Integrative approach to treating pet cancer

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In a dvm360® interview, Dr Patrick Mahaney discusses how holistic and traditional treatments can complement each other in veterinary oncology

When treating cancer patients, Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, CVJ, is a proponent of an integrative approach. In a dvm360® interview, he outlines the most effective holistic methods, how certain therapies can target different cancers, and more.

The following is a partial transcript of the video.

Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA, CVJ: Supplements and herbs are one of them. Because multiple body systems can be helped possibly by a single chew or a single tablet. One thing we do think about in that case is patient compliance, we have to make sure that if we're recommending this course of supplements, it's something that's doable for the client, that they can actually get it into their pet. Like if you have a very small pet or a pet that doesn't like to take things orally, or they're not feeling great from the chemotherapy, we might need something like a liquid that we can squirt in their mouths. So, I feel like supplements have been really beneficial.

I feel like acupuncture has also been very beneficial, just to generally make the patient feel better. You're not going to cure cancer with acupuncture. But these patients are not feeling great from their cancer, they probably are adult to senior dogs, generally, those are kind of the average of dogs that develop cancer, even the juvenile dogs can as well. So, they're just kind of also not feeling great and maybe even have comorbidities like arthritis. And therefore you can help multiple systems by doing an acupuncture treatment, which generally also incorporates doing some kind of massage and range of motion, like if the pet was getting some form of physical rehabilitation either at home or in a facility. So, it's kind of like when you go and get a massage, your body feels better, your energry is moving better around your body, your lymphatics are draining, your blood is flowing better, oxygen is flowing better to the extremities. So, that's really what I feel like acupuncture does in terms of helping to make the patient generally feel better, so they can tolerate their treatments.

But also back to arthritis. A lot of these dogs and cats are older, maybe they need a medication in order to help them feel more comfortable and move better because of their arthritis, and then that medication might get put by the wayside when they're taking chemotherapy. So, we want to think about other means we can use to try to keep them up and moving and feeling good, so they have a good quality of life while taking less medication.

Watch the full video on Medical World News™ here.

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