Bladder Cancer in a Sheltie
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: John & Mona Scaglione
Posted on: November 06, 2005

We have an 11 year old Sheltie that has been diagnosed with cancer of the bladder. He had surgery last September and the vet removed approximately 20% of his bladder. His recovery was great. However, in October 2005 his cancer is back with 30% in the same area of his bladder. Are there any herbal medicines he can take to improve his life a little longer? Toby is our dog’s name. He is loving, playful, and eats well. We heard of ESSIAC as a good herb medicine for cancer in humans. Do you think it is good for dogs?

Essiac is the name given to a traditional Ojibwa formula documented in the 1920s by a Canadian nurse, Rene Caisse. The history behind Essiac is long and complicated and beyond the scope of this posting. For further information, please go to: A book on Essiac is available from Richters.

There have been several recipes for Essiac, but the majority believe that the original formula contained the herbs Burdock (Arctium lappa), Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella), Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva) and Turkey Rhubarb (Rheum palmatum). This combination is meant to be cleansing and supportive to those with chronic and debilitating illness and has been found in many cancer treatment plans for both humans and animals. I personally have not used this formula with animals so cannot comment. However, the above noted website contains plenty of information about its use.

I would also urge you to take your dog to see a qualified herbal practitioner who has experience with dogs and cancer as soon as possible. In addition, I would avoid commercial foods entirely and look at making sure he is getting optimal nutrition from a homemade diet (see previous posting on entitled, "Aging Dog with Arthritis" for recipe sources). As well, ensure he drinks only spring water (not tap water) and gets 500g Vitamin C (sodium or calcium ascorbate) for every 15 pounds of body weight in his food twice a day. Crush tablet first before mixing into food.

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