My Dog Has Cancer When Do I Put Him Down?

My dog has cancer do I need to put him down

This is a post I never wanted to write. My dog is now 16. He’s done really well up until now.

But the good times weren’t going to last forever. Our vet thinks he has cancer. She’s pretty sure he has cancer. “I don’t know what else it could be,” she told us.

Of course, the only way to know for certain is to biopsy the growth on his eye. But our vet is pretty certain that’s what he has.

A biopsy would give us a definitive answer. But it won’t change the fact he has a large growth on his right eye. The growth is not healing, even though it’s not getting appreciably bigger. Putting our dog through this would also cause discomfort and stress. Our dog hates going to the vet, with a passion.

Our options are limited. Take him to an animal equivalent of a large medical center. Let them do a lot of tests. My fear is that they’d do a lot of tests. But not offer a cure, or even a way to extend his life.

As a former medical writer, I know the limitations of radiation. Our vet was talking about radiation. But I knew she knew, deep in her heart, that it’s not going to cure him.

Chemotherapy has limitations as well. Chemo is now used for dogs. But I want everyone to read an earlier blog post about canine chemo and human pregnancy. Chemotherapy drugs are powerful. There’s no way to avoid exposing other family members to their toxic effects. Plus, these drugs would likely have limited success.

That leaves natural options. So that’s what we’re doing.


USDA Certified Organic Food For Dogs?


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Immediately after finding out our dog had cancer, we started feeding him mostly 100 percent USDA-certified organic people food. Sometimes, we’re busy. So we need to open a can of dog food. We make sure it’s USDA-certified organic dog food. He prefers people food to the dog food. No surprise. But reality dictates he has a little dog food.

You can see the brand of organic dog food we use below. It’s sold locally, in our grocery store. But it’s less expensive to buy it online.

Newman's Own Organic Dog FoodNewman’s Own Organic Dog Food

Should I Feed My Dog Organic Food?


Before, we were trying to give him a lot of people food.¬†We’d supplement with high-quality grain-free canned dog food. But it wasn’t USDA-certified organic dog food. I think this might have been a mistake. Some genetically modified ingredients might have slipped in. GMOs are associated with cancer in laboratory animals.

These animals are rats. But it’s quite possible GMOs also cause cancer in dogs. There needs to be more research, in dogs models as well as human models. Meanwhile, we’re all a bunch of guinea pigs. Going forward, we’ll make sure our dog isn’t eating any genetically modified food at all.

Did you know that 50 percent of all dogs who reach the age of 10 are diagnosed with cancer? This is a shockingly high figure, as far as I’m concerned. The cancer epidemic has hit canines, as well as humans.


My Dog Has Cancer When Do I Put Him Down?


For the moment, our dog doesn’t seem to be in distress. So we’re just focused on boosting the immune system. One school of thought is that if you can boost immunity naturally, it will help take care of the cancer. This seems to be our best option at the moment.

Even if we decided to go for surgery, and radiation, there’s one overriding factor to consider. Our dog is 16 and he has a heart murmur. I asked our vet straight out if he’d survive surgery. She didn’t know. She said we’d need to take him to a larger animal medical center for testing.


Homeopathy for Dog Cancer


The growth was bleeding pretty badly for a few days. This has stopped. I’d like to think it’s because we gave him a well-selected homeopathic remedy. I gave him one dose and will not repeat the dose unless the bleeding starts again.

I’ve studied homeopathy with two excellent professionals for more than 20 years. Choosing the right remedy was easy for me. But I encourage other dog owners to work only with a professional. Also, always make sure to always check with your own vet before giving your dog a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy is real medicine and it’s very powerful, despite the fact that remedies are sold over the counter.

Our dog is also taking an herbal supplement called Ojibwa tea and he’s taking a vitamin-like substance called CoQ10.

If we get stuck, I did find a homeopathic veterinarian online. He seems to know what he’s talking about. So it’s likely I’ll be checking in with him soon.


My Dog Has Cancer and I Can’t Afford Treatment


Our dog is 16 and our family cannot really afford the thousands of dollars it will take to have his growth treated conventionally, provided it is cancer. We would know this with a biopsy. However, cancer or not, the growth is disturbing. And it was bleeding.

Natural medicine also has a price tag. I would much rather pay for holistic consultations, organic food, and natural remedies, that will help his overall physical state. Chemotherapy has the potential of making him sicker. Plus, we need to consider the fact that he’s an old animal.

Our vet game him an antibiotic to rule out the possibility of infection. In retrospect, I’m not sure we should have done this. Another option would be a different, and stronger, antibiotic. I said “no.” Plus, she was pretty sure it was cancer.


My Dog Has Cancer How Do I Know It’s Time


Since our dog is not in obvious distress, putting him down isn’t on the table. If he were suffering, that would be different.

But he’s eating well, sleeping well and moving well. He hasn’t lost weight. His body is still strong. It’s just this nagging growth on his eye.

The bleeding is another matter. If this continued, and we couldn’t control it, I think we would have to consider putting him down. I’m glad we’re not thinking of that right now.

Actually, I have really strong feelings on the topic of animal euthanasia. I worry there’s a trend toward doing this too soon, when a pet isn’t actually suffering, but because an owner thinks “it’s time.” I write this from the perspective of a dog owner who loves her pet, and saw him bounce back from a terrible illness more than two years ago, thanks to a quick-acting homeopathic remedy. (This is why I encourage all of my readers to work with a veterinary homeopath.)

If things change I will update this post. I hope I don’t have to.



These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Everything written here is my personal opinion only, and is not intended as medical advice, since I’m not a licensed animal healthcare expert. This post is intended as information only. I’m not responsible for treatment decisions or outcomes.

My dog has cancer I don't want to put him down