Bone Cancer in Dogs

Complementary Therapies

Complementary Therapies


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves the insertion of needles into various areas of the body. According to TCM, each individual has a life force (qi – pronounced “chee”) that moves along meridians or pathways. All pathways can be accessed at specific points near the body’s surface. With any disease, the path may be blocked or out of balance. The acupuncture needles help to regulate, rebalance, and redirect proper energy flow.

If the primary tumor is still present, needles should not be inserted at the tumor site or near it.

For more information, please visit the following organizations:


American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture


International Veterinary Acupuncture Society

Acupressure is based on the same principles without the needles.

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) is a medical system that has been used in China to treat animals for thousands of years. It is an adaptation and extension of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used to treat humans. Speaking broadly, Chinese medicine is a complete body of thought and practice grounded in Chinese Daoist philosophy.

Chinese medicine is based on the Daoist worldview that the body is a microcosm of the larger, surrounding universe.  As such, the cosmic laws and forces that govern the external world also govern the body’s internal environment. Just as life-energy or “qi” is an innate force of the universe, it too is a fundamental force of the body, driving its every action and transformation.

Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic care for the dog with bone cancer revolves primarily around improving function and reducing pain, especially in areas of orthopedic or neurologic disorders.  It may be helpful after amputation, as the dog readjusts to life on three limbs.

For more information on veterinary chiropractic care, please visit


Massage involves the physical manipulation of soft tissue.  Massage treatments have been shown to be useful for relieving symptoms such as pain, inflammation and soft tissue dysfunction.   For the most part, massage has shown to improve circulation, stimulate the immune system, break up adhesions, may reduce lactic acid, and promote emotional and physical well-being. There is no evidence that massage can slow cancer growth.

For certain cancers, massage can increase blood flow in the area and could contribute to cancer spread.  Discuss this with your veterinarian before using this modality on a dog with cancer.


Like cures like.  The general philosophy of homeopathy is based on the principle that disease can be cured by strengthening the body’s natural defense mechanism.  In homeopathy all the symptoms are examined as part of the disease process, and a remedy is chosen which would produce in a healthy body the same symptoms found in the sick animal.  The remedy is selected from herbs, minerals, and natural compounds, which are then diluted beyond the point of possible toxicity. It is prudent to consult with a professional who is certified for veterinary homeopathy practice.

For more information, please visit the following organization:


The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy

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