This post may contain affiliate links.

I'm not a veterinarian. The steps I'm using to help my dog are based on research, discussions with his oncologist, and personal experience with my dogs.

My dog was diagnosed with canine lymphoma in February 2021. I'm combining traditional and holistic treatments to beat the cancer and, so far, it's working! Here's my regimen.

One of our dogs was diagnosed with canine lymphoma in February 2021 and I immediately went into research mode, hoping to learn that, unlike hemangiosarcoma, canine lymphoma was a breeze and easily beat.

Yeah, no such luck. Cancer is cancer and every dog will respond differently and I was left praying that we'd have better luck than we did with Sydney because (1) we caught it early and (2) Scout has been raw fed since he was six weeks old and he's being raised by an insane dog mom (me).

Yesterday, we wrapped up chemo-cycle three of four of his CHOP protocol and Scout is doing great! We've been getting positive reports from the oncologist throughout this journey and yesterday, I received the best news.

Not only is Scout still in remission, but he's also one of a few patients that are still in remission. I would love to compare notes with the other dogs to see what I'm doing differently, but that's not possible. Instead, I trust that the steps I'm taking with Scout are working and I'm excited to share this with others.

But first…

What is Canine Lymphoma?

“Canine lymphomas are a diverse group of cancers, and are among the most common cancers diagnosed in dogs. They collectively represent approximately 7-14% of all cancers diagnosed in dogs. There are over 30 described types of canine lymphoma, and these cancers vary tremendously in their behavior. Some progress rapidly and are acutely life-threatening without treatment, while others progress very slowly and are managed as chronic, indolent diseases. Lymphomas may affect any organ in the body, but most commonly originate in lymph nodes, before spreading to other organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.”

~ Source: Purdue University

What Was the First Sign of Cancer?

After losing Sydney, I became very paranoid about my dogs and would massage their bodies weekly and one weekend, I felt a lump in Scout's throat and immediately set up an appointment. It was lymphoma – B-cell, Stage 3.

The survival time of dogs with B-cell lymphoma is about twice that of a dog with T-cell lymphoma, however, there are so many factors to consider that I chose to focus on Scout's diet, keeping his immune system and liver (and kidneys) healthy, while keeping the cancer cells at bay.

Why I Chose Chemotherapy to Treat Canine Lymphoma?

Whenever I see a discussion on social media about cancer and someone pipes in about how they would never subject their dog to chemotherapy, I shake my head and keep scrolling. Personally, I think this is an insensitive and shortsighted thing to say to someone who is facing a cancer diagnosis. In my research, I learned that canine lymphoma is very responsive to chemotherapy and while there are several routes one can take (including choosing not to do chemo), the one that is most effective with canine lymphoma is the CHOP protocol.

I chose to start chemo immediately instead of trying prednisone first and then going to chemo later because my research showed that this could inhibit the effectiveness of the chemo; this was backed up our oncologist.

The CHOP protocol is a series of four appointments (a different chemo drug for each appointment) that repeats four times (we just finished 3 of 4). The reason for all the meds is because canine lymphoma adapts to the chemo drugs, so the CHOP protocol is hitting the chemo with different drugs, not allowing the cancer to adapt and spread.

The CHOP protocol is kind of like whack-a-mole.

Scout went into remission within the first month (the first cycle) of chemo and has remained there. In my reading, I learned that most dogs that go through the CHOP protocol will go into remission, which will last about a year or more. A small percentage of dogs will remain in remission for several years. And an even small percentage will be cured (no detectable signs of cancer in the body).

The following are five additional steps I'm taking to cure my dog's canine lymphoma.

1 – Fresh Food Diet for Canine Lymphoma

Because of the chemotherapy, Scout's oncologist wanted me to take him off of raw and cook his food instead. I was tempted to do this, using Dr. Harvey's Paradigm to create a “balanced” diet, but with all that I know about raw feeding, I didn't want to walk away from a diet that works. So I switched Scout from DIY raw feeding to Answers Pet Food for several months. Today, Scout now eats a combination of DIY raw dog food and Answers Pet Food and he's thriving.

Examples of meals that I feed to Scout include:

Raw Meal #1 with Answers Pet Food

  • 6 ounces of Answers Pet Food (chicken, turkey, or pork)
  • 2 chicken feet (by Answers Pet Food) or 2 duck feet
  • 1 pasture-raised raw chicken egg (fed every other day)
  • 3 tablespoons of fermented fish stock (or turkey stock or bone broth)
  • 2 tablespoons of my veggie mix

Raw Meal #2 with DIY Raw and Answers Pet Food

  • 4 ounces of Answers Pet Food
  • 6-7 ounces of DIY Raw Dog Food
  • 2 chicken feet (by Answers Pet Food) or 2 duck feet
  • 1 pasture-raised raw chicken egg
  • 3 tablespoons of fermented fish stock (or turkey stock or bone broth)
  • 2 tablespoons of my veggie mix

Raw Meal #3 with DIY Raw Dog Food

  • 13 ounces of DIY Raw Dog Food (APF is higher in fat=more calories=less fed than DIY)
  • 2 duck feet
  • 1 pasture-raised raw chicken egg
  • 3 tablespoons of fermented fish stock (or turkey stock or bone broth)
  • 2 tablespoons of my veggie mix

My plan was to feed 100% Answers Pet Food, however, with the corporate shake up, I stoked up on Answers and I'm stretching out what I have to last through the summer (Scout finishes chemo the first weekend of August).

I fast Scout once or twice a week. Alternating between a raw goat's milk fast (that's all he eats that day) and a true fast (no food for 24 hours). This will continue post chemo treatment.

2 – Supplements for Canine Lymphoma

The following supplements were chosen to help combat canine lymphoma while supporting Scout's immune system and gut health during chemo and beyond. I add the following to his dish 5 days a week.

From Long Living Pets Research Project:


I don't add antioxidants to Scout's diet because there are studies that show that antioxidants protect both healthy cells and cancer cells, which can inhibit the success of the chemo treatments. After Scout finishes the CHOP protocol, I will then start adding a supplement mix that I give to my other dogs (blog post coming soon) that is high in antioxidants.

3 – CBD Oil Protocol for Canine Lymphoma

Scout gets CBD oil 2 to 3 times daily – every day because my goal is to keep the benefits of CBD oil working in his system and I can do this by keeping concentration levels high. Not only does the CBD oil make the chemotherapy more effective while decreasing side effects (diarrhea with Scout), CBD oil also…

  • supports dogs living with disease
  • supports aging dogs (Rodrigo also gets CBD oil 2-3x daily)
  • slows the growth of cancer cells/tumors while killing cancer cells
  • calms dogs with anxiety
  • alleviates pain, including joint pain and arthritis

How I Give CBD Oil to Scout

The easiest way to give CBD oil is to put 1/2 of a dropper full in the palm of my hand and allow Scout to lick it up – it goes right into his mouth and is absorbed directly through his gums. But sometimes he's not interested so I either put the dropper in his mouth along side his cheeks/gums OR I massage it into his ears. I DO NOT put CBD oil down his ear canal, I just massage it into the interior of the top section of his ears.

What CBD Oil I Give to Scout

Right now, Scout is primarily getting CBD Dog Health because I've run out of the other brands that I give to my dogs. CBD Dog Health HEAL is specific for dogs with cancer and autoimmune diseases.

As soon as CannaPet has a BOGO sale, I'll be stocking up on their Advanced MaxCBD capsules, which I will also add to his meals twice daily (2 capsules).

This CBD regimen will continue post chemotherapy.

4 – Essential Oil Protocol for Canine Lymphoma

I use essential oils to freshen the house (I'm diffusing a floral scent as I type) and improve my mood and calm my anxiety. Although there is an encyclopedia's worth of benefits essential oils bring to the table, I didn't take full advantage of them until I started using animalEO essential oils.

These oils work!!!

So, it was a no brainer for me to create a regimen for using Dr. Shelton's oils to help my dog battle canine lymphoma.

AromaBoost RTU Collection

The AromaBoost RTU Collection by animalEO is a powerful treatment, according to the website, and it includes five bottles that we're to use in order to help put our dogs' system into balance. I apply the oils (from the base of the tail to right before the neck) every Monday.

Boost in a Bottle

Because Scout has cancer, I want to make sure he get's as much support as possible, so I use Boost in a Bottle (a more condensed version of the AromaBoost collection) once or twice a week (Thursday and Saturday).

Diffusing animalEO Essential Oils

I also diffuse oils daily in the house to create a happy and calm atmosphere. My preferred oils are:

I also diffuse organic frankincense oil and (from Plant Therapy).

When it comes to essential oils, it may be tempting to go cheap, but don't. Quality is important and the cheap oils that are lining store shelves will either do nothing or they'll cause harm. To avoid breaking the bank with my essential oil obsession, I only shop during the Flash Sales, waiting for discounts to stock up on the oils that I need.

5 – Canine Lymphoma isn't a Death Sentence – So Be Happy

And, finally, Scout doesn't know he has cancer. Scout isn't acting like he has cancer. So we celebrate life with him on a daily basis. He loves going on walks with his dog walker – he and Scout go on their bro-walk twice weekly. I take the dogs out for exploring, walks, and swims daily.

Our goal is to keep him active, in shape, and happy and, so far, we're doing a bang up job.

Doing this also keeps our spirits up too. I truly believe that dogs take in our energy and if we're always stressed, then Scout will be stressed as well. So, if I'm having a stressful day, I work it out and move on because I don't want my dog's health to suffer because I'm in a crappy mood.

I stocked up on his favorite toys and he (and the other dogs) are having a great summer!!!

All of these toys are great for outdoor exercise and Scout loves them.

What About Acupuncture?

Studies have shown that acupuncture helps alleviate the side effects of chemo. Acupuncture can also offer pain relief, boost the immune system, and improve a dog's quality of life.

I would love to add acupuncture to the list of things I'm doing for Scout, however, as long as veterinarians are making pet parents sit in the parking lot, I'm not going to add another vet appointment where Scout and I are separated. He already needs to be lightly sedated for his chemo treatments. I don't want to add more stress to his life while he's going through chemo.

Once veterinarian offices open up, I will find an acupuncturist in my area who can help Scout. For now, I'm counting on the CBD oil and essential oils to provide the support he needs.

Wow! If you're still reading this, then thank you. I know this is all so overwhelming and I'm sharing my steps to help others. I don't know if all of these will work for your dog, but, if you're like me, then you're ready to throw everything at your dog to beat the cancer so I pray that others have the same success that I've had with Scout doing the things I recommended in this blog post.

I'm not a veterinarian. I'm simply a woman who loves her dogs.

My dog was diagnosed with canine lymphoma in February 2021. I'm combining traditional and holistic treatments to beat the cancer and, so far, it's working! Here's my regimen.

Read More About Canine Cancer

Pin It on Pinterest