnosed with bone cancer's median survival time is only around 12 months, even after being treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

Cancer therapeutic vaccines and other immunotherapy treatments have the potential to produce very long remission times, stopping and reversing metastasis for some of the dogs.

With this Yale EGFR/HER2 vaccine, many dogs have experienced delays in cancer growth.

In a few remarkable cases, dogs with osteosarcoma have also experienced a reversal of pulmonary metastasis.

According to Dr. Mamula, the researcher responsible for the development of the therapy:

"We have had some patients with a very good outcome, though obviously, we can’t guarantee that for every patient. Much of the outcome depends on factors such as age, tumor type, the extent of the disease, and many other factors that we don’t fully understand yet”

Who developed the Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine?

A research team led by Professor Mark Mamula at the Yale University School of Medicine developed the vaccine.

Professor Mamula and research scientist Dr. Hestor Doyle are immunologists. For decades, they have been studying how the immune system figures out which cells to tolerate and which cells to attack. Their work originally focused on auto-immune disease such as lupus and diabetes but their attention turned to cancer as they explored out how to 'break immune tolerance'- which is critical for cancer treatment.

Cancer researchers at Yale university who developed canine cancer vaccine

Aren't vaccines used for prevention, not treatment?

We are most familiar with preventive vaccines such as those for COVID-19 or the flu.

But vaccines can be designed for treating cancer since they can mobilize the body’s immune system, and help the immune system form long-term memory of targets to attack.

How does EGFR/HER2 Vaccine work?

EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) and HER2 (Human Epidermal Growth Factor 2) are proteins often found in over-abundance on the surface of cancer cells caused by undesired mutation.

This means that on the surface of tumor cells, roughly 10x to 100x more of these proteins are found compared to normal healthy cells.

This over-abundance causes cells to divide uncontrollably and helps formation of new blood vessels needed for cancer to spread and invade other tissues.

EGFR/HER2 over-expression is associated with very aggressive tumor growth and poor prognosis for most cancer types.

Normal cell and cancer cell with over-expression of HER2 receptors.

With the injection of the Yale vaccine, the dog’s immune cells become trained to recognize cells displaying EGFR or HER2 proteins as ‘bad’ cells and to attack them.

Specifically, the vaccine boosts the generation of antibodies that bind to EGFR/HER2 and inhibits intracellular signaling and inhibits tumor growth. The vaccine also boosts the population of cancer-fighting T-cells.

The vaccine itself is made up of a short chain of amino acids or peptides that are part of the larger EGFR and HER2 protein.

The vaccine was designed so that it could help the immune system recognize EGFR(HER1), HER2, as well as HER3 and HER4 proteins, widening the target coverage.

What is the status of this study?

After launching the trial in 2016 and seeing promising results, the team made the vaccine available widely. To date about 600 dogs with different cancer types and stages have been treated with the vaccine. And information about safety and efficacy have been shared in several peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

The study is gradually opening at new clinics, starting in Washington State. Wide-scale availability is expected soon in 2023. We will be updating the linked page on the most up-to-date status. You can also sign up to be notified by email updates.

If you are interested in other immunotherapy studies or interested in learning about improving the efficacy of immunotherapy, please contact us at .

How is the treatment given to the patients?

1. The vaccine is administered as two subcutaneous injections three weeks apart. Blood samples are also collected on these days and shipped to Yale University lab for analysis.

2. The third blood sample is collected on day 45-50 and sent to Yale University lab for analysis.

Which types of cancer might the vaccine help?

The vaccine may help with tumors that are often found to over-express EGFR or HER2 including:

  • Osteosarcoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Transitional Cell Carcinoma
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • Anal Sac Carcinoma
  • Mammary Carcinoma
  • Pituitary Adenoma
  • Glioma
  • Lung Cancer
  • Epithelial Nasal Carcinoma.
  • Nasopharyngeal cancer

The vaccine does not help lymphoma or leukemia patients. So far small-study data has been published for osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, only.

What are the enrollment criteria for the study?

Please contact the clinic to learn about the enrollment criteria and what additional treatments might be offered in conjunction with the vaccine.

Can a dog with cancer metastasis receive this vaccine?

Yes, but this will depend on the study location, currently.

Researchers are particularly interested in patients with evidence of metastatic disease, and the Seattle clinic study is open to patients with metastasis.

What kind of side effects might be expected?

According to Dr. Mamula, the observed side effects have been minimal.

20-25% of dogs develop a sterile abscess, a large lump near the injection site. This is not an infection but is due to inflammation - a sign that the immune system is doing its job. It may ooze but will eventually resolve on its own, without causing any discomfort to the dog. The use of warm compresses helps.

How much does the treatment cost?

Pet parents were responsible for the payment for exams and vaccine injections at the veterinary clinic.

Are there any published data on the vaccine’s safety and efficacy?

Yes, there have been several presentations at veterinary conferences as well as publication of peer-reviewed papers. See below for the survival data.

A recent paper included their early clinical findings.

The team has also shared their study summaries at two veterinary conferences (ACVIM and Veterinary Cancer Society Meeting) in 2021. One of the poster submissions is shown below.

Canine Cancer Alliance is providing financial support to the Yale research project to facilitate additional data collection, and to investigate ways to improve responses in more dogs.

Any other information available?

Canine Cancer Alliance hosted Professor Mamula's lecture on Oct 3, 2020. The slides and recording are available here.

Professor Mamula has given several presentations at conferences for veterinarians, including at the Veterinary Cancer Society meetings in 2022. There, he shared that in addition to helping dogs with osteosarcoma, he was observing efficacy with dogs with hemangiosarcoma. But these are very small-number studies.

Are dogs experiencing durable remission?

Yes. Some canine patients with osteosarcoma who had exhausted conventional options are experiencing long-term remissions.

For example:


Codi was nine years old when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. In August 2017, he had surgery to have his leg amputated at a clinic in Red Bank, New Jersey.

But eight months after his surgery, his cancer had metastasized into a golf-ball-sized tumor in his lung. His dad found about the vaccine trial doing a google search and brought him to Connecticut.

"The use of the vaccine resolved the metastasis, and the sign of cancer disappeared."

Codi became cancer-free and thrived for several years.

Sadly, Codi was diagnosed with another cancer - hemangiosarcoma- in his liver in August 2020, and passed away.

But he had an excellent quality of life after the vaccine-induced resolution of his pulmonary metastasis and all signs of osteosarcoma disappeared.

Dog whose metastatic cancer was cured


A three-year-old pup, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in Mar 2019. He received the vaccine treatment and is thriving with no sign of cancer.

There are many dogs who responded positively to the vaccine, but there are also many dogs whose survival times did not get extended with the vaccine.


Maggie was battling osteosarcoma and had her leg amputated in February 2020. She was finishing her chemotherapy when her mom found out about the vaccine. Hoping for a chance to stop the cancer from spreading, she reached out to Professor Mamula and Maggie got the vaccine shots in Aug 2020.

Maggie is returns to the vet every three months for blood work and x-rays but so far, she has been cancer-free for close to 36 months (Jan 2023).


Stitch's biological sister sister, Lilly, was also diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She received the vaccine but she did not get surgery or chemotherapy. She survived for about 12 months until the tumor metastasized to her eye.

12 month survival is quite impressive for a canine osteosarcoma patient who didn't receive surgery or chemo.

What does the survival data look like?

The preliminary survival data for patients with osteosarcoma for 360 days is shown below.

The 43 canine patients had received surgery, carboplatin chemotherapy and the vaccine. 65% of patients survived to 12 months. Without the vaccine (but with surgery and chemotherapy), 35-40% of patients survive to 12 months.

Survival statistics for dogs with osteosarcoma who received surgery, chemotherapy and the vaccine.

We are looking forward to seeing the publication of longer term data for osteosarcoma patients, as well as for other cancer types.

Can dogs with metastasis receive this vaccine?

A small number of these dogs experienced reversal of pulmonary metastasis, including Codi described above.

The chest x-ray images from one of the publications is shared below.

Chest x-ray images showing before vaccine was used (with lung metastases) and afterwards (metastases disappeared)

Ranger is another lucky dog.

Ranger’s dad shared this post on Facebook recently (shared here with his permission).

From Rick Kneisel (Ranger's dad) :

“Many of you have read my posts about the journey Ranger and I have been on since his being diagnosed last spring with osteosarcoma.

Like many of you, I went through the shock and devastation of the disease and the odds, the sudden in-depth reading about the disease, the agony of deciding to amputate, the tough two weeks after the amputation questioning if it was the right thing to do, the copious home remedies to try, and the seeking of any current medical miracles.

For those of you who are new, he was diagnosed last March (2019), went through 4 rounds of carboplatin after his amputation.

It was after the carboplatin that a lung met showed.

I got him into the clinical trial at Ohio State, an experimental drug called Procaspase-1, along with more chemo (4 rounds of doxorubicin).

At the end of the trial, the metastasis had grown from 9 mm to 12 mm.

Before the end of OSU clinical trial, I had read about the Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine Clinical Trial. I decided to see if he would be eligible for it.

Dr. Mamula graciously said that he was, and in November, he got his two vaccine shots.

Ranger had a very positive response.

On December 24th, he went back to OSU for follow-up x-rays. The lung met appeared to have become static.

Ranger and I went back to OSU this morning for another follow-up. The news: they cannot see the tumor anymore on the x-ray.

I am so very thankful for this research, and all the Yale Team does. I thank all of you for your support as we are a family. I know that the journey is not over...but we will continue to battle. And I will continue prayers for all of you and your pups. Thank you again Mark! Ranger sends his love.”

Dog with metastasized osteosarcoma successfully treated with canine cancer vaccine

Ranger is well and cancer-free, over three years after his metastasis was discovered.

It is not yet known what percentage of dogs with lung metastasis became long-term survivors.

How can I arrange for this vaccine treatment for my dog?

Once they obtain an approval from the USDA, a new company called TheraJan is expected to manufacture the vaccine and make it available to veterinary clinic throughout the US.

Until then, you can sign up or follow the study status using the link below.

You can contact Dr. Mamula directly with questions at

You can also email us at for the status, and to be notified when the broader study resumes or to learn about other research insights that may help more dogs respond to immunotherapy.

There is also a Facebook group for Yale Canine Cancer Vaccine here: .

Are there other immunotherapy treatments for helping canine osteosarcoma patients?

There are several new treatments and studies that may help osteosarcoma patients, including a new ‘personalized’ immunotherapy from ELIAS Animal Health. You can read more about ELIAS immunotherapy treatment here.

Other immunotherapy treatments for osteosarcoma patients are summarized in this article.

Our gratitude to Amee Gilbert and to Tira C. for review and inspiration!

The EGFR/HER2 vaccine study is made possible by your generous donation. Thank you!


Doyle HA, Koski RA, Bonafé N, et al. Epidermal growth factor receptor peptide vaccination induces cross-reactive immunity to human EGFR, HER2, and HER3. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018;67(10):1559-1569. doi:10.1007/s00262-018-2218-9


Doyle HA, Gee RJ, Masters TD, et al. Vaccine-induced ErbB (EGFR/HER2)-specific immunity in spontaneous canine cancer. Translational Oncology. 2021;14(11):101205. doi:10.1016/j.tranon.2021.101205

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 2021 ACVIM Forum Research Abstracts

Sat, 07 Jan 2023 11:51:06 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Proud to be a Non&Profit with Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency Ever been unsure of where your non-profit donation goes? There’s an independent rating system just for this, called GuideStar. It’s an online database of nonprofit organizations for the public to use when evaluating missions and effectiveness. The National Canine Cancer Foundation is proud to have been awarded the Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency.

When You Support NCCF, You Support Eliminating Cancer In Dogs

“The National Canine Cancer Foundation is a dog charity that strives to eliminate cancer in dogs. We save lives through prevention, more accurate and cost-effective diagnostic methods as well as better treatments which will diminish the number of dogs who are suffering from cancer.”

All dogs need us.

Read more about our education, outreach, and research here.

You should always evaluate whether a non-profit organization is worthy of your support. Not only do you get peace of mind that you’re helping to do good in the world, but you also get a better understanding of how an organization uses its funds to do so. The National Canine Cancer Foundation takes its responsibility of using donations to do the most possible good very seriously and endeavors to be transparent in all that we do.

Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency

People look to GuideStar to make decisions about charitable giving. The Guidestar Seals of Transparency are on a scale based on what information the organization provides. The levels are:

  • Bronze – Basic information
  • Silver – Program information and brand details
  • Gold – Financials and people information
  • Platinum – Goals and the difference the organization is making

Each level adds another layer of information, such as program descriptions, financial information, target population demographics, and strategic plans.

Nonprofits must start by earning Bronze and make their way up to Platinum. We’re proud to be Silver!

By attaining a Silver certification, more than 10 million GuideStar users can find in-depth information about The National Canine Cancer Foundation. So, you can feel confident donating to the cause with our Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency! Check out our Guidestar profile here.

Transparency for Nonprofits For Animals

The National Canine Cancer Foundation’s mission is to raise funds to eliminate cancer as a major health problem in dogs. To help us achieve this, we strive to be a transparent non-profit. This means we’re open about how we use your hard-earned donations. Our funds go directly to education, outreach, and research to maximize the impact on the canine community, and those who love their dogs. Our Silver GuideStar rating is proof that we’re doing all we can with what we’re given.

Donate Today

We are so thankful for the financial support we receive to support our mission. Explore success stories and ways to donate here.  

Want to get more than a good feeling from your donation? The proceeds from your purchase of any of our gifts for dog lovers go directly to our cause.

The post Proud to be a Non-Profit with Guidestar Silver Seal of Transparency appeared first on The National Canine Cancer Foundation.

Wed, 04 Jan 2023 04:56:07 -0800 Dog-Fancier
When To Say Goodbye To Your Dog With Cancer Current statistics show that one out of every three dogs will get cancer. If you have a sick pet, one of the most difficult decisions is when to put down a dog with cancer.

Many dog cancers are treatable, but how do you know when to say goodbye to your dog? This is a complicated decision, and it should be discussed with your veterinarian. Your choice should be based on the type of cancer and the dog’s overall health and condition before and during treatment.

Understand Your Dog’s Treatment Options

Cancer can manifest in many different ways. Watch for the ten early warning signs of cancer in dogs. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of cancer, your vet will run tests to determine a diagnosis.

Once the type of cancer is determined, the probability of successful treatment and your dog’s quality of life during and after the treatment will be determined.

Some cancers are easier to treat than others. Some common dog cancers include:

Efficient Natural Flea Treatments for Dogs

Visit our canine cancer library to learn more about your dog’s specific type of cancer.

Treatment options will impact your dog’s quality of life in different ways. Dogs can undergo surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy, just like humans. Treatments can include pills or injections. Alternative cancer treatments that may improve your dog’s quality of life include things like:

  • Special diets
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Pain management methods such as acupuncture and massage

You can often use a combination of traditional and alternative treatments, but always discuss this with your veterinarian.

Gauge Your Dog’s Pain Levels

Some people think, my dog has cancer but seems fine. Dogs can’t tell you how much pain they are in with words, but there are a few behaviors you can look for as indicators.

Watch for symptoms such as:

  • Persistent limping
  • Heavy panting or whining
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Difficulty going to the bathroom
  • Loss of appetite

Keep in mind, some cancers are more painful than others. Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is considered to be among the more painful forms of cancers. Your veterinarian should be able to help you determine the pain factor for your dog.

Will a dog with cancer die naturally? Yes, but remember that although they are not always showing pain, they are likely experiencing it. Terminal cancer in dogs with persistent pain is a likely situation for euthanasia.

Consider Your Dog’s Quality Of Life and Overall Health

Once your dog has been diagnosed with cancer, consider their quality of life. We all want to hold on to our beloved family friends for as long as possible, but it may not always be in their best interest to do so.

Have an honest conversation with your veterinarian and take into account:

  • Your dog’s type of cancer and likelihood of survival
  • How difficult the cancer treatment will be for your dog
  • Your dog’s estimated pain levels

Before and during treatment, look for these signs:

  • Loss or severely reduced appetite
  • Extreme or rapid weight loss
  • Inability to keep food down
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Difficulty moving (limping or lameness)
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of interest in things they love
  • Dramatic shifts in habitual behavior

When to euthanize a dog is not a conversation anyone wants to have. But if your dog’s quality of life is suffering from treatment or from the cancer itself, you may need to discuss euthanasia with your vet.

Making the Hardest Choice – Putting Down a Dog

If your vet advises that it’s in your dog’s best interest to put them down, remember that although your dog would eventually die naturally, you’ll be giving them a more peaceful passing. It’s natural to feel a wide range of emotions when your dog is dying of cancer. Having to make the difficult decision to put your pet to sleep doesn’t diminish the life you’ve given them. If your pet has felt loved and cared for their whole life, one moment in time can’t erase that.

Remember that the process is reported to be completely painless. A vet will give your pet an IV with a sedative, then they will apply the drugs that will allow your dog to drift off into a final, peaceful rest. Services are available for at-home euthanasia for the most compassionate and stress-free experience for your pet, and also for you.

All pets eventually pass away. Allowing our pets to do so on terms that are positive and loving is one of the clearest ways we can show them we love them as much as they loved us.

Become a core member today

Help Our Mission – Spread Awareness

The National Canine Cancer Foundation – We Are the Cure is a registered nonprofit foundation, focusing on dog cancer. We help fund universities that are performing cutting-edge research with the goal of dog cancer prevention, finding cures, better treatments, and more accurate cost-effective diagnostic methods.

We want to diminish the number of dogs who are suffering from cancer. We’re not there yet, but anything helps. Help spread the word by visiting our website, sharing our resources, and getting involved today.

The post When To Say Goodbye To Your Dog With Cancer appeared first on The National Canine Cancer Foundation.

Thu, 29 Dec 2022 23:42:05 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Canine Cancer Awareness Month: Next Steps After Your Dog’s Cancer Diagnosis Cancer. It’s the word that no pet owner ever wants to hear, but unfortunately, many of us will hear it at least once during our pet’s lifetime. When you get a cancer diagnosis for your pet, you may feel lost or confused, uncertain of your next steps. Just in time for Canine Cancer Awareness Month, this article will help you navigate the cancer journey with your dog, so you can be sure you’re doing all the right things to help your dog maintain good quality of life.

Understand That You’re Not Alone.


Getting a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. You may feel like you don’t know where to turn.

Know that you are not alone. Cancer is unfortunately common in dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 1 in 4 dogs will develop cancer at some stage in their life, and over half of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer. While it can be devastating to hear that your best friend has cancer, know that many others have gone through this with their best friends, too. Whatever happens, there is help and support available for you and your dog.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain, there are support groups that can help. Pet cancer support groups are available on Facebook or through certain pet cancer organizations. Pet loss support hotlines also provide grief support as you grieve the loss of the future you pictured with your beloved pet. Your veterinarian may also be able to guide you to local support groups available in your area.

Educate Yourself About Cancer in Dogs


If your dog has been diagnosed with cancer, one of the best things you can do to help both you and your dog is to research the type of cancer your dog has and learn about the treatment options available. Knowing more about your dog’s cancer can help you make informed decisions about your pet’s care. Whether you decide to pursue chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or you prefer a palliative care approach, knowing the treatment options available to your pet and their associated costs, risks, and benefits can help you make the best decisions for you and your dog’s needs.

If you’re unsure where to begin, speak to your veterinarian or ask for a referral to a veterinary oncologist. A veterinary oncologist is a veterinarian who has completed years of additional training in the field of cancer and who specializes in treating pets with cancer. He or she can give you more information on your dog’s condition, including the prognosis, treatment options, and survival times. A veterinary oncologist is your best resource for information about cancer in dogs, even if you decide not to pursue advanced treatment such as chemotherapy.

Understand the Effects of Cancer Testing and Treatment on Your Dog


Many people are all too familiar with the effects of cancer treatment on humans: the hair loss, the nausea, the weakness, and other detrimental side effects that treatments like chemotherapy can bring. The good news is that in pets, we often do not see this level of discomfort with cancer treatment. This is because cancer treatment in pets uses lower doses of chemotherapy and radiation than those used in humans, with a focus on quality of life rather than just quantity of life. Pets often tolerate cancer treatments quite well. For pets that do experience side effects from cancer treatments, medications may be prescribed to manage side effects and treatment dosages may be adjusted to reduce negative side effects. Most importantly, treatment can be discontinued at any time if your pet is not tolerating the process well.

If you do decide to pursue cancer treatment, you may need a few supplies to help care for your pet during this process. Comfortable bedding is a must for the pet recovering from cancer treatment. Slings or harnesses may be necessary if your pet has mobility issues due to cancer or cancer treatment. A healthy, highly palatable, and easily digestible diet is particularly important to support your pet’s immune function. And, of course, your pet should always have ready access to clean, fresh water.

Research Cost of Treatment and Assistance Options


Treatment for cancer can be expensive. The type of treatment your pet needs will vary depending on the type and location of your dog’s cancer, as well as your dog’s overall health. Treatment may include chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy. Often these treatments also require diagnostic procedures such a blood work, biopsies, and diagnostic imaging before and after treatment to monitor your dog’s response to treatment. These costs can add up quickly, making cancer treatment an expensive process.

Most of us would spare no expense where our pets are concerned. But what if you simply cannot afford the cost of diagnostics and cancer treatment for your dog? Fortunately, you have some options to finance your dog’s cancer care.

If you have pet insurance, contact your insurance carrier to see if your dog’s cancer treatment is covered by insurance. In many cases, insurance will cover a portion of your dog’s cancer treatment, depending on the type of plan you have, as long as your dog’s cancer is not considered a pre-existing condition.

You can also consider applying for a medical credit card such as CareCredit, which often offers promotional financing that allows you to pay off your bill over time. While this does not reduce the cost of cancer treatment, it can make the cost more manageable by giving you more flexibility with the timing of payment.

Crowdfunding options such as GoFundMe are another way to finance your dog’s cancer treatment. Your friends and family may be willing to help pay for your dog’s cancer treatment, particularly when they read your dog’s story.

Your local animal shelters and rescues may also offer some funding options or grants that you can use to help pay for your dog’s treatments. Ask your veterinary team about options available in your area.

Enjoy Spending Time With Your Dog


Most importantly, remember to make the most of the time you have with your dog.

Getting a cancer diagnosis can be devastating, but it can also reinforce the bond that you have with your dog. To make the most of the time with your dog, consider making a list of your dog’s favorite foods and activities to enjoy together. This may include things like playing games of fetch, taking walks in the park, and eating cheeseburgers. Set aside some extra time to enjoy these special activities together. This may include your family and friends – and your dog’s four-legged friends, too – or just some quiet time shared between the two of you. However you choose to enjoy this time with your dog, be sure to take plenty of pictures. You will treasure them in the future. Remember, your dog doesn’t know that they have cancer. Your pet still looks forward to spending time having fun with his favorite human: you! Even if your dog isn’t feeling well, it’s still important for you to spend time together. The time you spend together strengthens your bond and is beneficial for both you and your pet, so you can give your pet the best quality of life possible.

Mon, 21 Nov 2022 10:13:37 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Pet Cancer Awareness Month: How to Guard Against Cancer in Dogs Cancer is a diagnosis no pet owner ever wants to hear. Even cancer that is treatable can be life-changing for you and your pet. While we can’t prevent cancer, there are some ways to reduce your pet’s risk of developing this disease. These steps not only reduce your dog’s cancer risk, but also promote longevity and can improve quality of life too. For Pet Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to stay informed about your dog’s health and we are glad to be a resource that helps you do that.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle


It goes without saying that maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your pet is one of the best ways to guard against disease. We don’t know exactly what causes some pets and people to develop cancer, but we know that it’s likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors that play a role. We also know that those who live a healthy lifestyle– with regular exercise, good nutrition, healthy social habits, and plenty of mental stimulation– are less likely to suffer from disease in general than their less active counterparts. Ensuring your pet maintains a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to reduce cancer risk and promote a good quality of life overall.

Avoid Exposure to Potential Toxins


Although it’s impossible to point to a single inciting cause for cancer, exposure to certain chemicals or toxins can increase your pet’s risk. In one study, dogs living in industrial areas or exposed to paints or solvents were at greater risk of developing lymphoma. The same study also identified a significantly lower average age of disease onset in the at-risk population. Similarly, a 2012 study found that dogs exposed to certain lawn care chemicals had an increased risk of developing lymphoma. The same study also examined the use of flea and tick control products and the development of canine malignant lymphoma and did not find any association between the two. In cats, a link between secondhand smoke and an increased risk of developing lymphoma has been suggested.

If you must use potential toxins such as lawn care chemicals, do so away from your pet. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use and ensure the product has fully dried before allowing your pet access to the lawn. Keep household chemicals like paints, solvents, detergents, and cleaners out of your pet’s reach. If you are a smoker, consider taking your smoke breaks outdoors away from your pet to reduce your pet’s exposure to harmful secondhand smoke.

Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure


Dogs are generally less susceptible to harmful UV rays because their haircoat protects their sensitive skin. However, in areas of the body where the hair is thin, such as around the face, the ears, the armpits, the groin, and on the belly, sun exposure can still cause harm. In both animals and people, exposure to ultraviolet light is directly correlated with the development of squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. In dogs, this type of cancer is most common in light-colored, short-haired dogs of middle age or older, particularly those who like to sunbathe.

Can dogs get sunburned? The answer is yes. Dogs can get solar dermatitis, an inflammatory condition of the skin that occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Affected dogs often experience redness and scaling of the skin that progresses to peeling, crusting, and ulceration with repeated sun exposure. These lesions can progress to skin cancer with chronic exposure to the sun.

To help prevent excessive sun exposure, be sure to provide your dog with access to a shady area he or she can retreat to to escape the sun’s rays. This is also important to prevent your dog from developing heat stroke. Some dogs will continue to sunbathe even after they’ve begun to develop solar dermatitis, so be sure to monitor your dog’s sun exposure and check your dog’s skin for signs of redness, inflammation, scaling, and crusting. If your dog shows symptoms of sunburn, see your veterinarian for treatment.

Have Regular Vet Checkups


Regular checkups with your veterinarian are an essential part of keeping your dog healthy. Because our pets can’t tell us how they are feeling, an annual or biannual physical examination is critical to uncover potential problems. Your regular veterinary checkup is also an important time to ask any questions you may have about your dog’s health and well-being, including discussing any changes you may have noticed in your dog’s health or behavior. These subtle changes could be an early sign of canine cancer.

Prevent Your Dog From Becoming Overweight


According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, as of 2018, more than half of dogs and cats in the United States were overweight or obese. Studies have shown that overweight and obese dogs are at increased risk for cancer as well as many other diseases. Meanwhile, a 14 year study of Golden Retrievers demonstrated that keeping dogs at a healthy lean body weight could add as much as 2 years to their lifespan. And who wouldn’t love to have their canine companion by their side for an extra two years?

To keep your dog healthy and lean, start by feeding portion-controlled meals. If you’re unsure how much to feed, ask your veterinarian to calculate your dog’s daily calorie requirement. Your veterinarian will use your dog’s current weight and body condition score to determine the right number of calories for you to feed each day to achieve your pet’s ideal weight. You can then divide this number by the number of meals you feed daily to determine how much to feed at each meal. Don’t forget to take into account any treats, table scraps, toppers, or other little snacks and extras your pooch may get– these all count as calories, too!

To prevent your dog from becoming overweight, make sure you don’t exceed his daily calorie requirement. A good rule of thumb is that 90% of his calorie intake should come from his regular dog food, while no more than 10% of his intake should be from treats. Remember, your dog doesn’t need treats and they can contribute to excess weight gain. If you do decide to give them, moderation is key!

Give Your Dog the Right Nutrition


In addition to controlling your pet’s portion sizes, you’ll want to make sure that you’re giving your dog the best nutrition possible. Too many pet owners are duped by clever marketing campaigns into feeding their pets less-than-ideal nutrition. To help you choose the best dog food for your pet, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) recommends talking to your pet food manufacturer and asking them this list of important pet food questions to learn more about how your pet’s food is made. If they can’t or won’t answer the questions, or if the answers are not satisfactory, then their product is not high-quality and should not be fed to your pet!

Canine Biologics Integrated Nutrition System for dogs battling cancer meets and exceeds AAFCO standards, so your dog fighting this disease will get all the nutrients he or she needs from this complete and balanced diet. It’s also 100% human grade, meaning it’s safe, wholesome, and tasty enough for you to eat yourself! With just five high-protein, low-carbohydrate ingredients, the food portion of this nutrition system is simple yet effective for even the pickiest of eaters. Your dog will love the taste, and you’ll love knowing he or she’s getting a healthy and safe diet from a reputable company.

Reducing Cancer Risk

While cancer cannot be entirely prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your dog’s cancer risk. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding exposure to toxins, avoiding excessive sun exposure, seeing your veterinarian regularly, and maintaining a lean body weight through good nutrition are essential to keep your dog healthy and reduce the risk of developing cancer. Most importantly, enjoy the time you have with your dog. Your bond with your dog is an important part of your dog’s health and well-being, so make the most of every moment the two of you share together.

Mon, 21 Nov 2022 10:13:37 -0800 Dog-Fancier
What Are Sebaceous Adenomas On Dogs? Sebaceous Adenomas are tumors that develop on a dog’s sebaceous glands, the natural oil-producing glands of the skin. You’ve probably seen them before on older dogs and been unaware that that’s what they were. Canine adenomas are usually pinkish and have lobules and are found on the head, but they exist elsewhere as well.

The sebaceous system keeps your dog’s coat health and clean.  These glands secrete sebum into the hair follicles and onto the skin.  Sebum is important for keeping the skin soft and moist.  It is sebum that gives the coat of a dog that sheen and it has antibiotic properties. The oil glands can be found in large numbers near the paws, back of the neck, chin, rump, and tail area.

Sebaceous Adenoma Dog

Pictured above, these adenomas grow outward on the skin and can ooze a white oily material. Masses are usually ¼” to 1” inch in size and sometimes they might have subcutaneous tissue involvement. The best news of all is that sebaceous adenoma in dogs is usually not cancerous!

Which Canine Breeds Are Predisposed To Adenomas?

Unfortunately, some breeds have a higher likelihood of developing sebaceous adenomas later in life. Breeds most predisposed to adenomas include:

Sebaceous Adenoma Dog’s Diagnosis

Any tumor in your dog should be evaluated with a fine-needle aspirate to make sure it’s benign. Malignant tumors such as matrical carcinoma and sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma are a rare possibility. Sebaceous adenomas in dogs should not be confused with sebaceous hyperplasia’s which looks more like a wart.

Sebaceous Adenoma Treatment

If a tumor is found to be a sebaceous adenoma, there are no treatments unless the tumor becomes a problem. While rare, the placement of adenoma tumors can bother the dog and cause them to rub or lick at it constantly and become sore or infected. If your dog exhibits any signs of discomfort with the tumor, take them into the vet for evaluation.

Checking Your Dog For Sebaceous Adenoma Tumors

You should be regularly checking your dog for any type of tumor, sebaceous adenoma or otherwise.  There are several types of sebaceous gland tumors, some of which are cancerous.  Therefore we continuously tell you to Check Your Dog each month for anything new that might come up.  If you find anything, have it checked out by your vet because early detection is key.  For these types of growths, you could be referred to a Dermatology vet for treatment or accurate diagnosis.

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Other Articles of Interest:

Sebaceous and Modified Sebaceous Gland Tumors

Intestinal Tumors

10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Common Chemotherapy Side Effects

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Sat, 12 Nov 2022 13:10:31 -0800 Dog-Fancier
What To Expect If Your Dog Has Cancer | Advice From A Vet In the middle of a long, hot summer, one of my favorite clients brought her sweet Dachshund, Lucy, in to see me because she had a raw, swollen spot on her lip. I wasn’t expecting to find multiple, swollen lymph nodes that fateful Friday afternoon. I wasn’t expecting to have to tell Lucy’s wonderful owners that their youngest of three dogs could potentially have incurable cancer called lymphoma.

It’s never easy to know what to say when someone’s dog might have cancer. I couldn’t help but empathize and put myself in her position:

You brought your sweet little girl to the clinic because she was acting a little bit “off” and had a raw, swollen spot on her lip. You weren’t expecting to catch your veterinarian’s face change from relaxation to concern when she was feeling your dog’s neck. Dog on back with paw in airDespite her attempt to conceal this concern, you saw it and cannot un-see it.

Then, you heard the phrase “swollen lymph nodes” coupled with “infection versus cancer,” and your whole world tipped on its axis. Despite your veterinarian’s attempt at being cautiously optimistic that this was some sort of immune system reaction to an infection or an allergic reaction, all you could think about was the possibility that my dog has cancer. What do you even do when your dog has cancer?

Understanding A Possible Dog Cancer Diagnosis

Unfortunately, as is often the case, the clinic was “crazy busy” and there wasn’t a lot of extra time available to go over all the important information about canine lymphoma. We scratched the surface by discussing the main highlights of this common form of canine cancer, but I knew that by doing so, this discussion would bring Lucy’s mom no sense of peace over the weekend. The lymph node aspirates and the blood work results that would help us to confirm our suspicions wouldn’t be back until Monday.

Three days . . . 72 hours . . . that’s a really long time to think about whether or not your beloved dog may have cancer. Even waiting one day can be excruciating.

I worried about Lucy all weekend, too, and how her owners were coping with her potential cancer diagnosis. Were they spending their weekend searching the internet for all things lymphoma-related? What information were they finding? Was this search just making them more and more stressed as the weekend continued? I am sure that this was one of the longest-feeling weekends of their lives.

This is not an uncommon scenario in the veterinary field, or in the human medical field, for that matter. Veterinary and medical professionals have a finite period of time in which they can share important information with their clients about a disease diagnosis before they have to move on to their next appointment.

In many cases, the shock of a diagnosis that may reduce a patient’s longevity or quality of life doesn’t allow a person’s brain to really comprehend all of the information that is being verbally shared in the exam room. The word “cancer” strikes fear into everyone’s hearts, and oftentimes that’s the only word that is dwelled upon for the rest of that particular appointment, perhaps even for the rest of that particular day.

Don’t expect yourself to have all the answers, just focus on being the best friend to your furry friend. Give yourself time to process the information and know that your veterinarian will be there to work with you when the diagnosis is clear.

When the proverbial dust has settled, and your brain has had time to catch up with what it has comprehended, where does that leave you standing with your beloved dog? You are left with more questions than answers, likely – and that’s okay.

How To Work With Your Veterinarian On A Cancer Prognosis

Before you can make a commitment to treat or not to treat your dog’s cancer, you need to know more about the type of cancer that your dog has. The best and most reliable source of this information is going to be your veterinarian or, better yet, your veterinary oncologist.

Dog Being Checked by Vet

Yes, veterinarians are busy people, but they are committed to the health and well-being of their patients and, as an extension, their clients. Do not be afraid to make another appointment with your veterinarian to sit down and talk to him/her about your dog’s diagnosis in more detail, when your brain has had time to process the initial shock of the cancer diagnosis and is ready to learn more information. Your veterinarian is a trusted resource when it comes to information about your dog’s illness.

If your veterinarian does not have as much knowledge as he/she would like to with regard to the type of cancer that your dog has, a referral to a board-certified veterinary oncologist may be recommended. These specialists have received at least three years of advanced training and testing beyond veterinary school to work exclusively with cancer patients. Even if your veterinarian is comfortable discussing the ins and outs of your dog’s cancer diagnosis, it is never a bad idea to consider getting a second opinion from a veterinary oncologist.

These two people are fantastic resources, but we must face the reality that they are not always available when we have burning questions that we need answers to, especially when we are lying awake in the middle of the night!

Be Careful With Your Internet Research On Dog Cancer

Where do you turn to get more information about your dog’s cancer diagnosis? Are most internet websites about this subject accurate when your veterinarian isn’t available to talk to?

Begrudgingly to the majority of the veterinary community, this is where internet searching comes into play. I say begrudgingly because there are many “resources” out there on the World Wide Web that don’t provide factual or accurate information, and it is very difficult sometimes for people to sift through what is accurate and what is not. Your veterinarian doesn’t want you to get misled by information that isn’t true. “Dr. Google,” as veterinary and medical professionals have so jokingly nicknamed him, doesn’t have a medical degree and doesn’t always provide you with the best and most accurate information.

However, the internet does contain a wealth of good information, if you just know where to look for it! For starters, you can search for articles associated with a veterinary school or veterinary practice websites. These websites will often provide pet owners with downloadable brochures or files about specific forms of cancer. Veterinary oncologists may have their own personal websites or social media sites that contain information about different forms of pet cancer, and this will also be highly valuable. Articles associated with websites of organizations that fund canine cancer research are also likely to be very factual and accurate. Journal and magazine articles on the subject of canine cancer written by veterinary professionals are also going to be highly accurate; however, many of these are written with other veterinary professionals in mind as the audience, and these articles may not be as easy to understand without a medical background.

Caution must be taken towards navigating personal websites, social media groups, and blogs that are not connected in any way to veterinary professionals. While these sources of information may have factual and accurate information within them, they may also contain anecdotal information about treatment options, response rates, survival times, and treatment side effects that may not be relevant or statistically significant. If information is not repeatable via several sources, it is not likely going to be extremely helpful!


The following list of websites, while not exhaustive, contains accurate and helpful information with regard to canine cancer:


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When you are faced with the extremely stressful and scary diagnosis of cancer with your canine best buddy, remember that there are many good informational resources available to you.  Allow yourself some time for your brain to catch up to this bad news first, but then realize that you are not alone with this diagnosis.  Lean on the professional people and websites that can provide you with helpful, accurate information about your dog’s specific type of cancer.  Arm yourself with this information so that you can better understand your dog’s diagnosis and what treatment option is going to be the best one for your best buddy and you.

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Sat, 12 Nov 2022 13:10:26 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Is Fish Oil Good for Dogs? Dosage & Side Effects Every Owner Should Know

We’ve heard health experts talk about the benefits of fish oil for human beings but the real question here is can dogs have fish oil and what are the benefits to our furry friends?  After all, both dogs and humans can suffer from the ill effects of inflammation, which can lead to cancer in both species. Anything that might prevent dog cancer is sure to pique the interest of pup parents.

Some pet owners say fish oil is great for pooches, while others say “No thanks.” It can be very confusing for pet parents who simply want what’s best for their canine companions. Let’s help you avoid confusion and dig into the question, can dogs have fish oil and give you some straightforward findings.

Fish Oil For Dogs Benefits

We all want our dogs happy and healthy, so let’s discuss some of the noted benefits of fish oil and its nutrient-rich omega-3s for your canine companion.

  • Supports Heart Health
  • Protects from dry skin and coarse coat
  • Supports kidney function
  • Joint aid or pain relief
  • Supports brain function
  • Lowers triglycerides in the blood
  • Supports immune system

Omega-3s support a number of natural body processes that your dog needs to maintain their health, so it’s natural to wonder if it makes sense to give it to them as a supplement along with their typical diet. Yes, you can give your dog fish oil and omega-3s but should you?

Typical Pet Diets & Sources of Omega-3s

Dogs Diet FishThe food you feed to your dog, usually meat or processed food, is likely to contain animal fats, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids and can contain some omega-3s. However, keep in mind, that omega-3s are more expensive so their inclusion in your dog’s food is typically minimal. Polyunsaturated fats like fish oils, dried algae, marine microalgae, fish meals, or whole fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered essential fatty acids, so supplementing your dog’s diet may be worth it.

Recommended Levels of Essential Fatty Acids in Pet Foods

It’s natural to wonder whether our pets really need fish oil. After all, can’t they get sufficient nutrients from their food? The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) uses certain types of studies, as well as published data by the National Research Council (NRC), to recommend nutrient levels for pet food manufacturers. One of the studies used by AAFCO to look at the role of DHA in growing puppies in relation to developing neurologic tissues used improved retinal development and cognitive function testing. One of the findings was that DHA aids in the proper brain and eye development of puppies. DHA may also improve cognitive function in older dogs dealing with canine cognitive dysfunction.

Currently, AAFCO has no minimum EPA or DHA requirements for adult canine maintenance diets. However, AAFCO recommends a safe upper limit of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids at 30:1 for dog foods.

Fish Oil Dosage – How Much Is Right?

You should be aware that there is an upper limit on the amount of Omega 3 that’s good for your dog. You know what they say about too much of a good thing. To be on the safe side, let your vet know that you’d like to give your pet omega-3 supplements. That way, you’ll learn the recommended amount so you avoid overdosing, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, altered platelet function (which increases the potential for reduced blood clotting), delayed wound healing, weight gain, and altered immune function, among other issues.

This can’t be overstated enough, always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any type of dietary supplement. Do not rely on fish oil dog dosage charts or general suggestions you read in an article, your dog’s health is worth taking the time to ask the opinion of a medical expert who knows your dog personally.

Fish Oil as a Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish oil can be an important source of omega-3 fatty acids. As you can see by looking at the recommended upper limit ratio, your dog needs to balance out the omega-6s in his food with some omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re wondering why, here’s the scary truth: excessive levels of omega-6 can cause inflammation in your furry friend and this can lead to chronic illnesses like allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, or cancer.

The essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are found in fish oil. The process your dog’s body uses to make EPA and DHA is inefficient and doesn’t provide the quantities your pal needs. Dogs, like humans, have to get EPA and DHA from their diet.  So, it seems the answer to the question, can dogs have fish oil is YES and it is beneficial for them.

Signs Your Dog May Be Deficient In EPA or DHA

If your pooch seems to be depressed, the problem may be a lack of EPA and DHA. This deficiency is linked to cognitive issues. Here are some more possible signs of omega-3 deficiencies:

  • Dull or poor coat
  • Dry or flaky skin
  • Slow wound healing
  • Hot spots
  • Allergies
  • Ear infections

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Benefits of Fish Oil for Dogs

Fish oil supports your furry best friend’s heart health, makes his coat silky, improves itchy and flaky skin, can help relieve allergies and joint pain, and treat canine arthritis. It can help strengthen his immune system and may even help him fight canine cancer. Research has also shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help to slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Potential Side Effects of Fish Oil for Our Canine Companions

There is no denying the health benefits of the omega-3s in fish oil but some say there may also be a downside to giving your dog this supplement.

By the way, pet parents should be aware that over the long term, using fish oil as a supplement to a grain-based diet may deplete Vitamin E, so some dogs may also ultimately require a Vitamin E supplement.

Can I Give My Dog Human Fish Oil?

Fish oil supplements can come from a variety of sources with varying levels of potency. So while, technically, yes you can give your dog the same fish oil you take, you still probably want to talk to your veterinarian about the specific dosage or even brand of fish oil that’s right for your pup. If you search for “I almost killed my dog with fish oil” you can read all about why.


Contaminants have made their way into our marine life and if these toxins in the ocean may find their way into fish, they are stored in the fatty areas of fish’s bodies. It’s this fat that is turned into fish oil for your dog.

The pollutants that may be absorbed by fish include harmful heavy metals like mercury, lead, arsenic, and cadmium. These toxins may be in your fish oil, and they can potentially cause a whole host of problems in our pups, ranging from neurological issues to leaky gut and cancer.

Other pollutants like industrial chemicals can increase cancer risk and high levels of environmental pollutants, like dioxins and furans, have been found in Great Lakes fish. These environmental pollutants can negatively affect the immune system, disrupt hormones, and cause cancer.


Beware your pet may not tolerate fish oil well. This is the case with some dogs, especially if they are given high doses, and they may suffer diarrhea or other digestive issues as a result. In these instances, it’s best to find a non-fish oil source of omega-3s.

Types of Fish Oil


Oil typesAfter reading the information on fish oil for dogs, if you decide to start giving it to your pup, ask your veterinarian to help you choose the type of fish oil. The vet will take into account their breed, size, weight, and overall health. It is nice to have some guidance in the matter, to be sure you are giving enough, but not too much.

Here are the three main types of fish oil you’ll find on the market:

  • Natural triglyceride oil is the most natural type of fish oil and the easiest to absorb. However, because it isn’t purified, it may contain contaminants.
  • Ethyl ester oil is concentrated and distilled to remove impurities. It can be considered semi-natural with high levels of important components of omega-3: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
  • Synthetic triglyceride oil is synthetic, as indicated in the name, and absorbs the least easily of the three.

Fish Oil and Cod Liver Oil are the Same right?

The quick answer is no, they are not equal when it comes time to choose your fish oil. Fish oil is made from salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines and the oil resides in their body.  Whereas Cod LIVER oil comes from the oil that is stored in their liver, which also contains Vitamins A&D.  While Cod Liver Oil is a good source of the Omega 3’s we are looking for you really need to make sure you don’t give too much to cause your pups Vitamin A&D level to rise too high which can harm the liver


The powerful benefits of omega-3s and EPA and DHA are undeniable. The only question is which source will you choose for your canine friend? You can easily add fish oil to supplement your dog’s diet so he gets the anti-inflammatory benefits of EPA, which may help to stave off cancer and heart disease while promoting a healthy immune response. He can also get the DHA which is great for eye, brain, and nervous system health. It’s an appealing option that can be discussed with your veterinarian. However, if you are concerned about potential toxins and negative canine reactions you can incorporate fish or dried algae, or marine microalgae instead of feeding fish oil to your pet. It’s down to the decision that makes you feel comfortable and is in line with your vet’s recommendations.

Become A Core Member Today

Other Articles of Interest:

Intestinal Tumors

10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Common Chemotherapy Side Effects

Sat, 12 Nov 2022 13:10:24 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Promising Clinical Trial for Dogs with B&cell Lymphoma Clinical Trial for dogs with lymphoma  

Have you recently diagnosed lymphoma in a dog? Has the client declined chemotherapy or is undecided? 

The Pet Oncologist and Veterinary Specialist Services, in partnership with PharmAust Ltd, are enrolling dogs with B-cell lymphoma in a clinical trial investigating a novel oral cancer medication.

All diagnostic and treatment costs are covered in this study, with the initial consultation cost borne by the client. Participants are enrolled in the trial for a month.

Phase I & II clinical trials have shown that this drug is safe and leads to clinical benefit in dogs with treatment-naive B-cell lymphoma. Post-trial follow-ups suggest that the combination with prednisolone may be capable of at least double the life expectancy of pet dogs with B-cell lymphoma compared to treatment with prednisolone alone.

PharmAust and participating vets are currently in the process of fine-tuning the optimal dosage & looking forward to moving forward with a Phase III clinical trial to further test this drug alone & in combination with prednisolone.

Dogs may be eligible for the trial if they:

  • Have not been pre-treated with chemotherapy or prednisolone

  • Have B-cell multicentric lymphoma 

  • Are well enough to survive the duration of the trial (4 weeks)

  • Weigh more than 8 kg

Interested owners can schedule to see Dr. Catherine Chan (Veterinary Oncologist) at Veterinary Specialist Services, Jindalee on 1800 442 648

For further information, please email

For testimonials from pet owners, please visit:

Sat, 12 Nov 2022 13:06:31 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Brain Tumours in Dogs. What a headache! Brain Cancer in Dogs  

Brain tumours are uncommon in dogs but should be suspected in any middle-aged or older dog with acute or progressive brain dysfunction. What is the prognosis, and what are the treatment options?

First, let's start with some information about brain tumours in dogs.

Brain tumours may present a primary tumour or metastasis (i.e. cancer spread). The most common primary brain tumour is a meningioma, followed by glioma. Other less common brain tumours include choroid plexus tumours, ependymomas, lymphoma, gliomatosis cerebri and histiocytic sarcoma. Secondary brain tumours (i.e. metastatic brain tumours) represent approximately half of all brain tumours in dogs, including haemangiosarcoma, pituitary tumours, lymphoma and metastatic carcinomas.

Brain tumours may occur in any age and breed with no reported sex predisposition. However, most primary brain tumours have been reported in Golden retrievers and boxers, dolichocephalic breeds are prone to developing meningiomas, and brachycephalic breeds are more prone to developing gliomas. Most brain tumours occur in older dogs (median age of 9-10 years), but they can occur at any age and breed.

These tumours are space-occupying intracranial lesions that cause clinical signs of brain dysfunction by directly compressing or invading brain tissue, and indirectly through secondary effects (such as induction of peritumoural oedema, inflammation, obstructive hydrocephalus and intracranial haemorrhage). Metastasis from most primary brain tumours to other sites is rare but have been reported.  

Seizures are the most common clinical signs, although dogs may present with non-specific signs (such as lethargy and inappetence), or neurologic signs relating to the neuroanatomic location/s of the tumour.

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis for brain tumours in dogs is poor, with a median (average) survival time of around two months with supportive care alone. However, with treatment, the vast majority of dogs can be significantly helped.

Knowledge on the prognosis is limited. However, tumour type and histologic grade are the most consistent and reliable prognostic factors.

Meningiomas and pituitary tumours tend to have a better response to treatment and longer survival times than gliomas or other intra-axial brain tumours, which are more infiltrative locally.

Histologic grade in people is associated with clinical outcome. Dogs with grade I meningiomas have a more favourable prognosis than grade II or grade II meningiomas. Unfortunately, there is insufficient data in the veterinary literature to evaluate the effect of glioma grade on clinical outcome. However, higher grades are likely to have a worse prognosis.

What are the treatment options? 

Surgery and radiation therapy

The best survival outcomes for brain tumours is surgery, followed by adjuvant conventional finely fractionated radiation therapy.

If surgery is possible, surgical resection can lead to rapid reduction or elimination of tumour burden. However, it needs to be performed by an experienced surgeon. 

Surgery alone for dogs with meningiomas is associated with a median survival time of around 7-8 months. However, surgery followed by radiation therapy is associated with a median survival time of 1.3-2.5 years. 

Transsphenoidal hypophysectomy (i.e. surgery) is an effective treatment option for some pituitary tumours with a median survival time of two years. However, it is only offered in a few veterinary hospitals worldwide. 

Unfortunately, the benefits of surgery have not been established for dogs with gliomas, choroid plexus tumours, ependymomas. Surgery is seldom attempted due to their intra-axial or intraventricular location, infiltrative nature and challenges in defining surgical margins. 

Surgery is not recommended in dogs with metastatic brain tumours. 


Surgery and chemotherapy

When radiation therapy is not available, chemotherapy can be considered in dogs after surgery. In one study, the median survival time in dogs with brain tumours with surgery and lomustine (CCNU) chemotherapy was around 1.4 years.


Radiation therapy

For most brain tumours, surgery is not possible. Therefore, radiation therapy is considered the mainstay of treatment.

Radiation therapy is effective at reducing tumour size, improving neurologic signs, and improving survival outcomes.

The median survival times for treatment with conventional finely fractionated radiation therapy is around 7-23 months with extra-axial brain tumours (such as meningiomas) having a more favourable prognosis with survival times between 9 and 19 months, compared to median survival times of around 6-9 months in dogs with intra-axial brain tumours (such as gliomas). 

Stereotactic radiation therapy allows precision delivery of high doses of radiation therapy to a defined tumour target and relative sparing of surrounding normal tissue. It is still relatively new in veterinary medicine and is actively investigated for the treatment of many types of brain tumours. At this present time, it appears to be offer comparable tumour control when compared to conventional finely fractionated radiation therapy, but it is not readily available, costly, and not all dogs with brain tumours are eligible to receive treatment. 



Chemotherapeutics that can be considered include CCNU, carmustine, procarbazine, hydroxyurea, temozolomide and melphalan, which can penetrate the blood-brain barrier.

The median survival time with CCNU alone is around 5-6 months. Many dogs show improvement in neurologic signs and improved quality of life with chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy is the treatment of choice for dogs with metastatic brain tumours.


Supportive care

Anticonvulsants, prednisolone and omeprazole are some supportive medications that can be used in dogs with brain tumours. Prednisolone can reduce peritumoral vasogenic oedema and make most dogs feel clinically better within 24-48 hours. Omeprazole can reduce cerebrospinal fluid production in dogs. Therefore, it may assist in reducing peritumoral vasogenic oedema associated with brain tumours. 

Vets, I hope this information helps you understand a bit more about the prognosis and treatment options for dogs with brain tumours. If you have a question about canine brain tumours or have a case that you would like evaluated, please do not hesitate to get in touch by clicking here.

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Sat, 12 Nov 2022 13:06:31 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Skin Cancer in Dogs & Cats  

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer (also called skin tumours or skin neoplasms) are common in dog and cats. Skin cancer accounts for around 25 to 45% of all cancers in dogs, and about 20 to 30% of all cancers in cats. Skin cancer can be benign, where they do not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body (i.e. metastasis). However, they can be malignant, where they can potentially invade nearby tissue, and spread to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, or internal organs. The majority of skin cancer in dogs are benign (57.5 to 80%). Conversely, the majority of skin cancer in cats are malignant (50 to 65%).

What causes skin cancer?

Dogs and cats of all ages are at risk of skin cancer. The cause of skin cancer is generally unknown. However, viruses, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, ionising radiation, immunosuppression, and genetic factors, likely play a role.

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

When a skin mass or lesion is detected, every attempt should be made to obtain a specific diagnosis. Knowledge of the type of skin cancer will assist your veterinarian in determining the prognosis, and appropriate treatment recommendations for your pet.


A diagnosis is usually confirmed by sampling the skin mass or lesion with cytology (fine needle aspirate samples) or biopsy (tissue sample). Cytology is usually the first step, and is performed by directing a small needle into the skin mass or lesion, often without the need for sedatives. Cytology will yield single cells or small sheets of cells. Sometimes a specific diagnosis of tumor type can be obtained with cytology. However, for many skin cancers, cytology is usually only sufficient to determine if the cells are potentially a benign cancer or malignant cancer. Often, a biopsy is required for confirmation. Biopsy involves sampling of tumor tissue (e.g. surgery) that will usually require pets to undergo general anaesthesia. The biopsy specimen is then assessed by a pathologist under a microscope (i.e. histology) to try to determine the specific skin cancer type. The pathologist can also evaluate the aggressiveness of the cancer. In some situations, a diagnosis via biopsy cannot be obtained, and further stains (i.e. immunohistochemistry) are required to try to obtain a diagnosis of a specific skin cancer type.

What other tests are required?

In pets with suspected or confirmed malignant skin cancer, staging to check if the cancer has spread is recommended. Depending on the specific type of skin cancer, staging tests include lymph node evaluation, chest x-rays, abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. In addition, blood and urine tests are often recommended to assess your pet's general health, and determine if any other diseases or medical conditions (i.e. comorbidities) may affect management.

How is skin cancer treated?

Treatment will depend on the specific type of skin cancer, and can vary from leaving the skin cancer in place and monitoring it closely, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or immunotherapy. Your veterinarian will discuss the individual treatment recommendations available for your pet.

How do I check my pet for skin cancer?

You can help monitor for new skin cancers by regularly running your hands over your pet to check for any skin masses or lesions. Once identified, no matter how small or insignificant you think the skin mass or lesion may be, it is important to alert your veterinarian. A body map can be performed by your veterinarian, and/or photographs taken. These can help track the skin growths that have been evaluated over time.

I hope this information helps pet owners understand more about skin cancer in dogs and cats. If you have any questions or concerns about skin cancer in your pet, please contact your veterinary health care team.

I would like a PDF copy of this blog ]]>
Sat, 12 Nov 2022 13:06:30 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Beating Osteosarcoma: Maggie's Story Maggie's adorable face


We got Maggie on July 4th, 2009; we joined (Australian Cattledog Rescue Association) specifically to foster her.

Her family had been in a car accident and were in hospice care. The extended family didn’t want her so they turned her into a kill shelter in South Jersey (Gloucester Cty). Maggie was probably about a year old (maybe a bit older) when we got her. She was thin and high-strung.

She was horrible on the car ride home. She screamed like she was being tortured. She met our two other dogs (Ding, deceased 7 years, and Tugger Bear, deceased 3 years). She never got along with Ding. Two girls that could not get along. She did learn to play Frisbee from watching Ding, though.

Maggs played ‘Bee (our shortened term for Frisbee) for many years.

Maggs was awful at the vet’s office. I mean AWFUL. The first time we took her she peed and peed and peed on everything and everyone.

As mentioned, Maggs was a foster dog, the plan was always to adopt her out and we did adopt her out within a week of getting her. A couple in Asbury Park wanted her IMMEDIATELY. They were so in love with her.

My husband didn’t have a good feeling about them. I should’ve listened to him.

ACDRA has a return policy whereby we refund the adoption fee if the dog is returned within 10 days (we always take our dogs back but after 10 days we don’t refund the adoption fee).

Exactly 10 days after we had left Maggie with her new family, they called me in the middle of the day and demanded I come get her IMMEDIATELY. I worked an hour away at the time and had a hair appt that evening after work. I couldn’t get there until around 9 PM. They reluctantly agreed that would be okay.

I hurried my hair appt (which was two towns south of Asbury so it was nearby) to get to Maggs quicker. She was waiting by the front door, a full view storm door and when she saw me, she frantically started wagging her tail.

I knocked and knocked but no one was coming to the door so I went to open the door just a crack and she bolted out.

Yikes. I was afraid I’d now have a dog loose in Asbury Park and would be looking for her all night. Not a chance.

She was sitting next to my car waiting for me to let her in.

Someone finally came to the door and handed me her stuff and demanded their check back. I handed them their check and drove away with Maggs.

She came back to us with a horrible eye infection. It took over a month and two different treatments for it to resolve. She’s had gunky eyes since then.

We never adopted her out again. She was too high-strung, we just couldn’t do it to her. She had no other interest from adopters. We put in the application and made her a member of our pack.

Cancer Diagnosis to the Present

Fast forward to December of 2019.

We noticed she was limping but she was still active and seemed okay. By January 2020, the limp didn’t resolve so we knew she needed to go to the vet (always a nightmare).

I had to go away for a few days for work, my husband made the vet appt and took her in, she has to be sedated to go to the vet (two different drugs, she’s a nightmare). As I was heading home my husband let me know that the limp was due to cancer, she had osteosarcoma.

My heart sank.

We scheduled an appt at Garden State Vet in Tinton Falls, NJ with Dr. Michelle Cohen (veterinary oncologist).

The course of treatment was amputating the leg and 6 rounds of chemo. I was pretty freaked out but there was no other way to go with this, I couldn’t just let it kill her.

She had the amputation in early February 2020 and was scheduled to start chemo a few weeks later. A few weeks later the world shut down due to COVID. My husband took her to every chemo appt despite the chaos going on in the world (I work from home full-time in the pharmaceutical industry, I was as busy as ever).

She responded well to the amputation and the chemo. She never once let us help her get around on 3 legs. She somehow always managed to get down the deck stairs to go out to potty.

We were fully prepared to have to help her but nope, she could do it on her own.

About 4 treatments into her chemo We Rate Dogs on Twitter asked for pix of 3-legged dogs and their stories. I posted Maggs and her battle with osteosarcoma and was surprised when someone DM’d me and told me about the Canine Cancer Clinical Trial at Yale.

They gave me Professor Mark Mamula's name and e-mail address and assured me he usually responded quickly.

I wrote to Mark and he agreed that Maggie would be a good candidate for the vaccine.

She had to finish chemo and be declared cancer-free. That happened in July of 2020.

We decided to get the vaccine for Maggie to help prevent the osteosarcoma from spreading - a common occurrence for majority of dogs even with surgery and chemotherapy.

Mark sent the vaccine to Garden State and Dr. Cohen agreed to administer it and do any follow-up. I don’t remember the exact dates but it was August of 2020 when Maggie got her first vaccine shot and then the second one in the designated timeframe.

She did have an injection site response to both of them. About 2 weeks after her first shot, it was a Sunday, I went to pet her while sitting outside on the deck and I felt a scabby mess of pus and blood.

My husband cleaned it up and took pictures which I sent to Mark. He was actually pretty pleased about this, it meant her immunities were kicking in. She had the same response to the 2nd dose.

That was now over a year ago. She has returned to Dr. Cohen every 3 months for blood work and x-rays. Which have remained clear (so far). She has had some tummy issues but nothing severe, and since she was never a very good eater I’m not surprised by this. We know that by now she’s a pretty old dog who has been through a lot but all things considered she’s doing GREAT.

She gets a leash walk every morning (just up the street, then we cross over and walk back down the street, not very far at all) and she initiates play with the other two dogs most evenings during outside playtime (and also inside on a whim).

No matter what happens, Maggs has made it more than 20 months post-diagnosis and that’s amazing for osteosarcoma.

She has a great quality of life for an old dog. She enjoys her Purina Pro Plan soft food with some Purina Pro Plan kibble mixed in.

She plays, and she demands affection (which we happily give her).

No matter what happens, Maggs has made it more than 20 months post-diagnosis and that’s amazing for osteosarcoma.

A Message from Canine Cancer Alliance

We're so happy to share that Maggie is still healthy and cancer-free almost 3 years after her diagnosis of osteosarcoma.

The EGFR/HER2 vaccine study was paused while the research team worked with the US Department of Agriculture to get provisional approval to distribute the experimental vaccine.

The study is opening very soon. Please contact if you have any questions.

Sat, 12 Nov 2022 12:16:07 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Immunocidin & Anti&cancer immune system booster In the 1890's, a New York city physician Dr. William Coley realized cancer cures might be possible - even for late-stage patients - after experiencing a bacterial infection.

He wasn’t the first person to notice this; other physicians in Germany had recorded similar occurrences.

But Dr. Coley was the first to create a new therapy using a mixture of weakened bacteria and began treating hundreds of patients.

The result was remarkably successful.

He also shared the formulation of the so-called “Coley’s toxin” with other doctors, many of whom were also able to help patients.

Coley's toxins used to treat carcinoma, melanoma, sarcoma, blood cancers

It wasn’t known at the time, but Coley had created a form of cancer immunotherapy – a way of fighting cancer by stimulating the patient’s immune system to kill tumor cells.

But unfortunately, due to the introduction of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, Coley’s toxin fell by the wayside. Today, Coley’s toxin is no longer available in the US or Canada.

(Although there have been attempts to revive its production, getting regulatory approval has been impossibly hard).

The nearest thing to Coley’s toxin that is currently clinically used is called BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin), to treat bladder cancer patients. For roughly 70% of patients with early-stage bladder cancer, BCG treatment can effectively stop cancer recurrence.

But because BCG consists of living bovine tuberculosis bacteria, there is a finite possibility of harming the patient with an unwanted infection and also causing serious complications. BCT also tends to be poorly tolerated by some patients.

Is there a safer alternative?

Since the 1960s, researchers have been studying cell walls of bacteria that contain many different compounds that stimulate our immune system.

One of these technologies, called Mycobacterium Cell Wall Fraction (MCWF), has been developed into anticancer immunotherapy - Immunocidin - for veterinary use.

The same technology was developed into a human bladder cancer formulation that progressed to Phase III clinical testing.

In the 1990s, Immunocidin was approved by regulators in the US and Canada for treating mixed mammary tumors and mammary adenocarcinoma in dogs.

A small Canadian company, NovaVive Inc., produces Immunocidin today (at a manufacturing site in Athens, GA).

Can Immunocidin also help dogs with other types of cancer?

MCWF is a strong immunostimulant, with the potential to treat different cancer types, regardless of the location or origin.

(Coley’s toxin was also used to treat many types of cancer)

According to Graeme McRae, the president of NovaVive and one of the inventors of Immunocidin, the product was first tested to treat mammary tumors, even though there were indications that the formulation could be effective for other cancer types. In order to obtain regulatory approval for anticancer therapy, the product must be tested for safety and show some efficacy in a certain tumor type.

New studies are evaluating how Immunocidin might help canine patients with osteosarcoma, bladder cancer, and other tumor types (see below).

It's important to note that veterinarians are permitted to use regulator-approved therapies to treat other types of cancer (“off-label”) if they are comfortable doing so and believe it may help their patients.

What’s in Immunocidin and how does it work?

The active ingredient of Immunocidin is the purified fragments of cell walls from a soilborne bacterium called Mycobacterium phlei. This bacterium is non-pathogenic (does not cause disease) and is commonly found in the environment, including in soil and on the leaves of plants.

The cell walls naturally contain a high concentration compounds that stimulate the immune system, including muramyl dipeptides, trehalose dimycolate, mycolic acid, and glycolipid lipoarabinomannan.

These compounds activate macrophages and other white blood cells and produce cytokines such as IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-18 and TNF-α that help turn on the immune system to fight disease.

The formulation also contains bacterial nucleic acids (e.g. DNA) that have an anti-cancer effect, according to Miriam Cervantes DVM Ph.D., a research scientist at NovaVive.

How is it administered?

Immunocidin was initially approved for intra-tumoral injection treatment.

Newer protocols, currently under study, involve administering the product by IV infusion and as an oral dose.

A dog under Immunocidin therapy for her hemangiosarcoma

What kind of side-effects might there be?

Some dogs might experience lethargy, fever, or vomiting, depending on how the product is administered and their level of sensitivity. If Immunocidin is injected into the tumor, there may be some injection site pain and there may be discharge from the tumor as it breaks down.

In what ways might Immunocidin help dogs with cancer?

Immunocidin may:

-help a dog who is not a candidate for receiving surgery or other standard-of-care treatment

-help a dog who has relapsed or did not respond to a prior therapy,

-help recurrence of cancer.

What does its anti-cancer efficacy depend on?

How well it works depends on many factors, including:

-the dog’s overall health especially his or her immune system

-the tumor and tumor microenvironment

-the dosage, how it’s administered, and the frequency of administration.

-whether it is administered before the surgery as a neoadjuvant or after surgery

-whether it is combined with chemotherapy or other therapies

Researchers are trying to answer these and other questions.

Other advantages?

Because Immunocidin is not a toxic agent like chemotherapy, it can be administered at a regular veterinary clinic (and not just at a specialty referral center that for some patients might be hours away). If the oral administration route is selected, the dog can receive the therapy at home.

Another advantage is that it is relatively inexpensive especially compared to chemotherapy.

A dog with cancer being treated with oral version of Immunociin

Are there studies enrolling patients?


In several case studies, Immunocidin has been shown to help extend survival times for dogs with osteosarcoma. In some of these cases, Immunocidin was used alone. In others, Immunocidin was combined with chemotherapy.

There is an ongoing proof-of-concept study in canine osteosarcoma with Immunocidin. If the results are positive, a more comprehensive study in this tumor type will be launched in the near future.

See a summary of a previous study led by J. Mangieri et al, ",Efficacy of Mycobacterial Cell Wall Extract (MCWE) in the treatment of osteosarcoma in dogs" (MCWF used to be called MCWE).

and a study led by Jeannette Kelly DVM, ",Concurrent use of chemotherapy with Immunocidin for treatment of canine lymphoma and osteosarcoma"

A new study is accepting patients diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

*Transitional Cell Carcinoma or TCC (Bladder cancer)

Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) is the most common form of urinary bladder cancer in dogs, and represents 2% of all reported canine cancers.

In a study published in 2017 (Filion etal *) , five canine patients were treated intravesically (product was infused into the bladder through a catheter). The publication describes the treatment regimen and the response in the patients.

Novavive is working on a protocol for a study in dogs diagnosed with TCC.

* “The in-vitro and in-vivo anti-cancer potential of mycobacterium cell wall fraction (MCWF) against canine transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder” Filion CM, Rodrigues L, Johannes C, Masic A, 2017

*Other cancer types

Immunocidin has been used to treat individual dogs with anal sac adenocarcinoma, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, histiocytic sarcoma, as well as other cancer types using IV infusion [Jeanette Kelley 2018]

There is an ongoing study enrolling patients with solid tumors to see if Immunocidin (combination of IV and oral dosing) might also improve quality-of-life as part of a palliative treatment.

Where can my dog get Immunocidin treatment?

If a veterinarian thinks Immunocidin might help a patient, it can be ordered in the US, Canada, and UK.

Pet parents and veterinarians can contact NovaVive directly to see if their dog might be eligible to enroll in one of the ongoing studies. If the pup is part of a study, the cost of the Immunocidin (but not the veterinary clinic treatment costs) may be covered by NovaVive.

How is Immunocidin different from Yale's EGFR/HER2 vaccine?

Both help dogs by activating the immune system, but there are big differences.

The Yale vaccine activates the immune system to target specific proteins called EGFR/HER2 that are commonly expressed on the tumor cell surfaces. So its efficacy may be limited to tumor types associated with the over-expression of EGFR/HER2 proteins.

Also, because it triggers an adaptive immune response, it can take 2-3 weeks for the needed antibodies to build up.

Immunocidin activates both the innate and adaptive immune response, so a wait is not needed for the immune response. It also contains bacterial DNA that can directly kill cancer cells without relying solely on the immune system. Unlike the Yale vaccine treatment which consists of only two injections, Immunocidin treatment is often customized and may require initial and maintenance treatments consisting of weekly or monthly administration, depending on the patient.

Based on my conversations with Professor Mamula at Yale University and Graeme McRae of NovaVive, it may be that the two immunotherapy treatments are synergistic.

A great deal remains to be learned from further studies to see how each or in combination can best help dogs.

"My vet has never heard of Immunocidin"

I find it quite surprising that relatively few veterinarians know about Immunocidin, even though it’s been available for over 20 years.

One reason for the obscurity is that the previous owner of NovaVive, Bioniche Life Sciences, focused human health instead of veterinary therapies for pets. NovaVive has owned the technology since 2014 and has put a renewed emphasis on veterinary treatment.

NovaVive can provide detailed information about Immunocidin and various peer-reviewed published study results.

How can I learn more about studies involving Immunocidin?

Contact NovaVive and speak with Graeme McRae or Dr. Miriam Cervantes (research scientist) for additional information for you and your vet.

Phone: (613) 308-9788


If you have any questions, please email .

All information here is for informational and educational purposes only. It's not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice. Always seek guidance from your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health or medical condition.

Sat, 12 Nov 2022 12:16:06 -0800 Dog-Fancier
This IL&12 Based Immunotherapy for Dogs Can Turn "cold" tumors "hot" Can the new IL-12 based immunotherapy help dogs beat cancer? Starting with soft-tissue sarcoma?

A golden retriever, Kinako, lived in Great Falls, Virginia, a member of a large family with four rambunctious kids. She loved going on long walks along the Potomac River and swimming and fetching sticks thrown in the water.

One summer evening, Kinako's mom noticed a slight swelling on the side of her snout.

She took her to the local vet who recommended that she see a cancer specialist.

At South Paws Clinic, a veterinary oncologist ordered tests, and a week later, she was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma, a form of soft tissue sarcoma.

Her family was devastated when they got the news.

Kinako had to get surgery to have the tumor removed. She also received radiation therapy for several weeks so that any remaining tumor cells could be killed.

Her cancer went into remission and she returned to being a happy and active pup, going on outings with her loving family.

But about a year later, as it too often happens with soft tissue sarcomas, cancer began to spread again.

And there was nothing else that could be done to help her.

Sarcomas are a rare cancer for people, but they are extremely common in dogs.

Soft tissue sarcomas originate in the cells of connective, muscle, or nervous tissues and could develop in different parts of the body.

The subtypes include

  • fibrosarcoma
  • leiomyosarcoma
  • liposarcoma
  • chondrosarcoma
  • synovial sarcoma
  • rhabdomyosarcoma

Today's standard of care treatment for soft-tissue sarcoma includes surgery, combined with radiation therapy.

If the cancer cells are not completely removed - especially if they are in locations that make surgery with large margins difficult- the chance of local recurrence for soft tissue sarcoma is very high.

Is there a way to stop the spread of soft tissue sarcoma?

A group of scientists and veterinary oncologists are investigating a new IL-12 based immunotherapy treatments which may help prevent recurrence after surgery.

What's IL-12 ?

IL-12 or Interleukin 12 are cytokine molecules that play a vital role in the immune system.

IL-12 protein molecules are secreted by white blood cells, and can induce potent anti-cancer activity, activating natural killer cells and T-cells that can kill cancer cells.

Why hasn't IL-12 been used before to treat patients with cancer?

IL-12 is so potent that direct introduction can trigger toxic side-effects.

At the doses required to kill cancer cells, it can induce something called "cytokine storm" that could lead to organ damage and even death.

So in 2018, with support from Canine Cancer Alliance, a group of scientists in Seattle began exploring several new, safer ways to introduce IL-12 using gene-delivery methods.

How did they make IL-12 therapy safe?

A quick reminder of how some ,coronavirus vaccines work, using a strand of genetic material called messenger RNA (mRNA).

Our own cells take up these mRNA molecules and make viral spike proteins that can activates the immune system.

In a similar way, it's possible use encode IL-12 proteins in mRNA and have the proteins made by patient's own cells and keep them local to tumors.

IL-12 introduced this way has little danger of causing systemic toxicity, but can still turn a 'cold' tumor microenvironment with little immune activity into a 'hot' tumor environment, with multiple activated immune cells primed to kill tumor cells.

The scientists at a Seattle based biotech called Immune Design actually worked on two delivery systems: one using mRNA and another using safe lentiviral vector that specifically targets dendritic cells . They called the formulation IL12srRNA and ZVex12, respectively.

Here is a link to a publication summarizing their early study.

With support from Canine Cancer Alliance, the researchers at Immune Design and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center worked with local veterinary oncologists to lay the ground work for launching a pilot trial to enroll canine patients with soft tissue sarcoma.

Can patients with soft tissue sarcoma get this therapy?

A clinical trial for this new gene-delivery IL-12 immunotherapy was launched in January 2022 and is enrolling canine patients at the Missouri University Veterinary School.

(Because Immune Design in Seattle was bought by a large pharmaceutical company and key researchers moved to new jobs and different locations, the original team had to re-group. But thanks to the tenacity and vision of Prof. Seth Pollack now at Northwestern University, the clinical trial is now open. )

What are the benefits of participating in this study?

Some of the potential benefits of enrolling in this trial includes:

  • By inducing an immune reaction against the tumor cells, this IL-12 therapy may reduce the chance of recurrence and spread of tumor after surgery.
  • It's free. Cost of all treatments and checkups are covered by the study. (But the owner does have to pay for the initial eligibility examination)

,Your donation makes these studies possible to help dogs with cancer

What are the eligibility requirements ?

The canine patient must weigh more than 10 kg, and undergo eligibility examination including a blood test, urinalysis, fine needle aspirate of the lesion, CT scan.

No metastatic disease at time of diagnosis. Has not received chemotherapy, radiation or any immunotherapy within 3 weeks of study participation.

An informed consent must be signed, and the participation will require a total of up to 17 visits over a year to the Missouri University clinic.

A summary of inclusion and exclusion criteria is given below. Please contact the veterinary school for the most up-to-date information.

What happens when the dog is enrolled?

The patient will be randomly assigned to one of the two IL-12 gene-delivery studies. (ZVEX12 or IL12srRNA)

Dogs in the ZVex12 study will receive a single injection.

Dogs in the IL12srRNA study will receive four injections one week apart.

All dogs will be monitored before and after each treatment with blood tests, urinalysis, CT scan, as well as a biopsy before therapy. Research blood samples will also be collected.

On day 30, the tumor will be surgically removed.

Dogs will return to the clinic for CT scans at 3 and 6 months, and owners may be contacted up to 2 years to see how the patient is doing.

The information about this clinical trial can be found at the Missouri University Veterinary Health Center page

and in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) database.

What if the dog doesn't qualify for the IL-12 study?

According to the MU study coordinator, even if a pup does not qualify for the IL-12 immunotherapy trial, the clinic has two additional studies that the patients with sarcoma might qualify for.

  • LATTICE SBRT (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy)
  • Calcium Electroporation Therapy

Learn more at MU Clinic website.

If you found this article helpful, please consider donating. Scientists need your support to find cancer cures.

IL-12 Gene Delivery Immunotherapy Study Summary

Scientific Title:

Novel IL-12 Gene Delivery vehicle for Transformation of Solid Tumors.

Recruitment Dates:

01/02/2022 to 01/01/2024

Primary Study Location:

University of Missouri -- Columbia Missouri

Study Contact Information:

Sydney Miget

1 573 882 7821

Principle Investigator contact:

Prof. Jeffrey Bryan, University of Missouri

Study Description:

This study will test intra-tumor delivery of vectors that produce an immune signaling molecule, IL-12 via injection of ZVex12 or IL12srRNA) to deliver sustained IL-12 production in the tumor to stimulate anti-tumor immunity to treat dogs with sarcoma. ZVex12 and IL12srRNA will both result in an inflammatory sarcoma tumor microenvironment. Through this trial, it is expected that we will determine if increased T cells (anti-tumor immune cells) are present in sarcoma tumors following intra-tumor treatment. Two groups of participants will be assigned by randomization - 3 dogs being injected with ZVex12 (along with ultrasound, if needed) and 3 dogs being injected with IL12srRNA (along with ultrasound, if needed).

Regardless of assigned group, all dogs in the study will be evaluated (to determine eligibility) through blood tests, urinalysis, CT-scan with tumor biopsy, and surgery to remove the tumor.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • A high grade soft tissue sarcoma (STS) >4 cm that can be removed by surgery.
  • A body weight of >10kg. No significant comorbidities.
  • Written informed consent signed by pet owner.
  • Adequate hepatic, renal, hematologic function. Adequate bone marrow function, neutrophil count >3000 cells/ml, Platelet count >150,000 cells/ml
  • CBC
  • Chemistry
  • Urinalysis
  • CT with RT set-up
  • Histologic or cytologic confirmed soft tissue sarcoma

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Is a participant in another clinical trial.
  • Has a current bacterial infection requiring systemic therapy
  • Has received chemotherapy, radiation or any immunotherapy within 3 weeks.

Potential Medical Benefits:

The purpose of the study is to induce an immune reaction against the tumor cells. It is possible that this immune reaction might improve outcome by reducing recurrence and spread of the tumor.

Potential Medical Risks:

Injection will result in an inflammatory sarcoma tumor microenvironment. Since this is a novel approach to treating sarcoma tumors, the total range of possible side effects may not be fully appreciated.

Financial Incentives:

Fully funded after initial screening.

This information was updated on June 13, 2022. For the most up to date information, please check the AVMA animal health studies database or reach out to the named contacts.


This blog/article is published for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice. Always seek guidance from your veterinarian.

Sat, 12 Nov 2022 12:16:06 -0800 Dog-Fancier
NutriDapt: The Future of Dog and Cat Critical Care Nutrition When it comes to feeding the critical care patient, essential nutrition is more complex than simply opening a can of a multi-species critical care diet and diluting it with water. Providing the right balance of protein, fat, and calories to support the individual patient is essential to speed recovery and ensure optimal outcomes. To date, custom diet plans have been out of reach for most patients outside a university teaching hospital or large specialty center setting. NutriDapt™ proposes to be the first and only customizable nutrition system for hospitalized and critical care dogs and cats, ensuring that your patient gets exactly the right balance of nutrients with every meal based on their diagnosis. This customizable nutrition system is enabled by an easy-to-use software engineered to help you find the optimal levels of nutrition for your pet.

Importance of Nutrition


Dogs are omnivores with their own unique nutritional needs. They require a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates as well as essential vitamins and minerals. They must also have a varied amino acid profile to support many essential functions throughout the body. A high quality, balanced diet is essential to provide these nutrients and support the health of the animal. When health declines, great nutrition is even more essential to support body processes, maintain immune system function, and reduce weight and muscle loss. Nutritional needs can change rapidly depending on the disease process involved and thus must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores and must have high quality animal protein included in their diets in order to survive and thrive. This does not mean that they cannot digest and utilize plant sources of nutrition – quite the contrary! – but it does mean that their diets must be formulated with their unique nutritional needs in mind. Unfortunately, many pet food manufacturers treat cats as if they were simply small dogs, formulating high-carbohydrate kibble that does not suit a cat’s need for moisture and protein in the diet. Cats also require more of the amino acids taurine and arginine, as well as a higher content of B vitamins in their diet compared to dogs. In a critical care setting, it would be ideal for these feline patients to have a diet that takes their unique nutritional needs and diagnoses into account.



In a critical care setting, nutritional needs vary widely. For example, a doctor’s caseload may consist of a pancreatitis patient, a patient with lymphoma, and a patient with hepatic lipidosis, each requiring nutritional support. These patients have significantly different nutritional needs, yet, to date, critical care enteral diets have taken a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Existing critical care diets achieve the goal of providing caloric support to the patient, but they do not consider the patient’s unique dietary needs for protein and fat balance. Diluting these diets to facilitate syringe or tube feeding also decreases caloric density and increases feeding volume, making it difficult to achieve calorie intake goals.

NutriDapt is an innovative new enteral nutrition system from Canine Biologics designed to deliver precise nutrition to your patient with every feeding. This liquid enteral nutrition product provides a customized diet at every feeding, so you know your patient is getting the right balance of calories, fat, and protein every time. NutriDapt is also a calorie-dense liquid, meaning you’ll need to feed less volume to achieve your patient’s calorie intake goals.

NutriDapt is made with high-quality ingredients that aren’t just human grade but are also human edible! The high-quality protein and fat sources in NutriDapt are more readily absorbed by the GI tract than the lower quality ingredients used by some other brands, making Nutridapt more bioavailable. You can also rest easy knowing that you’re giving your patient safe, effective nutritional support – no cutting corners here.

Creating a custom nutrition plan for each individual patient is easy with NutriDapt’s user-friendly software system. Simply enter the patient’s parameters into the system and NutriDapt will provide custom per-day and per-meal recipes using one to three of the NutriDapt ingredients mixed with water. The ingredients are then easily mixed and given to the patient – no blenders or microwaves needed!

NutriDapt is a time-saving system that provides total control over your patient’s critical care nutrition. Unlike other critical care diets - which use a “one diet fits all” approach, regardless of age, medical condition, or even species – NutriDapt provides optimized nutrition for the individual patient. This approach to enteral nutrition ensures your patient gets the right balance of protein, fat, and calories with every feeding, facilitating better nutrition and leading to faster recoveries.

The Canine Biologics Difference


Canine Biologics products are made with great nutrition and patient well-being as the number one priority, and the NutriDapt system is no exception. This targeted nutrition system for dogs – and soon cats as well! – provides precise, individualized diets on a meal-to-meal basis so you can be sure your patient is receiving the right balance of protein, fat, and calories every time.

And the components utilize human-grade food ingredients. Most importantly, NutriDapt’s easy-to-use software system saves time and can integrate with any practice software using simple PDF-based transfers of patient data. Try the NutriDapt system for your patients and see for yourself the difference Canine Biologics’ products can make for your practice.

Sat, 12 Nov 2022 12:14:35 -0800 Dog-Fancier
The Truth Behind Dog Nutrition You want to give your dog the best in all aspects of life, and that includes the food he eats. This is especially true when your dog is suffering from a chronic illness like cancer. Dogs with cancer often suffer from a decreased appetite, lowered immunity, and increased inflammation. Your dog needs top-of-the-line nutrition to fight cancer and recover from its effects. But how do you know which food is the best? Don’t get caught up in other brands’ marketing schemes. Learn the Canine Biologics difference and make the best choice for your dog.

Importance of a Dog’s Nutrition&


Dogs, like humans, are omnivores, meaning they can meet their nutrient requirements by eating both meat and plant material. However, a dog cannot survive on just meat alone. A complete and balanced diet for a dog must include appropriate levels of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and certain fatty acids. Imbalances in these nutrients can result in deficiencies or excesses, which can lead to long term health problems. For optimal health, a dog must eat a complete and balanced diet every day. This is why homemade diets have generally been discouraged by veterinarians, as they rarely meet all of a dog’s nutritional needs.

Fortunately, commercially prepared dog food takes the guesswork out of feeding your dog by providing a complete and balanced diet that is consistent with every mouthful. By choosing a high-quality dog food, you can ensure that your dog is getting all the nutrients he needs at every meal. However, choosing a dog food isn’t easy. The sheer number of options in the pet food aisle can be overwhelming. You want a brand you can trust, and one that has your dog’s health in mind. Sadly, that isn’t always the case with many dog food brands.

Approach of Big-Name Brands


Unfortunately, many dog food trends today are based on junk science and false advertising. There are many misconceptions about pet food on the internet and unfortunately many pet owners are led astray when it comes to choosing an appropriate diet for their dogs.

One outstanding example of this is the sudden and unfounded vilification of grains in pet food. In an effort to sell more dog food, many pet food companies started marketing their diets as grain-free. There was no evidence that grains posed a problem to pets. In fact, there was no science at all demonstrating that a grain-free diet was better. The switch was purely a marketing ploy, an attempt to trick pet owners into thinking that one pet food was better than another.

Unfortunately, pet owners fell for this marketing, despite assurances from board certified veterinary nutritionists that grains are a nutritious ingredient and do not contribute to health problems. Grain-free diets were sold at an alarming rate, despite a total lack of research on the subject. Soon, veterinarians began seeing an increase in cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) – a heart condition in which the heart muscle stretches and becomes thin, failing to pump properly. As the cases began to pile up, the FDA got involved and launched an investigation into the correlation between grain-free diets and heart disease. Between January 1, 2014 and July 31, 2020, the FDA received more than 1100 case reports of diagnosed dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs eating grain-free diets. 280 of those dogs died.

While a causative link between grain-free diets and DCM has not yet been confirmed by the FDA, it’s clear that the damage has been done. Grain-free continues to be a pillar of pet food marketing. Unsuspecting pet owners continue to purchase pet foods with no idea how they will affect their pets. A clever marketing ploy like a wolf on the bag or a few catch phrases such as “primal” and “holistic” are all that is needed to convince a pet owner to buy the bag, but there’s no science supporting these claims.

Organizations like the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) have tried to combat these marketing ploys by informing owners through their guidelines. Their resources such as The Savvy Dog Owner’s Guide to Nutrition on the Internet and Guidelines on Selecting Pet Foods are great starting points for pet owners who want to choose science-backed nutrition for their dogs. Their methods are time consuming, though, and many pet owners may not follow through with the guidelines.

Clearly, there is a need in the pet food space for a product that relies on science rather than gimmicks to sell its products. And that’s where Canine Biologics comes in.

The Canine Biologics Difference


Whether your dog is suffering from a chronic illness such as cancer, or just needs a better daily diet, Canine Biologics provides science-backed nutrition without the marketing schemes. Canine Biologics is developed by a team of veterinarians and biochemists, and is backed by over 60 scientific studies, so you know your dog is getting a product that is safe and effective. Canine Biologics has also partnered with more than 200 veterinary oncologists around the country who use this diet to support their cancer patients’ nutrition and health.

Canine Biologics’ Integrated Nutrition System is specifically designed to support patients fighting or recovering from cancer. These patients face special challenges as they go through a cancer diagnosis and its associated treatment. Their immune function declines, they lose weight and muscle mass, and they experience increased inflammation, among other negative effects. Diet can play a huge role in alleviating these concerns.

There are three main goals when feeding a cancer patient:

  • The food must meet all calorie and essential nutrient requirements
  • The food must be palatable
  • The food must be safe

Canine Biologics is a complete and balanced diet that meets and exceeds AAFCO standards. It provides all the nutrients your dog needs in his daily diet. Chicken is the most abundant ingredient in the diet and provides high-quality protein and fat, helping your dog maintain energy and muscle mass. Vegetables are added as rich sources of vitamins and fiber, giving your dog’s immune system an extra boost. Finally, grains are included in the diet as a source of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, rounding out the nutrient profile and ensuring your dog gets complete and balanced nutrition with every meal.

Canine Biologics is also 100% human grade. What does this mean? According to Canine Biologics founder Jeff Sutherland, it means that with a little salt and pepper, you could eat this diet yourself! With just five high-protein, low-carbohydrate ingredients, this pet food is highly palatable, and most dogs love the taste. This is especially important for cancer patients, whose appetites may wane during cancer treatment. A food that looks and tastes like real food – not processed kibble – will entice even a picky eater to take a bite! This is an important part of maintaining your pup’s calorie and nutrient intake during chronic illnesses like cancer.

Finally, a dog food made for dogs with cancer must be safe. Dogs with cancer – especially those undergoing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy – have lowered immunity and a high risk of developing secondary infections. Canine Biologics is cooked to minimum safe temperatures to eliminate the risk of bacterial contamination, and then freeze dried to preserve flavor and freshness. This allows us to skip the preservatives, while still delivering a product that is fresh, safe, and delicious.

Choose Better for Your Dog


Pet foods that rely on pictures of wolves and fancy buzzwords to get your attention do not have your pet’s best interest in mind. These products are not backed by science and are driven by marketing schemes designed to scare you into thinking their product is the best. Don’t fall for their misinformation. Your dog needs and deserves a diet that is fresh, safe, and packed with nutrients. Canine Biologics is made with your dog’s best interests in mind. Designed specifically for dogs with cancer, but effective for dogs of any health status, this human-grade diet is packed with high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals to support your dog’s immune system and decrease inflammation. The one-of-a-kind, three-part nutrition system provides all the nutrients your dog needs to fight cancer from the inside out.

See why veterinarians across the country have incorporated Canine Biologics in their practices and try the Canine Biologics Nutrition System for your dog. This high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate diet will have your dog feeling his best no matter what life throws at him, and you’ll rest easy knowing you’ve chosen the best for your dog.

Sat, 12 Nov 2022 12:14:35 -0800 Dog-Fancier
Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs CBD oil has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. You've likely heard about its use in humans, but did you know that it can also be used in dogs?  Scientific research on CBD oil is lacking, but anecdotal reports suggest that CBD oil may be beneficial for a number of canine health conditions, including arthritis, seizures, and anxiety.  Unlike marijuana, CBD oil is safe for dogs when used appropriately and does not produce a high.  CBD oil is available over the counter and is easily accessible in most states.  Purchasing CBD oil is federally legal as long as the product does not contain more than 0.3% THC.  Read on to learn more about CBD oil and how it may be used to help your dog.

About CBD Oil


CBD is the common name for cannabidiol, a chemical extracted from cannabis plants.  Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not have psychoactive properties and does not cause a “high”.  CBD is extracted from hemp plants, which legally must contain less than 0.3% THC.  CBD is then added to a carrier oil, such as hemp oil or coconut oil, to make CBD oil.

Research on the use of CBD oil in both humans and dogs is lacking.  However, it is postulated that CBD may have a wide range of effects because it acts on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).  The ECS is present in all mammals and works with a series of cannabinoid receptors, transmitters, and enzymes to affect body functions such as metabolism, immune system, digestion, and more.  CBD is thought to act on the ECS to produce anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-convulsant effects.     

It is important to note that CBD is not marijuana and does not contain THC.  Marijuana and related products containing THC should not be given to dogs.  THC intoxication in dogs can be severe and even life-threatening.  If your dog has ingested or inhaled a THC-containing product, seek veterinary care immediately.

CBD Oil for Dogs


Anecdotally, CBD oil has been touted as a cure for a wide variety of conditions in dogs, including anxiety, digestive issues, skin conditions, chronic pain, seizures, and more. 

To date, there has been one clinical trial examining the efficacy of CBD oil in dogs.  In this study, it was determined that giving CBD oil orally at a dose of 2 mg/kg twice daily improved joint pain and activity levels in dogs with osteoarthritis.  Dog owners reported no side effects during the trial.  This study is encouraging because it demonstrates the potential anti-inflammatory and pain control effects of CBD oil in dogs.  More research is needed to determine whether CBD oil is efficacious for controlling pain and inflammation caused by other health conditions.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence for its use, CBD oil for dogs has been rapidly growing in popularity.  Pet owners have used CBD oil for a number of different canine health concerns, including seizures, anxiety, nausea, digestive upset, pain, loss of appetite, and itching due to allergies.  Many pet owners report significant improvement in their dogs’ symptoms after using CBD oil consistently.  

Side Effects of CBD in Dogs


Most dogs tolerate CBD oil well and do not experience any side effects. Side effects are typically dose-related and are more likely to occur with higher doses of CBD oil.  To minimize the risk of side effects, it is recommended that you start your dog on a lower dose of CBD oil and gradually increase the dose over time until the desired effects are seen.  When side effects of CBD oil do occur, they can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness

If your pet experiences side effects from a CBD product, stop giving the product and contact your veterinarian for further advice.

Reputable CBD products contain little to no THC.  Dogs are sensitive to the effects of THC and can become intoxicated even at low doses.  Symptoms of THC intoxication include:

  • Lethargy
  • Somnolence
  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hypersalivation
  • Vocalization
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If your dog has ingested or inhaled a product containing THC, seek veterinary care immediately.

Canine Biologics CBD Oil

The CBD industry is not regulated, so it is important to choose a CBD product from a reputable company.  Good CBD products are safe, effective, and free from THC and contaminants.  

Canine Biologics CBD Oil for Dogs is a human-grade CBD oil that is tested by an independent laboratory and certified to contain 0.0% THC.  Canine Biologics CBD Oil for Dogs includes all natural ingredients and has also been tested for and is free from contaminants such as heavy metals, solvents, and mycotoxins.  This independent testing ensures that the CBD oil product your pet receives is safe and effective.  

Canine Biologics CBD Oil is available in three different concentrations to enable precise dosing based on your dog's weight.  The recommended dose of CBD oil is 0.33 mg to 1.0 mg per kilogram of body weight.  Canine Biologics CBD Oil for Dogs is available in three formulations: 0.42 mg/drop, 0.83 mg/drop, and 1.66 mg/drop.  This makes it easy to give your dog exactly the right dose of CBD oil every time.  For best results, administer the CBD oil under your dog's tongue.  If necessary, you can also mix the oil into your dog's food to facilitate administration. 

With continued administration, many pet owners report improvements in their pets' pain relief, anxiety, behavior, mobility, appetite, digestion, and more.  

CBD Oil: A New Canine Health Supplement 


CBD oil's natural beneficial effects have led to it being used as a daily health supplement for many dogs throughout the United States.  Pet owners appreciate its ease of use and accessibility as an over the counter supplement.  Many dogs experience improvements in pain level, mobility, anxiety, seizures, and digestion while taking CBD oil, and few experience adverse effects.  Choosing the best CBD oil like Canine Biologics CBD Oil for Dogs will ensure that your dog receives the full beneficial effect of CBD oil in a product that is safe, pure, and appropriately dosed.  Always consult your veterinarian before starting any new medication or supplement for your dog.

Sat, 12 Nov 2022 12:14:34 -0800 Dog-Fancier