I'm a little late to this thread, but October 2020 my 4 year old (at the time) chocolate lab was diagnosed with Mast Cell Tumors that were cancerous. $1500 later we were able to determine that they had spread to her lymphatic system.
The proposed plan involved about $18,000 (that's not a typo) of surgeries, chemo, and radiation that would ultimately likely lead to a 2-3 year life expectancy and maybe living the rest of that on three legs.
I spent a lot of time rolling in guilt. The bump on her elbow was initially diagnosed as a hygroma (it wasn't). I knew she had a bump that didn't look right, but didn't get a second opinion.
Armed with that knowledge I decided to ask for a second opinion and placed a value on the quality of her life more than the quantity. My wife and I agreed that we would trade one healthy year for 2-3 years of surgeries, amputations, and a sick pup. We connected up with a good practical doctor who specializes more on farm animals on less on yuppie lap dogs with $100 haircuts. In short she knows how to care for a horse...and when to shoot it, same for dogs.
To make a long story short, we settled on a very conservative treatment plan that involves good old fashion over the counter Benedryl and one tiny 5mg Prednisone every other day. The real kicker is we switched her to a raw food meat-based diet. She eats essentially zero carbs so no fruit and no vegetables except brassicas and the rest is meat, with a focus on meaty bones and organs. This approach keeps her body in ketosis which has offset any negative effects of her treatment including diabetes and weight gain which is very prevalent with long term steroid use. Also, there are plenty of studies and schools of thought that cancer cells thrive in a high sugar and acidic environment. Keeping her in ketosis and feeding her alkaline rich foods theoretically helps her body fight her cancer.
We are 1.5 years post diagnosis and 2 years post appearance and the cancer has not spread or grown. The raw feeding takes a bit of work and it is expensive, but it still feels like a lot less work and a whole heck of a lot less money than the surgery, radiation, and chemo approach.