Trace minerals and elements have not gotten the attention they deserve for our pets’ health.
One of the reasons this may be problematic is that many ill dogs have low levels of trace minerals. To make matters worse, testing can be difficult as these nutrients are not stored in the blood, making blood testing not very accurate.
The problem is that the soil that crops are grown in, which are used for food, is gradually becoming depleted of minerals due to repeat farming of the same plots of land over time. This is because it is uncommon for farmers to test the soil frequently enough to replace all of the missing nutrients. Sometimes excessive fertilization of some nutrients leads to an imbalance and crowds out absorption of other needed nutrients for the plant.
Another factor is that the source of many mineral like magnesium is from decaying organic material on the surface of the soil, which is not common in agriculture today. Finally, the plants themselves are now designed to be high yield, and tend to need larger amounts of these minerals and nutrients in the soil.
Here is a chart showing how the nutritional value of some foods has dropped over time:
|Table 2. Mineral Content of Selected Produce 1963 vs. 1999 – (mg/100g sample)|
|Apples, raw, with skin||7||7||8||5||110||115||84.8||83.9|
|Beans, snap, green, raw||56||37||32||25||243||209||90.1||90.2|
|Lettuce, iceberg, raw||20||19||11||9||175||158||95.5||95.8|
|Peas, green, raw||26||25||35||33||316||244||78.0||78.8|
It is true that pet foods are supplemented with necessary nutrients to help insure they get what they need. The problem however is that animals who are ill, in many cases including cancer require further support to due imbalances and deficiencies.
The take home message here is that it is important for a dog with cancer to take a multivitamin, as stated in the Guide. Apocaps contains a boost of both magnesium and zinc. Everpup is a good supplement containing an large array of beneficial nutrients as dogs age.
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.