3 Holistic Options for Dog Mast Cell Tumors

3 Holistic Options for Dog Mast Cell TumorsWhat are Mast Cell Tumors?

Mast cell tumors are the most common skin tumors in dogs.

Mast cell tumor is dog cancer of a particular type blood cell normally involved in the body’s allergic or inflammatory responses.

Mast cell tumors most commonly affect the skin, but can also affect other organs such as the spleen, liver, digestive system, and bone marrow.

Boston terriers, boxers, bulldogs, and pugs are more likely to develop mast cell tumors than other breeds.

The exact cause of mast cell tumors is unknown.

3 Holistic Options for Mast Cell Tumors

Dr. Marc Smith recommends either one, or a combination of the following options, to treat mast cell tumors in dogs.

Treatment varies depending on the dog’s individual needs.

Oral Neoplasene – Oral Neoplasene is a liquid herbal veterinary medicine extracted from the bloodroot plant that is used to treat cancer in dogs. Neoplasene dosing is based on body weight and usually given prior to feeding twice daily.

Max’s Formula – Max’s Formula is a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) herbal blend that treats tumors and lumps in dogs, cats, and horses. Max’s Formula is a blend of eight different herbs specifically chosen to address the root causes of lumps and tumors. The blend is available in bulk powder, capsules, and teapills. Max’s Formula is dosed according to weight and given with food twice daily.

Stasis Breaker – Stasis Breaker is a TCVM herbal blend that treats neoplasia, nodules, and tumors in dogs, cats, and horses. Stasis Breaker is a blend of six different herbs specifically chosen to address the root causes of neoplasia and nodules. This herbal blend is available in bulk powder, capsules, and teapills. Stasis Breaker is dosed according to weight and given with food twice daily.

Continued indefinitely, treatment with these products successfully slows and/or halts the progression of mast cell tumors for many of our patients.

Read The Pet Owner’s Guide to Dog Cancer

Does Your Dog Have Cushing’s Disease? This Holistic Option Can Help!

Does Your Dog Have Cushing's Disease? This Can Help!

If your dog has Cushing’s disease, there

Cushing’s disease, also called hyperadrenocorticism, is a disorder in which the adrenal gland produces too much cortisol.

Anatomically, the adrenal glands are two triangular shaped glands located adjacent to the kidneys.

The outer layer, called the cortex, primarily produces three hormones:

  • Cortisol – regulates metabolic activity and the immune system
  • Aldosterone – blood pressure and water metabolism
  • Sex hormones – estrogen and progesterone

The inner layer, called the medulla, primarily produces two hormones:

  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine

Two forms of Cushing’s disease exist in dogs.

Typical Cushing’s Disease

The first form is called typical Cushing’s. In typical Cushing’s disease,  the adrenal cortex produces too much cortisol resulting in irregular metabolic and immune system activity.

Typical Cushing’s is most often caused by hypersecretion of ACTH from the pituitary gland, a gland located at the base of the brain.

For this reason, Cushing’s disease originating from the pituitary gland is termed pituitary-dependent Cushing’s.  As many as 80% of dogs diagnosed with Cushing’s are labeled as pituitary-dependent.

The other 20% of the time, tumors in the adrenal glands are the cause of Cushing’s disease.

This situation is called adrenal-dependent Cushing’s.

Atypical Cushing’s Disease

The second form of Cushing’s disease is called atypical Cushing’s Disease. Atypical Cushing’s disease was recently discovered, and occurs when the adrenal cortex produces an excess of steroid hormones. The excess steroid hormones produce symptoms similar to the symptoms of typical Cushing’s.

Both typical and atypical Cushing’s disease affects mostly middle age to older dogs of all breeds.

Males and females are affected equally.

Melatonin and Lignans Treatment for Cushing’s Disease and Atypical Cushing’s Disease

A general guideline for dosing melatonin is:

  • 1.5 mg for dogs under 25 pounds of body weight once or twice daily
  • 3 mg for an average medium to large sized dog once or twice daily
  • 6 mg if the dog’s weight exceeds 100 lbs once or twice daily
  • Research recommends not exceeding a melatonin dosage of 3-6mg every 8-12 hours.

According to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, the suggested dosing for lignans is:

  • SDG flax hull lignans – 1 mg per pound of body weight
  • HMR lignans – total doses of 10 mg – 4 mg daily should be adequate for small to large dogs

A high quality, cost-effective supplier of these supplements is Swanson Vitamins.

Learn more about Cushing’s disease and Atypical Cushing’s Disease:

Melatonin and Lignan Supplements Treat Atypical Cushing’s Disease in Dogs
Melatonin and Lignan Treatment for Atypical Cushing’s Disease in Dogs
Melatonin and Lignan Cushing’s Treatment

How to Give Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) to Your Dog

How to Give Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to Your Dog

You may want to know how to give Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to your dog if he or she suffers from:

  • Seasonal allergy symptoms
  • Skin allergy symptoms
  • Anxiety while traveling
  • Itchy insect bites
  • Reactions to poison oak or poison ivy
  • Other itchy, allergy like situations

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an over-the-counter pharmaceutical often used to treat dog allergies.

Diphenhydramine is the generic name for the name brand product Benadryl.

Before giving Benadryl (diphenhydramine) to your dog, always double check the package label and make sure the only active ingredient in the product is diphenhydramine.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) relieves dog allergy symptoms such as runny noses and watery eyes.

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can also be used to reduce anxiety and motion sickness when traveling.

Drowsiness is a common side effect of Benadryl (diphenhydramine).

The standard recommended Benadryl (diphenhydramine) dosage for dogs is 1 mg/lb every 8 to 12 hours, given two to three times daily.

We recommend starting at 1/2 the standard dose, to see if the lower dose works to alleviate the symptoms. If symptoms are no alleviated in 30-40 minutes, add the difference to obtain the full dose.

A single dose can be doubled to 2mg/lb if needed.

Double-dosing is usually done in emergency situations, such as your dog suffering a snake bite or digging up a wasp nest.

The standard dose in a Benadryl (diphenhydramine) tablet is 25 mg.

If you have a small dog, you may need to purchase children’s or infant Benadryl to obtain the correct dose. Remember, always look a the label!

Benadryl (diphenhydramine)usually takes approximately 30 minutes to start working.

If you’re using it to treat anxiety in dogs or to prevent motion sickness administer the medicine 30 minutes before the stressful event or journey is expected.

Note: You shouldn’t give any medication to your dog without first checking with your vet! Dosages can differ depending on our dog’s breed, medical history, and other factors.

Read The Pet Owner’s Guide to Dog Allergies

Dog ACL Injury? 5 Things You Need to Know!

Dog ACL Injury? 4 Things You Need to Know!Caring for a dog with an ACL injury can be a daunting experience!

Specialists chant “Surgery! Surgery!” as your dog limps and your wallet screams in pain.

Make sure you do your research–you may have more options than you originally considered!



If your dog suffers from only a partial cruciate ligament tear, he or she may not need surgery.

You will need to visit a veterinarian to understand the severity of your dog’s ACL injury.

Sometimes limiting activity as the leg heals will resolve an ACL tear.

For partial tears, prolotherapy is often an excellent option in lieu of surgery.

Learn more:

Learn More About Prolotherapy for Partial ACL Tears in Large Mix Breed Dogs



If surgery is needed to treat your dog’s ACL injury, you still may have several options to choose from.

Not all vet clinics explain all of the options.

Some types of surgery have more complications than other types of surgery.

Likewise, the complications of some types of surgery much more drastic than the complications of other types of surgery.

You need someone to explain all of the different options and possible outcomes to you, and also tell you how each choice relates to your dog’s particular situation.

Dr. Marc Smith makes a point to explain all of the options and details during every consultation.

Learn more:

Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) Surgery for Dogs

Surgical Correction of Cruciate Tear and Patella Luxation in Dog

Dog Cranial Cruciate Surgery



Physical therapy after surgery is mandatory for your dog to achieve expected range of motion and use of his or her leg.

We teach you to do physical therapy, so that you can perform the exercises at home with your dog.

You start with simple range of motion exercises right after surgery and move on rebuilding exercises later on.

Physical therapy training is a part of our clinic’s surgery package and incurs no additional cost to you.

Learn more:

Post Surgery Rehabilitation for Dogs: Cranial Cruciate Surgery



Statistics report that 50% of dogs that tear the one cruciate ligament will tear the opposite side sometime in their lifetime.

However, derived from years of in-clinic experience, Dr. Smith estimates the statistic to be actually more like 70%.

There are several options available to prevent your dog from tearing the other ligament.

Learn more:

Prevent Your Dog from Tearing the Good Knee Ligament After Surgery



Dr. Marc Smith has treated hundreds of dogs with ACL injuries.

Many with surgery, some with other options.

If you dog suffers from an ACL injury or cruciate disease, please let us know!

We will work you in quickly for a consultation.


Homemade Vinegar Rinse for Itchy Pets

vinegar, dog itching, cat itching, skin

Got an itchy, scratchy dog or cat?

Our Homemade Vinegar Rinse for Itchy Pets is a great solution for pet’s allergies or skin irritation!

Making a vinegar rinse or spray is very easy and inexpensive.

Homemade Vinegar Rinse Recipe:

1 part water
1 part vinegar
Optional: Add few drops of lavender essential oil.

  • Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle or covered container. 
  • Apply generously to affected areas 2-3 times daily.
  • Mixture can be either sprayed or dowsed on with a cloth. (Use whichever method is least stressful for your pet.) 
  • Be very generous, use a lot!

Vinegar is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and will help to restore proper pH to your pet’s skin.

If you add lavender essential oil to the mix, you pet will benefit from lavender’s additional analgesic, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.

If your dog has open sores and acts like the solution stings, just add more water to the mixture.