Rottweilers & Cancer , Prevention & Treatment

****Under Contruction****
All dogs can get cancer. Some people believe purebreds dogs are more prone to cancer than their mutt relatives.  Certain breeds seem to be more afflicted with certain types of cancers and are also prone to getting it earlier in life. The Rottweiler breed as a whole has a very high incidence of bone and other cancers. I've done a lot of research on the prevention and treatment of cancer.  I hope you will find this information useful in preventing cancer in your pet or treating your pet if they end up with cancer.  ***DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A VETERINARIAN, ANY TREATMENT OR SUPPLEMENT YOU DECIDE TO GIVE TO YOUR PET SHOULD BE DISCUSSED WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN FIRST.***  Please let me know if any of the links are broken by either sending me an e-mail or commenting below:-) Also I am happy to talk to you about your dog if you want to e-mail me directly. PLEASE if you find my page even a little bit useful leave a comment on this page.


Start out with Health

Before you purchase or adopt your new rottweiler you should research their bloodlines (where possible). Not only are you going to look for a Sire and Dam who are free from hip, elbow, heart and eye problems (Each dog should have OFA and CERF #'s to prove this) you should ask the breeder about the parents of the sire and dam. They should be able to tell you if the grandparents are still alive and how old they are and if they are deceased how old they were at that time and what the dog died of. If they don't own the grandparents then attempt to contact the owners of the grandparents. Unfortunately cancer is prevalent in the rottweiler breed but by doing your research you can prevent purchasing a puppy whose parents died at 3-5 years old of cancer. Cancer is not just caused by genetics it can also be caused by the environment, vaccinations, toxins, chemicals, carcinogens, xrays, flea and heartworm preventative, 2nd hand smoke,living near power lines, ect. Another thing to ask the breeder is whether or not the bitch was x-rayed after conception. You may want to pose the question this way, " How many puppies were shown on the xray" that way you will mostly likely know if the bitch was xrayed. It is pretty common practice for breeders to xray the bitch once she is pregnant so they will have an idea of how many puppies she will have. Why is this bad? Think about any time you (well for women:)) are asked whether you are pregnant before getting an xray (at the dentist, or any xray for that matter). They don't recommend people get xrays when humans are pregnant, why would it be any different for a dog?!  "Previous studies of children born between 1940 and 1970 found an increase in childhood cancer, particularly leukemia, in those exposed to x-ray before birth." (PressTV, Feb 13, 2011)

Raising 'Em Right


 "I think that vaccines, justly credited as the tamers of disease epidemics, are neverthless the leading killers of dogs and cats today," Martin Goldstein DVM (The Nature of Animal Healing) I encourage you to purchase Dr Goldstein's book before you go puppy shopping. I will post some reference books below. I won't go into great detail here about vaccinations, that is another blog I will tackle later. Breeders typically start vaccinating their puppies at 6 weeks of age and they are typically vaccinated every two weeks thereafter until they are 16 weeks old...if you're counting thats 5 vaccinations total...if you're lucky the breeder or your veterinarian will put the dog on an every 3 week vaccination program so your dog would be getting 3 vaccinations (or you can take action and find a vet who believes less is just as good as more). To get to the point and to make it short and sweet vaccinations cause and immune response and inflammation (inflammation can lead to cancer), even just one vaccination can cause a dog to have a supressed immune system for life and can cause immune-mediated diseases (Addison's disease,allergies,hypothyroidism)...more vaccinations create and even greater chance of this. The immune system plays an important role in fighting cancer, and a compromised immune system often leads to cancer. Why all the vaccinations? Do a google search on canine maternal antibodies. If you own a rottweiler many vets will see you coming...they will tell you rottweilers are more susceptible to the parvo virus and encourage/scare you into getting more vaccinations for your puppy. Don't be fooled. When the parvo vaccine first came out YES rottweilers were more susceptible to parvo BECAUSE the vaccine did not work on them....those dogs that contracted parvo (because the vaccine did not work) are no longer in our wonderful gene pool...make sense? I encourage you to watch this DVD (it explains this "Natural Selection") NEW Safer Pet Vaccination DVD . The video is a bit expensive BUT all of it goes to fund The Rabies Challenge Fund, which is trying to prove the longterm immunity created by just 1 rabies vaccine, meaning less mandated by law vaccinations for your pet! Also check this out about Kennel Cough/Bordatella. Also check this link about a Rabies reaction....the vaccine can cause aggresssion and behavorial issues. If you decide you are not going to vaccinate at all you should still take precautions with your puppy. Also avoid dog parks, doggy day cares and boarding kennels where disease can run rampant. In most cases you will be required by law to vaccinate your dog for rabies. Normally the vet will want to vaccinate your puppy at 16 weeks for rabies. If you do vaccinate at that age, it will be required again at 1 year of age. Also if your are vaccinating for rabies I would recommend JUST getting the rabies shot and not other vaccines at the same time. All vaccines should be given separately not in a combo pack. When in the wild is an animal ever exposed to 5 different viruses at once? Since you will most likely be required by law to give your dog at least a rabies vaccine, boost his or her immune system before administering the vaccine. Use antioxidants and probiotics before and after.


This is another blog all in itself but I will share some basics with you. What did your breeder feed to the bitch and to your puppy from birth through 8 weeks? I'm hoping you're not going to say ALPO:-) Chances are if you paid very little for you're puppy that's exactly what the breeders fed....if that's the case they're not breeders, i'll call them the producers, since they are only it in to make money.  Look for a breeder that feeds a premium dog food, I prefer those that don't contain wheat, corn or soy. Breeders that feed raw and home prepared meals are even better. If they feed raw make sure that they are feeding balanced raw or experience raw feeders otherwise your puppy may end up with growing/bone issues. Granted you may not be able to find a breeder that has everything you are looking for, if they feed 'decent' can always upgrade your puppy to stellar food when you get him/her home.  The oxidation of food creates free-radicals when your puppy eats it (oxidation means cooking) that is why a raw food diet OR a home prepared (keeping the thing in mind...avoid boiling and simmer food instead to reduce some oxidation). Feed cruciferous vegetables 3 or more times a week. Cruciferous-brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower. Simmer (not boil) these and then put into a food processor for your puppy/dog. Dogs are unable to breakdown vegetables without cooking and mushing to break down the outer part of the veggies. DO NOT MICROWAVE anything you give your dog! Did you know Microwave ovens were banned in the Soviet Union in 1976 because of their known health dangers. Microwave Radiation changes the molecular structure of food, rendering it harmful and completely void of nutritional value. Yet most North Americans use Microwave ovens daily. Adding Fish oil (human grade), vitamin e and selenium,curcumin are also good preventatives. Vitamin E and Selenium are anti-oxidants and help to counteract the oxidation from food. Also adding enzymes (I use Wobezyme) and pre and probiotics can be helpful. When feeding kibble or a cooked diet the enzymes in the food are lost. The enzymes in Wobezyme break down harmful proteins into smaller amino acids. Enzymes break down inflammation (inflammation can lead to cancer) and support the immune system. Wobezyme also works great for dogs who have joint problems/arthritis or in preventing those as well. Probiotics help enhance digestion and with absorption of nutrients, supporting detoxification and elimination processes, and boosting the immune system. Probiotics feed the good bacteria in your dog's gut and help keep the bad bacteria at bay. We use the probiotic supplement Dyna-pro for our dogs. When picking out supplements for our dogs we try to use only human-grade ingredients, and high quality supplements from reputable companies. I was pretty much forced into nutrition in my early teens by my father who owns a health food store. SO if I ever question the quality or integrity of a company, I automatically run it by my father, who can tell me right away whether a product is good or not. Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, store brand products are all on my lists of NO BUYS as are anything not made in the USA:-) Just like us humans our dogs need Vitamin D everyday.  It is an anti-cancer vitamin and helps keep the immune system strong. You can give it as a supplement but the body does not  assimilate it very well (and care must be taken not to overdose the dog on the supplement, in large amounts Vitamin D can be toxic).  Vitamin D is synthesized through the skin, so the best way to get this is through 20 minutes of sunshine per day (and then you won't have to worry about supplement toxicity). Make sure your dog does not become overheated and choose off-peak sun hours. Vitamin D is nature's most potent cancer fighter. When you do supplement with vitamin D, you'll only want to supplement with natural vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Do NOT use the synthetic and highly inferior vitamin D2. So get your dog out in the sun and you can also supplement with D3, I give 1 tablet a few times a week (in addition to daily sunlight.) DO NOT GIVE DAILY AND DO NOT GIVE TO DOGS WHO ARE FED KIBBLE! Kibble already has a Vitamin D supplement in it and feeding a supplement in conjunction with kibble can cause toxicity. If you choose to feed your puppy raw or home-prepared make sure it is balanced. I recommend joining a yahoo group or buying a book that can give you balanced recipe ideas.

Grow  them slow  AND thin and keep them thin

I recommed downloading and reading this article by Linda Hovan " Cancer in Goldens". Reduce your dog's cancer risk by encouraging slow growth and keeping them lean and fit throughout life. Cells are prone to mutation more so when they are rapidly dividing (growth). To come up with your own growth plan read Linda Hovan's article...yes Golden's are smaller than Rotts but if you figure out the projected size of your rott at adulthood you can figure out a feeding program for your dog. You should easily be able to feel your puppy's ribs, but not necessarily see them.  You're puppy will achieve his full adult height, bone and conformation, but it will just take longer. This of course may not be possible if you are showing your puppy in conformation. "The lifelong benefits of following a Slow-Grow plan and keeping adults lean and fit may include reduced incidence and severity of orthopedic disease, reduced incidence and later age of onset of cancers, and overall increased longevity," (Linda Hovan).

Leaner Dogs Live Almost Two Years Longer
Nestle Purina PetCare Study Proves Lean Living Adds Nearly Two Years to Life
In the first completed canine lifetime diet restriction study, conducted by Nestle Purina PetCare, researchers proved that maintaining dogs in lean body condition extended their median life span by 15 percent - or nearly two years for the Labrador retrievers in this study.
The 14-year study*, initiated in 1987 and completed in 2001, took place at the Purina Pet Care Center and compared 48 Labrador retriever dogs from seven litters. The dogs were paired within their litters according to gender and body weight and randomly assigned to either a control or lean-fed group. The control group was fed ad libitum during 15-minute daily feedings, while the lean-fed group was fed 75 percent of the amount eaten by its paired littermates. All dogs consumed the same 100 percent nutritionally complete and balanced diets (puppy, then adult formulations) for the entire period of the study; only the quantity provided was different.
Median life span was increased by 1.8 years, or 15 percent, in the lean-fed dogs compared to the control dogs. Median life span (age at which 50 percent of the dogs in the group had died) was 11.2 years in the control group compared to 13.0 years in the lean-fed group. By age 10, only three lean-fed dogs had died, compared to seven control dogs. At the end of the twelfth year, 11lean-fed dogs were alive, with only one control dog surviving. Twenty-five percent of the lean-fed group survived to 13.5 years, while none of the dogs from the control group lived to that age.
*Published in the May l, 2002 (Vol. 220, No.9) issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs. Gail Smith, VMD, PhD, study collaborator and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine states.

Early Spay/Neuter

Research has linked early neutering and spaying before first heat cycle to significant increases in the risk of osteosarcoma in Rottweilers.

"The researchers found that 14.8% of the Rottweilers studied developed appendicular bone cancer. The relative risk was 1.65 castrated males, 1.34 in spayed females and 1.03 in intact females. The risk of developing bone cancer was significantly higher in animals that were neutered at less than 1 year of age compared with intact animals. Dr. B. C. Beranek, Purdue University" see article HERE. Please realize that there are other things that may occur if a dog is not spayed, pyometra and mammary cancer are two of  those things. I will risk these two things if it ment my dog was not going to get bone cancer in the future though. Surgery can be done to fix the pyometra, surgery can be done to remove cancerous mammary tumors...the treatment for osteosarcoma usually involves amputation of a limb and survival rates from osteosarcoma are really low. For those owners that decide not to spay or neuter their pets, pleae be responsible when your dog is in heat (protect it from visiting male suitors...yes dogs will be coming to your house from miles around). If you decide to spay and neuter consider waiting until after your female has gone through one heat cycle.

Reduce Risk

Reduce or eliminate exposure to, coal and kerosene heaters, paints/ solvents fumes, second hand smoke, asbestos,radiation,herbicides/fertilizer,pesticides. Remember that you're dog is alot closer to the ground than you are...which makes them closer to breathing in fumes from spilled chemicals, new carpet (many contain large amounts of formaldehyde), carpet cleaner, fertilized lawns AND they do not wear shoes. They step on a lawn with fertilizer and or pesticides and it is absorbed through their paws. Have you ever had your house bombed (for fleas,bug,spiders) think about the film that is left over...and is now all over the carpet and furniture that your dog is lying on. I think it is probably best to just not bomb/debug your house unless you plan on washing carpets and floors all day afterwards:-)

The Diagnosis

You take your dog to the vet and  find out your dog may have cancer. First take a breath, drastic measures do not need to be made overnight. Your vet has told you your dog has the dreaded C word, yup cancer. Now it is time for a 2nd opinion. Make sure you get all your paperwork from your current vet and find yourself a Veterinary Oncologist. Search for an Oncologist HERE. Don't feel bad about seeking out a 2nd opinion, this is your fur baby we are talking about. Occasionally a vet....or a lab technician (YES!!!! an error in the results) may make a mistake....hence the 2nd opinion. If you haven't done so already, Read Suzanne Somers book "Knockout Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer".  (THERE IS HOPE!) Read  Chapter 18 BEFORE your dog goes in for surgery. Some key points from the chapter, surgery can spread cancer. There are things that can be done to reduce the risk of the cancer metastasis (cancer cell growth). During surgery, the natural barriers that contain the tumor to a specific area of the body are breached, enabling cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body. Surgery causes immune suppression while increasing inflammation (which gives cancer cells fuel). The body produces growth hormones to begin the healing process and in doing so aids the tumor cell growth. Citrus Pectin, Cimetidine, PSK, Garlic, glutamine, are recommended. Please read this chapter to fully understand what to use and more information about surgery, it will really help. It is related to human medicine BUT there is no reason it can't be interpreted for our beloved canines. Also some cancer can quickly spread from just the biopsy alone or  just touching the lump. So if your dog has a lump, try not to fiddle with it too much until you can get a proper diagnosis.  Also consider donating some tissue and blood samples to cancer researchers, check to see if they are researching your dog's specific cancer HERE. With everyone's help, maybe we can eliminate canine cancer for future generations!
AVOID giving prednisone until you have decided on a course of action. Giving prednisone before starting chemotherapy just makes the tumor more resistant to chemo drugs.

What is Cancer

Cancer can be defined as any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system or the blood stream. Cancer cells feed off of sugar, are fueled by iron and operate by anaerobic metabolism (the majority of of metabolism is aerobic (uses oxygen). Many cancers die in the early stages because they can't get enough energy to grow. "Cancer is a disease of the whole body and a tumor is just a symptom of the disease, so basically you've got to treat the whole body." (Suzanne Somers) Everyone has cancer cells in their body, but it takes billions to form a lump/tumor. An interesting tidbit about cancer patients, they all have thick blood. Cancer patients are very toxic hence the thick blood. To treat that you will need to thin the blood (this is where the enzymes can help). Increasing oxygen to the cells is paramount (since cancer uses anaerobic metabolism). You can possibly increase oxygen to the cells by  using the Joanne Budwig method. She as a biochemist who discovered the combination of cottage cheese and flaxseed oil could increase the oxygen supply to the cells. Also keeo your dog in shape, exercising increases oxygen in the blood.

The Cancer Diet

Under Construction

Some things to consider when formulating your cancer patients diet, how does cancer grow? Cancer thrives on sugar and some carbohydrates (grains,pasta,bread, rice,potatoes..which all end up turning into sugar in the body). Cancer cells cannot metabolize complex carbohydrates, fats or proteins. Canine cancer patients need a good quality fat and protein diet. NO KIBBLE, Switch your dog to raw or start cooking for him or her (not all dogs can tolerate raw).  Cancer is also fueled by iron, so take this into consideration when choosing your dogs protein source. Remember the body does require a certain amount of iron to make red blood cells. I just don't recommend giving Fido a healthy serving of beef every night,  stick with organic chicken 4 or more times a week and rotate other protein sources as well. Red meat is high in iron, particularly a highly absorbable  form of iron. Iron can trigger free radicals and create inflammation. Iron plays a big part in mortality,growth and aggressiveness of tumors. Don't let meat burn,don't let it get charred, because it produces carcinogenic chemicals that are potent. Now, when you do feed red meat, then feed it with vegetables, and they will dramatically reduce iron absorption. (Suzanne Somers). Flavonoids also decrease iron absorption.


Artemisinin- Join the yahoo group "Artemisinin for canine cancer". I really believe this herb specifically gave us 3 extra years with one of our dogs that had cancer. The herb works by binding with the iron in cancer cells. NOT recommended for lymphoma because I don't think it works for that type of cancer.

Avemar- They also have a yahoo group

Antioxidants-  avoid during chemotherapy

Curcumin- a flavonoid (Turmeric Extract), decreases inflammation Some dogs can't handle the curcumin, gives them upset tummy (vomiting, regurg,diarrhea) . Curcumin is absorbed best when fed with a small amount of fat. I put it in a raw egg (we have free range chickens). Increase curcumin gradually starting off with 1 tsp per day. Mix it in the eggs and also include just a pinch of turmeric. The turmeric and fat increase the absorption of the good stuff in curcumin. So far, the researchers have found that curcumin has had a positive effect on every tumor market they have tried. By the way, all of these studies involve the use of daily oral curcumin supplements that are readily available today. 

Vitamin D-   Make sure you dog gets 20 minutes of sunshine a day or add a supplement. The sunlight is a better option though:-) BE CAREFUL with this if you are feeding a strictly kibble diet as too much Vit D is toxic.

Vitamin C- If you are lucky enough to find a holistic vet or a vet that will humor you, ask for IV vitamin-c. Use about 30 grams IV for a Rott twice a week. My mother claims that she cured our Afghan Hound of mammary cancer (back in the 80's) with daily injectable vitamin-c and a soup that she made for her. The soup was a potassium rich soup which was simmered, it contained chicken parts, beets, potato skins, and carrots. The entire beet and carrot is used (keep the stems on). If you are unable to get your vet to administer IV vitamin C OR write you a prescription for injectable vitamin- c you can also try Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C . This form of vitamin-c is suppose to be more absorbable because it contains fat. I'm not trying to promote this vitamin-c (I don't get paid to do so:)) this is just the information I have obtained from my research. One gal whose dog had nasal cancer showed improvement with the Lypho-spheric vitamin c.

Enzyme Therapy (Digestive Enzymes)-All cancer is caused by chronic inflammation, Wobezyme is a natural anti-inflammatory and digestive aid, I give 2 tablets in a small piece of hotdog/pill pocket/butter/ect 45 minutes before each meal, the added benefit for the older dogs, it helps with arthritis! If your dog has cancer you will want to increase the amount of enzymes to help eat the tumor. 

Glutathione or GSH- a super antioxidant (avoid glutathione pills, as glutathione cannot be directly absorbed through the GI tract). Transdermal glutathione preparations
(such as Oxi-Cell and Super Oxi-Cell made by Apex Energetics, LIFEWAVE) and the use of glutathione precursors are best. Precursors include NAC (N-acetylcysteine), alpha lipoic acid, vitamin D, sulfur-rich foods, SAMe (s-adenosylmethionine). Diminished glutathione levels greatly elevate cellular vulnerability to oxidative stress.  I have read that increasing glutathione once a dog has cancer may actually spread the cancer quicker. Some people believe that the gluthathione helps both the good cells and the bad cells. SO I would recommend Glutathione be used as a preventative and not a cure OR do more research before giving it to your cancer dog.

Selenium/vitamin E (only mixed tocopherols rich in gamma tocopherol in a glycerine base—NOT soybean or canola oil!)

Filtered Water- Avoid water from plastic containers- plastic contains phthalates in it (which can cause breast cancer), do not feed or allow your dog to drink from a plastic bowl OR ceramic bowl (some contain lead) feed from stainless steel bowls only.

B-Vitamins- in particular B12, to help in stress reduction, reducing stress so the body can make more cancer fighting 2-methoxyestradiol. B12 can be administer via injection.


C-Statin- prevents metastasis

Fish Oil- (not cod liver oil)  with a minimum dosage of 180 EPA/120 DHA per 10 pounds of body weight, I recommend Omapure because it is tested by an outside company and is reasonably priced when you buy 3 bottles at a time.

L-Arginine- 500 mg 1-2 times daily


Extra supplemenations with Zinc AND Iron

The Nature of Animal Healing

Please comment

Add Comment
  • Danny


    I had to put my rotti dw today he had to tumors in his leg and belly hardest thing i ever did
    I had to put my rotti dw today he had to tumors in his leg and belly hardest thing i ever did

You are visitor number: 565