Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

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More Raw Ideas on Dog Cancer

Hello again everyone.

I would like to continue an examination of the use of raw diets for dogs with cancer, started in the last post.

As concerned, anxious, and sometimes devastated human beings dealing with dog cancer, it is only natural to try to do everything you can to get an edge. And of course, what your loved dog eats can get pretty concerning.

A natural response to the dog food question is to go all natural, staying away from artificial ingredients and processed foods.  I would like to give some information on this topic.

I think sometimes we want to fix a situation, set a target, and act, all in response to a desperate need.  Occasionally, having done this at certain points in my own life, I realized that we can make errors if we act too quickly to fulfill our needs.

Often this is more of a reaction then it is a choice.

Taking a bit of time to arm ourselves with information that can fortify our decision-making process before we act produces better outcomes.  In the end, it yields major gains in our successes.

Diet can fit into this category. So let’s look at a few things related to raw nutrition for dogs with cancer.

Like I said in the last post, dogs with systemic (or presently incurable) cancers exist in a different metabolic state than normal dogs.  They are not the same.  One of the features of this shift is immune compromise, making them susceptible to germs found in older, packaged meats, especially ground meats.

Another item that should be noted is that the digestion of dogs is different from that of other animals.  They lack certain enzymes that are useful in digesting vegetables, such as cellulases. They also have pretty short intestines.

This means that the vast majority of fresh veggies that are consumed by dogs pass through without being digested at all. If you don’t believe me, feed your dog a small amount of uncooked veggies and, if you dare, inspect the stool over the course of the next several days.

These uncooked vegetables will pass right through without being digested.

However, it turns out that vegetables contain certain flavonoids that are essential for turning on a process called apoptosis, which is healthy, normal, cell death.  This process is absent in cancer cells.

Cancer cells lack the normal process of apoptosis and attempt to live forever at the expense of your dog’s body. Inducing this process is a goal of new anticancer drugs.

In nature, dogs get vegetable matter from the lining of the stomach and intestine of prey that normally eat plants.  This is the first thing they go for after bringing down a prey animal in the hunt.

Veggies should be steamed, sprouted, or fermented to make them digestible for dogs. They need to be broken down a little, so they become like the pre-digested foods found in the digestive tract of dogs’ natural prey.

If you are interested in making food for your dog in your own kitchen,  in  The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, I discuss recipes for you to prepare natural, healthful home-cooked meals appropriate for dogs with cancer.

Best

Dr D

About the Author: Demian Dressler, DVM


Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM is known as the "dog cancer vet" and is author of Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog's Life Quality and Longevity. Visit his blog and sign up free to get the latest information about canine cancer. Go to http://www.DogCancerBlog.com.

  • Susan

    Dr. D

    Please help guide me. I am so confused, overwhelmed and alone in this fight for my dog; I do not know what to do.

    My dog has been through so much. The first growth removed turned out to be a grade II MCT. I then went to UGA to meet with the oncologist. They did an ultrasound and X-rays and found a mass on his spleen.

    After apologizing on what to do, I opted for a second surgery to remove his spleen, and do a scar revision. During the abdominal surgery, they found an omental mass. That mass is diagnosed as a hemangiosarcoma, the splenic mass was not cancerous and the scar revision showed all the MCT was not removed in the first surgery.

    So now, the recommendation is a different Chemo treatment than previously discussed for the MCT, but I just am not sure.

    I wish money were not a factor. I am beginning to shy away from trying Chemo.

    I keep re-reading your book. I will start the diet and supplements, now that all his staples have been removed and he has recovered from the surgery. I am wondering if you or anyone out there that has experienced a similar situation and can help direct me.

    I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you,

    Susan

  • Susan

    Dr. Dressler,
    I’m pouring through your book, as the result of our Weimaraner, Shadow being diagnosed with cancerous growths in his chest cavity, near his heart and lungs. Shadow is happy and in great shape so far, and we intend to do all we can to help his system fight back against these intruders.

    Do you have any information about Beres Drops? I’ve been told, and have read, that they are powerful allies in helping the immune system attack cancer cells in the body, but I can’t find a reference to tell me whether they are appropriate for use in dogs.

    Any info.? Thank you so much for everything. I wish I could get Shadow to you for an appointment!
    Susan

  • Judith Conigliaro

    Susan, I would like to know about Beres Drops? It sounds like something my dog (w/bladder cancer) could use. I plan on asking my vet about this – perhaps she can find out information.

    I wish you the best for your “Shadow.” God Bless you in your fight – I know what you are going through.

    Best,
    Judith C
    & Ms. Abigail

  • Irene Sullivan

    Judith I would like to Know how you tread your dog with Bladder Cancer. My Dog also has Bladder Cancer an she is on Peroxicam for two month now, but she is almost 9 years old .A beautyful Rottweiler. I wish I could comunicate with you and findout how other dogs are doing with that cancer.God bless you in your fight I also know what you are going through

    Irene Sullivan

  • Susan

    Dr. Dressler,

    My dog has cancer-Grade II MCT and Hemangioscarcoma. The oncologist recomends duxorubin every 2 weeks for a total of 5 doses. I wish money were not a factor, but after the two surgies (remove spleen)just
    not sure-to gain few months of good quality of life for him-not fair
    to put him through anymore. I don’t mean to sound like I’m giving up on my dog-I’m not.I have started him on your cancer diet, slowly adding it to his usual Wellness Fish/Sweet Potato.
    Great appetite, recovered from surgeries, wants to eat, play, give love, and please-his usual happy self.
    Spoke with the Oncologist again last night. Now considering metronomic chemo-a lower dose (pill form) I can administer at home. Apparently it is a new therapy with little data regarding prognosis. Any input out there? Thanks for listening.
    Susan

  • gloria alexander

    MY DOG HAS BLADDER CANCER AND AT THE PRESENT TIME SHE HAD SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED 8 ROUNDS OF CHEMO….SHE WAS NEVER SICK AND IS DOING VERY WELL. HER ULTRA SOUNDS ARE DONE EVERY EIGHT TO 9 WEEKS, AS I AM AFRAID TO GO ANY LONGER IN BETWEEN VISITS, FOR FEAR TOO MUCH TIME COULD LAPS IF SOMETHING CHANGES. I HAVE HER ON HIGH AMOUNTS OF (4/1,00 MG.) OF OMEGA 3,6, 9 EVERY DAY. A RAW FOOD DIET, NO GRAIN, ABSOLUTELY NONE. CARBS ARE BAD FOR DOGS WITH CANCER. BECAUSE SHE WAS GETTING FREQUENT BLADDER INFECTIONS, I PUT HER ON MANNOSE AND CRANBERRY PILLS, WITH A 1/2 TABLET OF MULTI B VITAMIN. MANNOSE SOME HOW LINES THE BLADDER AND HELPS TO REDUCE BACTERIA FROM ADHERING TO THE BLADDER WALL. I READ VITAMIN B HELPS TO KEEP THE PH/ACID BALANCED BETTER…READ UP ON INTERNET….. OH, I ALSO FEED HER ALOT OF CANNED SALMON WITH HER RAW DIET….EVERY NIGHT. AND I ADD PLAIN YOGURT AS IT ALSO KEEPS THE FLORA IN THE GUT/INTESTINES FREE OF BAD BACTERIA.

    AND……….EVERY NIGHT I PRAY………..

  • Dr. Dressler

    Good for you!
    Keep it up. You may want to pulse the cranberry (3-5 days on, 3-5 days off). The kidneys have a way of compensating for the cranberry to block the effect if you keep going constantly, so trick them by going on-off with the therapy.
    D

  • http://www.themagicbulletfund.org Laurie Kaplan

    Dr. Dressler,

    Some of the people who send their stories to you state that they are having difficulty with the finances involved in canine cancer treatment.

    Please tell your website visitors about the Magic Bullet Fund. This fund provides financial assistance for dogs who would not otherwise be able to have cancer treatment, due to the family’s financial constraints. http://www.themagicbulletfund.org

    Thank you!

  • pam

    In response to Gloria about her pet with TCC. How is your pet doing? My beagle, Mellie, has TCC and was diagnosed May, 2009. She had chemo treatments (5) and suffered a stroke in OCT. shortly after the last treatment. She is on Piroxicam and Leucaran. I have noticed frequent urination and straining. Went to a raw diet yesterday. Please tell me what all I can do other than chemo. My heart breaks and I pray that somehow this is all a dream. Why are our pets getting so much cancer? What are we doing to our animals?
    My heart goes to you all who have sick pets. My blessings to the care givers and doctors.
    pam and mellie

  • Nili

    I am desperate. My approx. 8 year old female dog (mutt that looks like a sheepdog) has been diagnosed with bladder cancer (inoperable). Cody is one of 3 dogs in the family and very much loved. I can’t express how upset and sad I am at the thought of her suffering or worse that I will loose her. I live in Israel–treatments and supplies are not easily obtained–the vet says to just maker her comfortable, there is only weeks left, but in truth she does not seem “sick”. The only symptom is she can’t seem to urinate–when she squats only dribbles come out and it is a great effort for her. When she is sleeping she “leaks” and sometimes when she is standing I notice drops. I have been making all her food and give her the cottage cheese with flax seed along with a powder I make with Ester C, Kelp, Grape Seed, Calcium Magnesium and Lecithin. Can anyone give me a food recipe that might help? Is there any way that the dribbling will stop or is that final? It takes forever to get anything via post here so I am hoping to find something online. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  • Dr. Dressler

    Dear Nili,
    have you dowloaded the Guide? Apocaps? These are both online and will guide not only the treatment and diet, using strategies can be used at home, but also important information about this very challenging emotional period you are faced with.
    If surgery is not an option, the chemo strategies often involve drugs that are called COX inhibitors. These drugs can extend life in some dogs with the most common bladder tumors. There are natural things that inhibit the same enzyme (curcumin, luteolin, apigenin…all strategically included in a bioavailable preparation in Apocaps, which of course I like since I put it together for dogs under my care).
    The dribbling may be difficult to control if it is a mechanical problem. I would at least consider antibiotics (under veterinary supervision) as infection may contribute to the dribbling in some cases.
    I would also pay attention to pain control. Have your vet dispense something for your Cody’s discomfort!!
    Best,
    Dr D

  • m pritchard

    I have a mongrel named esbee she his a fantastic dog we rescued her when she was 18 months old about 10 years ago a few weeks ago she went off her food and was not herself we took her to the vets and they put her on a weeks course of antibiotics saying she had a stomach infection she did not get any better so we took her back to the vets they felt all round her stomach and told us to bring her back in 2 days which we did they had in her in for the day for tests and it was found she had a mass on her spleen the vet put her on prednidale she has picked up we took her back after a week on these drugs and they have given us another 3 weeks course i have changed the dogs food to all naturall ingrediants ORIGANS FROM CANANDA ITS EXPENSIVE BUT IT IS FIRST CLASS FOOD i am going to give her cats claw has well we have talked about an opp to remove mass but the feedback does not look very good i dont want to put my dog through opp to find out she has only weeks to live so i am looking at all naturall remidies regards maurice

  • Dr. Dressler

    Dear Maurice,
    I cannot make medical claims on this website, but I would advise you to investigate with your vet the supplement Apocaps. Be careful with cat’s claw:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16042502
    Best,
    Dr D