Homeopathy offers a gentle approach to cancer in dogs and cats. It doesn’t just treat the condition, but the patient as a whole.
Cancer is dreaded by pet owners and veterinarians alike. Allopathic treatment doesn’t result in a cure, but rather the destruction of the tumor and related cells through radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. These treatments can cause side effects, which require additional drug therapy to manage. Conventional cancer treatment most often leads to temporary remission.
Homeopathy, conversely, offers a gentle approach to cancer, treating not just the lesion or condition, but the patient as a whole. General well-being is first restored while the cancerous condition is being abated or resolved, and is followed by a return of good health. This article will discuss the principles of homeopathy in the treatment of cancer and why it is a good alternative to the allopathic approach.
Considering the whole body
The allopathic approach to cancer is to identify the lesion, assess the body system/s affected, and then stage the cancer. The homeopathic approach views the patient as one disease, comprised of his totality of symptoms – mental, emotional and physical. Functional changes or lesions, such as fibrosis and tumor growth, are merely one aspect of the patient’s disease. While allopathic nomenclature may be helpful in understanding a clinical situation, general disease labels are not needed to find an accurate prescription in homeopathy since they do not describe what is unique to the individual patient.
For example, “lymphoma” describes a disease condition, but does not give us any details about the individual case. In order to identify the precise homeopathic remedy needed to treat the patient, out of all the homeopathic remedies that treat this type of disease process (i.e. lymphoma), the practitioner needs to examine what makes this patient unique.
Once the homeopathic remedy is administered, the patient’s response is closely monitored. The remedy stimulates the recovery of health over the time necessary for the body to repair damaged tissues. This can take weeks to months, depending on how long the total illness (not merely the cancer) has been present.
Three possible outcomes of cancer treatment
Any treatment, homeopathic or allopathic, can result in three possible outcomes: palliation, suppression or cure. It is important to understand how these differ, and how to interpret patient response post-prescription.
- Palliation is the most common outcome of allopathic treatment, and is seen as a rapid response or alleviation of some, but not all, physical symptoms. A hallmark of palliation is a quick return of symptoms when treatment is stopped, requiring more frequent repetitions of medicine in higher doses to maintain any “improvement”.
The benefits of palliation with homeopathy, in cases where a curative remedy cannot be found, is the gentleness of this medicine when compared to the immuno-suppressive doses of prednisone often used in allopathic palliation.
- Homeopathic practitioners view suppression as the worst possible outcome of medicine or surgery. This is because the patient’s well-being is not enhanced, and while some symptoms or lesions disappear, there is no improvement of mental/emotional aspects. After a period of time, a new and more severe set of symptoms will result; for example, metastasis to the lungs or heart base following surgical excision of a hemangiosarcoma lesion from the spleen.
- The goal of all homeopathic treatment is to cure the patient by returning the body to health. This is characterized by increased overall well-being, with physiological resistance to disease. The mental/emotional sphere will improve first, followed by the resolution of physical symptoms. For instance, a cat with mesenteric lymphoma will have more energy and improved appetite soon after the remedy is administered, while the gastrointestinal symptoms diminish over time.
Unlike allopathic treatments for cancer that use multiple drugs at one time, a homeopathic veterinarian will only prescribe a single dose of a remedy. To decide which remedy to use, the homeopath will create a list of the patient’s current symptoms in combination with his entire health history. Therefore, it is possible to have five lymphoma patients all receiving different remedies because their symptom pictures vary, even though allopathic treatment would use the same chemotherapy protocol.
Homeopathic cancer treatment aims to cure the patient and have the cancer completely resolve, without causing harmful side effects or requiring repeated medication. In cases where the destruction of the cancer pathology is too advanced to affect a true cure – i.e. full restoration of health – homeopathic treatment when prescribed in a curative manner can still provide a gentle approach to alleviating symptoms and improving vitality and quality of life.
“It is possible to have five lymphoma patients all receiving different homeopathic remedies because their symptom pictures vary, even though allopathic treatment would use the same chemotherapy protocol.”
The case study with this article demonstrates how homeopathic cancer treatment successfully returned a dog to health and gave him increased quality of life without surgery, chemo or harmful side effects.
Case study – Howie
Howie, a ten-year-old neutered Shih tzu, presented for in-home euthanasia on October 26, 2012. He had received a tentative diagnosis of leukemia, along with a splenic mass, anemia, and protein-losing nephropathy. Blood test values demonstrated severe leukocytosis, non-regenerative anemia, and thrombocytopenia.
At the euthanasia appointment, the owner asked if there were any other cancer treatment options available, and homeopathic treatment was offered.
On exam, Howie was weak and hypothermic at 97.4°F. His mucus membranes were pale and dry, and there was palpable splenomegaly in his abdomen. The homeopathic remedy Phosphorus was selected because of its reputation for the treatment of hemorrhagic conditions, cancerous affections and albuminuria. Phosphorus is best suited to patients suffering from anemia and cancers that bleed profusely.
It’s also important that the remedy match the changes in mental symptoms that occur in sickness. When Howie was well, he was an outgoing sociable dog. When he became ill, he was timid, anxious and weak. He also had a history of thunderstorm anxiety. All these symptoms made him an excellent match to Phosphorus, and a single dose of 30c was administered. The owner was also given instructions to prepare a balanced fresh food diet to replaced Howie’s processed dog food.
- Five days after Howie was given the remedy, his owner called to say he’d gradually improved and was exhibiting signs of more normal behavior.
- An exam and diagnostics the following week found a feisty dog with a normal temperature and white blood cell values that were also approaching normal.
- Three weeks later, another exam revealed a bright, energetic dog with light pink mucus membranes. His owner reported he was eating well and even had to be cautioned that he was looking overweight. Howie’s white blood cell values were within normal limits, his red blood cell numbers were climbing toward the normal range, and the proteinuria had resolved.
- One month after his first dose of Phosphorus 30c, Howie’s white blood cell values were normal, but he still had a mild, regenerative anemia.
- Three months after his initial prescription, his splenomegaly was no longer palpable.
- From 2012 to 2014, Howie was re-evaluated every three to six months and found to be in good health. His blood and urine were monitored regularly, and a second dose of Phosphorus 30c was administered in November of 2012 to address the persisting anemia.
- By January of 2013, the splenomegaly was still no longer palpable and Howie’s mucus membranes were pink.
- In March, Phosphorous 200c was administered to address the persisting, mild anemia.
- One month later, his red blood cell value had risen to just below the normal range.
At this point, it was decided that no further Phosphorus was needed, as Howie showed no return of the leukemia, splenomegaly or protein-losing nephropathy. With the help of homeopathic cancer treatment, Howie lived a healthy life until he passed away peacefully in September of 2014.