Alternative Bladder Cancer Treatments for Dogs

Although canine bladder cancer is a fatal disease that has poor prognosis, bladder cancer treatments can increase the lifespan of affected dogs by a few years. Many pet owners prefer to use natural treatments for their dogs as they wish to avoid chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Some pet owners use natural treatments along with conventional treatment to increase the effectiveness of the treatment and to save their pet from the debilitating side effects of the disease.

Breeds that are more prone to bladder cancer are:

  • Scottish terriers
  • Airedales
  • Shetland sheepdogs
  • beagles

Symptoms of Canine Bladder Cancer:

  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Difficulty in defecation
  • Blood in the urine and feces
  • Incontinence
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections
  • Increased frequency of urination 
  • Passing little to no urine

Diagnosis and Treatment for Bladder Cancer in Dogs

Since the symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, canine bladder carcinoma is generally detected only after the cancer has metastasized. If the tumor is small, surgery is an option. Chemotherapy can help improve the life expectancy of dogs suffering from transitional cell carcinoma. The drug Piroxicam is prescribed together with chemotherapy and is quite beneficial. Radiotherapy also helps prevent metastasis of the cancer.

Diet to Strengthen the Dog Immune System

You should feed your pet a nutritious diet in order to strengthen his immune system. His diet should consist of a lot of proteins in the form of raw chicken, beef, turkey, fish and lamb. The diet should be rich in Vitamins C, D and E and minerals such as copper, zinc and selenium. The diet should also be low in carbohydrates. It’s best to give your pet home-made food or raw food rather than commercial dog food.

Tap water should never be given to your pet as it contains a lot of contaminants. So consider giving your pet filtered water as it can reduce the risk of canine bladder cancer.


Supplements such as astragalus, selenium and echinacea can also help boost the immune system, stimulate the appetite and reduce fatigue in dogs with bladder carcinoma.

Herbs for Dog Immune Health

Herbs can stimulate the appetite and strengthen the immune system. Some herbs that are beneficial are milk thistle, reishi mushrooms and ashwagandha. Garlic and green tea are particularly beneficial. Ginger should be mixed in your pet’s food as it prevents the development of canine tumors.

 Burdock root, slippery elm, sorrel and turkey rhubarb root all help to treat the cancer. These herbs offer the added advantage of slowing the growth of the tumor. They also have antioxidant properties that help your pet fight free radicals.


Homeopathic remedies that contain mistletoe, Indian ginseng, milk thistle and Huang Qi help to boost the immune system, ease the symptoms and slow down the growth of cancerous cells. These remedies aren’t a cure for cancer but can help relieve and treat the symptoms. Some of these remedies are Cantharis, Staphysagris and Berberis. These remedies have antibacterial and antiseptic properties that help your pet combat the cancer.


Acupuncture can be used to relieve the pain and irritation caused by chemotherapy and radiation.

Along with medication, a nutritious diet and moderate exercise can help your pet fight back the cancer that’s attacking his system.