Today’s post will likely be met with some skepticism from those immersed (and confined) to our Western medical approach. So if this is your framework, please keep an open mind. You will be pleased to know that the information here is taken from little known, but still Western, data banks.
I have recently been looking into some ways of decreasing some of the horrible effects of severe mast cell tumors in dogs. Lots of talk these days about Palladia, but there is more you can do!
As many of you are well aware, these cancers are able to release, on an intermittent basis, large amounts of chemical signals that produce nasty effects on the body. There are many different ones, and to avoid being utterly dull, here are just a few: histamine, substance P, and heparin.
The one which we have traditionally focused on is histamine. Histamine is the same stuff that our bodies, and those of our canine companions, release during an allergic reaction.
It does bad things like create swelling, redness, pain, blood pressure changes, vomiting, loss of appetite, acid stomach, and more.
Much of the sickness that dogs afflicted with mast cell tumors suffer from is caused by histamine excess.
Some focus has been placed on blocking the effects of histamine with various medications. However, very little has been placed on cutting off the body’s supply of histamine.
This is an intriguing and quite novel approach to dealing with histamine excess, and to my knowledge has not been tried in dogs. So here’s the info…give it a try, see if it helps the dog you love, and let our community know!
The basic story is you cut out foods that eventually end up increasing active histamine levels, by hook or by crook. Now, most of you know that carbohydrate restriction is important is helping with cancer generally. I discuss details of the dog cancer diet at length in the e-book, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
For more helpful tools and information, get a copy of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide
Here’s a new twist for those caring for a dog with a mast cell tumor diagnosis, especially the more aggressive ones (Grade 2 and 3).
Turns out there is some cutting edge new research going on in human medicine about ways to combat digestive upset, depression, anxiety, allergies, asthma, and more. Many cases of these syndromes involve excessive histamine effects in the body. There are very few diseases like mast cell tumors in people, but we humans do suffer from a close relative of mast cell tumors called systemic mastocytosis.
Anyway, those in the inner circle promote cutting off the wellspring of histamine in the body by simply not eating foods that promote histamine levels. Why not use a similar approach for dogs with mast cell tumors, another condition with histamine excess?
The biggies are those foods that are fermented as a part of processing. Dogs usually don’t eat or drink a lot of those (drinks with alcohol, the more “moldy” of the cheeses like blue, sauerkraut, and vinegar).
But…. there are some out there who feed their dogs tofu. Be careful! Practically speaking, tofu could be viewed as a histamine brick.
Another big no-no, if one were using this approach, is fish! Bacteria in the intestine of fish are quite busy making a lot of histamine, and levels rise after the fish passes away (but before the remains are gutted for food).
To learn more about Mast Cell Tumors, diet, and treatment options, get a copy of this seminar!
Dyes in food and the benzoates (BHT, BHA, sodium benzoate, benzoic acid) are also excluded from the diet. Read those labels!
Note that the items on the restricted list not only contain histamine, but also are more prone to causing mast cells to release their illness-causing histamine reserves. This only matters if there is a large mast cell burden (lots of tumor cells in the body) and we are wanting to lessen histamine release. In addition, this is all extrapolated from human information. The inappropriate human foods should be excluded from the dog diet even if the list says they are “ok”.
I hope this helps-
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.