Here is a link to a page on the store where you can get a free download of the Dog Cancer Diet eBook, which is excerpted from my full-length book, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. You are invited to get this information-packed bundle of everything you need to know for your dog’s diet when dealing with canine cancer.
This diet is specifically designed for dogs with cancer. There are some rather strange ingredients that you may notice and wonder whether maybe Dressler has lost a few marbles along the way. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage for dogs? Seems pretty unnatural, right?
Right you are. Dogs in nature do not eat these strange plants. But the truth is that dogs with cancer need extra help, and if they were provided with only what was found in their natural diet it would not be enough.
So what is the deal with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage?
These were specifically chosen for several reasons. One big one is that they help with detoxification. And no, I’m not talking about some vague idea of “detox” or “cleanse” or “purify the body”. Let’s look at some science and forget the woo-woo stuff for a moment. (You will recognize this approach as the basis for Full Spectrum Care in the Guide, where we look at all treatment options without bias then choose what makes sense from a scientific point of view.)
So what are we talking about when we say “detoxification”? Of course we are getting rid of toxins. There are toxins from outside the body and there are plenty produced inside the body too. And there are tons of toxins in a body with both cancer cells and chemotherapy or radiation at the same time. From cancer, we have too much lactate from cancer cells gobbling up all that starch (sugar), the release of acid, and lots of damaging free radicals from inflammation. From chemo and radiation we have a variety of toxic effects that may be seen, although many dogs do fine with little obvious reactions.
Many of these toxins can promote later cancer growth, particularly those produced by the cancers, but also even sometimes those created by our treatments (these are rare).
Obviously, we want a way to deal with toxins that does not interfere with treatments. There are many, many different ways to do this, but a simple one is diet. And here is where the Brassica plants like Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage come in!
These plants stimulate what are called the Phase 2 detoxification systems. Detoxification has 3 Phases. Phase 1 makes the toxin more easily dissolved in water. This will allow it to get filtered out in the urine (from the kidneys) and also in the bile (from the liver) later on in detoxification. Phase 2 adds chemical groups to increase this water solubility. These mainly happen in the liver cells. Phase 3 involves shipping the water soluble toxin to organs to get rid of it from the body, mainly getting dumped into the urine thanks to the kidneys and into the lower intestine in the bile from our friend the liver.
Phase 1 reactions are weird because sometimes they increase toxicity of the substance. Oops! But thankfully, the Phase 2 systems catch the bulk of these and stick chemical groups onto these Phase 1 created toxins to inactivate them. And guess what veggies crank up the Phase 2 systems? You guessed it: Brussels sprouts and cabbage!
These veggies also help out with Phase 3 detox too. They add bulky fiber (without adding sugar). This stimulates more release of bile into the intestine, and freely flowing bile is a big part of clearing toxins in Phase 3 detox.
You will read more information like this in the Guide.
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.
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