A 5-year-old male Labrador retriever was presented for traditional Chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) evaluation and treatment after a diagnosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma of the right rostral mandible. The large tumor (5x4x1 cm) displaced the right mandibular canine tooth, lower incisors and extended ventrally under the tongue. A guarded prognosis had been given by an oncologist with an estimate of 3-6 months survival with palliative care. With the dog’s quality of life the most important consideration, the owner elected to try an integrative medicine approach combining piroxicam, tramadol and TCVM. The TCVM treatment strategies focused on tonifying Spleen Qi, and moving Qi and Blood. Chinese herbal therapy and food therapy were instituted as the central components of the treatment plan. A specifically-designed home-cooked diet was started to tonify Qi, resolve Stagnation and transform Phlegm. Emphasis was placed on food therapy as good nutrition has been shown to increase survival times in humans and animals with cancer. Over a 4-6 month treatment period, clinical signs steadily improved with resolution of the visible oral mass and the pain associated with it. The dog maintained an excellent quality of life for 56 months after the initial diagnosis. This case highlights an excellent clinical outcome for a dog with poor prognosis for long-term survival through an integrative approach using TCVM therapies.
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