Cancer in pets seems to be on the rise…
You can protect your pet from cancer…
It's not difficult. However, no matter what measures you take, they do not guarantee that your pet won't eventually get cancer. Why? Because once your pet hits 10 years of age, he has a 50% chance of dying from cancer.
I know…I lost a dog to brain cancer when she was 13-years old in spite of a lifetime of holistic care. Even so, it is not unusual today to hear of very young pets getting cancer and going through treatments to prolong their lives.
The most common cancers are leukemias, osteosarcomas, lymphoma, mast cell and hemangiosarcoma. The breeds most likely to have cancer are Golden Retrievers, Boxers and large-breed dogs that are most often affected by bone cancers.
What is being done? The Morris Animal Foundation is conducting the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study by following 3000 Golden Retrievers over their lifetime.
Factors that can contribute to cancer include genetics, epigenetics, and external factors. You can lower your level of fear about your pet getting cancer by considering your pet's overall state of health and following these 7 simple tips to protect your pet from cancer.
Dr. Marty Goldstein has learned that the real healer of your pet with cancer is your pet with cancer…not science…so we should let nature do what nature knows to do. I cannot agree more.
FOLLOW THESE 7 SIMPLE TIPS
1. You Are What You Eat So Provide Healthy Foods
Some holistic vets and some breeders are promoting raw food diets as what nature intended. The bacteria in raw food can stimulate the immune system.
Not all pets like raw food and some may not acclimate to it at all. They may not be able to handle the digestibility required.
Some dogs, like my own, may have severe diarrhea on raw food because dogs are used to having cooked food now for generations.
Another thing to keep in mind is that cooked vegetables are more digestible. Even in the wild, the vegetables are “cooked” within the prey.
Mycotoxins are a very potent carcinogen and a mutagen. Mycotoxin contamination in pet foods may be the largest concern in the pet food industry today. These are what caused so many pets to die in 2007.
What can you do? Feed a diet that doesn't contain any cereal grains, especially corn, wheat and soy. If the food does have limited grains, call the manufacturer and ask for proof of testing for mycotoxin exposure. Even premium foods can be contaminated with mycotoxins.
Avoid These Ingredients That Are Considered Harmful
- Food additives
- Artificial preservatives such as BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin and TBHQ
- Conventional foods that are treated with pesticides and herbicides
- Genetically modified foods (GMOs)
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that can oxidize quickly
- Antioxidants such as propylene glycol and calcium propionate
- Nutrient deficient foods
- Sugar, starches and carbohydrates that feed cancer.
2. Add Key Supplements
Purified fish oil is still highly recommended by holistic vets. Choose a fish oil with an IFOS rating of 5. Fish oils that come in a pump bottle should be avoided because they can turn rancid quickly through oxidation.
The Omega 3 fatty acids supply energy to the body, starve the energy to cancer and protect against wasting. Remember that cancer is a wasting disease and losing weight is one of the first indicators that your pet may have cancer.
Digestive enzymes help digest and pre-digest foods. If you are not feeding raw food, use a premium commercial food that guarantees the viability of the enzymes in the food. If you are adding enzymes to the diet, do so 15 minutes before the meal.
Whole food supplements should contain a broad array of naturally nutritious ingredients from real food to help maintain overall health. These nutrients sourced from foods can include chicken liver, cranberries, carrots, eggs, pineapples and many others.
Selenium reportedly cuts cancer in half.
Add Vitamin D3 supplement if blood levels are low in this vitamin. These levels must be correct to control gene expression. A low level alone does not cause cancer. There have been 34,000 studies on the value of this vitamin.
3. The Importance of Herbs
Parsley, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary and Garlic should be a part of your pet's diet.
Anticancer herbs include: Astragalus, Hoxsey, Essiac, Neoplasene, Mistletoe, and Yunnan Baiyao (given for Hemangiosarcoma cancer). Aloe Vera improves digestion and speeds up intestinal detoxification.
Dr. Patricia Jordan, DVM and a TCVM Practitioner recommends these foods to help the good bacteria flourish in the gut: chili peppers, mushrooms, garlic, spirulina, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, fermented food and broccoli sprout powder.
Medicinal mushrooms are all the rage now. These include Shitake, Maitake, Coriolus and Chaga. You can simmer the mushrooms for a couple of hours and give them to your pets in tea.
Dr. Marty Goldstein is producing a documentary on mushrooms at his clinic so watch for it.
3. Pure Water is the First and Best Medicine
You hear it all the time when you are ailing…drink more water!
Alkaline water is being promoted for human health, but we don't know the answer yet for animals. The diet for dogs is different than for humans.
So what can you do for your pet? Use filtered water. Dr. Jordan recommends Berkeley's water filters or reverse osmosis water from Whole Foods.
Osteosarcoma affects nearly 10,000 dogs in the US every year. The National Resource Council reports that excessive fluoride is linked to weak bones, bone fractures, reproductive damage, neurotoxicity, hormonal disruption and bone cancer.
Fluorides are also in pet foods but you can reduce the level your pet takes in by providing safer drinking water.
4. A Healthy Lifestyle
Our own sedentary lifestyle can lead to health issues for our pets. There have been studies suggesting that obese dogs tend to have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancers, including a particular type of cancer of the urinary bladder.
Dogs who were obese at one year of age were at greater risk of developing mammary tumors. There are plenty of activities that you can do with your pet today to stimulate the mind and keep the body active.
There are fantastic cat condos and play jungles that you can incorporate into your household decor to keep your cat on the move.
5. When should you spay or neuter?
Wait before you spay and neuter until your pup is at least 18 months old to prevent bone cancer, especially in larger breeds.
A 2013 published study at UC Davis shows a relationship between hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma and mast cell tumors and neutering.
An article on Catster by Dr. Barchas also weighs the pros and cons of spaying and neutering your cat and he advises to wait until the males are fully grown but not sexually mature.
6. Limit the vaccines.
States have different laws on what vaccines are required and when. The aluminum adjuvant in vaccines can cause cancer at the injection site.
Follow the protocol set out by Dr. Jean Dodds and opt for vaccine titers once your pet has received the initial core vaccines.
You can assist in the removal of associated vaccine side effects without removing any vaccine benefits by using a homeopathic remedy containing thuja and silicea.
7. Clean Your Environment
Get rid of all the carcinogens in your pets' environment. Studies show that pets that live in homes with tobacco smokers have a higher cotinine level in their urine. Cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, is an established biologic marker of environment tobacco smoke exposure (ETS) in humans. Since tobacco particles linger on carpets and pet fur, it is best for any smokers in your family to either quit smoking or smoke outside.
When I had my grooming salon, I always felt sorry for the Shih Tsu that lived with two people who both smoked heavily because her coat was yellow and held the stench of smoke even though she was groomed regularly.
If your pet is experiencing the effects of environmental tobacco smoke, you will too. Short nosed breeds like the Shih Tsu and Boxer have less filtration of cigarette smoke in the nasal cavity than the long-nosed breeds.
Another factor that can increase the cotinine level is the use of owner-applied lawn care chemicals which have also been associated with the risk of cancer in previous studies in dogs. Lawn care chemical use is potentially an important source of nicotine exposure in dogs otherwise unexposed to ETS.
Limit the use of flea and tick products. According to the EPA, laboratory testing of fipronil, found in spot-on products causes thyroid cancer and altered thyroid hormones.
What can you use instead? Mix Diatomaceous Earth, NEEM and Yarrow together and gently rub the dust into your dog's coat so it doesn't irritate the mucosa.
Store chemicals, toxic materials and pesticides in a place away from your pets. Use vinegars, herb infusions and essential oils to clean. It is healthier to use ceramic or metal feeding and water bowls.
Pets can be impacted by our own emotions because they are also emotional beings. You can use flower essences and music to relax them. You may see your own emotional state reflected in your pet's behavior. Thankfully, our pets teach us to live in the moment with gratitude.
Review these 7 simple tips to protect your pet from cancer throughout his lifetime. The body is resilient enough to heal itself when given what it needs.
“The Nature of Animal Healing” by Dr. Marty Goldstein
“One Answer to Cancer” by William Donald Kelley, DDS
“Veterinary Herbal Medicine” by Susan Wynn and Barbara Fougere
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