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A higher concentration of calcium chloride is likely counterproductive. Our experience using 20% calcium chloride in alcohol in a lipoma resulted in complications. By 24-48 hours after the injection, the mass may be shrunk by half, but the skin ruptured, creating a draining wound that had to be treated with antibiotics. Severe complications may result in surgical excision. It may be that the body cannot absorb the lipoma adequately using the 20% calcium chloride, but more research is needed to clarify this issue.
Other nonsurgical injections to treat lipomas have been attempted. A study in 2005 by Rotunda and colleagues evaluated deoxycholate, a bile salt, to treat lipomas in human patients. They reported an average of 75% reduction in tumor size after 2 or more injections, and concluded that this injectable treatment might be useful for small lipomas, but that further research was needed. Steroid injection (triamcinolone acetonide at a dose of 40 mg/mL) was also used to treat lipomas in dogs (Lamagna et al., 2012). Nine of 15 tumors showed a complete regression, with shrinkage in the remaining dogs with only minor complications.
Veterinarians can order the solution from a sterile-filling-capable compounding pharmacy by requesting “20% (w/v) Calcium Chloride Dihydrate, USP in Ethyl Alcohol 190 proof, USP.”
Calcium chloride dihydrate solution, which is used as a testicular injection to shrink the testes for nonsurgical neuter, may be an option for tumor bulk reduction too. The first known report of this use was in 1977 by Koger. Besides allowing veterinarians to offer their clients an anesthesia-free treatment for older dogs, calcium chloride solution has the advantage of being made from readily available ingredients and thus being an option for use in exceedingly low-resource or remote settings. It provides an option for treating animals that otherwise wouldn’t get treated.
Please note: This method is considered experimental and will not cure cancerous tumors. It should be used only under a veterinarian’s care. Parsemus Foundation is not currently conducting research on this technique.
If you are a veterinarian who offers calcium chloride or other injectable tumor reduction treatments, please sign up for our Veterinary Directory and let us know of your experience. If you are interested in collecting research data on the use of calcium chloride solution for tumor bulk reduction, please contact us.
An injection of calcium chloride solution has been shown to reduce the size of benign tumors in dogs. Other chemical solutions have also been used successfully in canine and human patients. This method shows promise in treating tumors without surgery, but more research is needed to develop methods that avoid complications and standardize practice.