The strategy of Full Spectrum Care is used in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide to take advantage of anything that is safe and effective to get an edge on dog cancer.
This means we have to look not only at chemo, radiation and surgery, but also on all those other things that might help a loved dog live a better, longer life.
One of the biggies in nutrition.
This area has perhaps gotten a lot less attention than it deserves. We can remove a rusted car door, but if the engines is out of gas, or if we should be giving diesel instead, we get nowhere.
Magnesium is like the forgotten fuel in the car with a rusted out door. We see the door and everyone pays a lot of attention to the hole in the door. But we forget about magnesium.
Why does it matter?
Magnesium is extremely important in the body. Hundreds of normal body reactions need magnesium. Not only is it critical for a healthy immune system, it also plays a central role in production and use of the body’s energy molecule, ATP.
Less ATP, less fuel to fight cancer.
Here’s the juicy part. It turns out that cancer lowers magnesium levels in the body.
In a study of critically ill human cancer patients, it was shown that almost half of them had low magnesium levels. We know that the process of cancer itself seems to cause depletion of magnesium in the body.
On top of this, studies show the chemotherapy drug cisplatin is more prone to causing kidney damage with low magnesium levels. Cisplatin is used in common chemo treatments, most frequently for dogs with osteosarcoma.
A strange twist in the magnesium story is that excessive magnesium in the body can increase the odds of cancer development. For this reason, we want to be careful not to over supplement with magnesium.
In the dog cancer diet recipe found in The Guide, you will find that certain grains are included. Now, generally speaking, cancer diets should be fairly low in most kinds of carbs. However, this is not a black and white story. Carb restriction is different from carb elimination.
Whole grains like steel cut oats and brown rice contain good levels of magnesium. Lignans and beta glucans found in these grains are also known cancer-fighters.
For this reason, I recommend a portion of these grains in a good dog cancer diet.
It is for the same reason that I included a bit of magnesium in the supplement designed for use with my patients (Apocaps).
Let us not forget to keep good fuel in the tanks of our loved dogs.
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.