Tempting as it may be to simplistically consider fleas as horrible insects, the bane of cats and dogs everywhere, poisoning your cat or dog in a vain attempt to wipe fleas out of existence doesn’t really make sense. Continue…
Mammary cancer is the third most common cancer in cats. The average age of affected cats is 10-11 years of age. Almost 90% of feline mammary tumors are malignant, meaning they have the potential to spread to other portions of the body. The most common sites of spread are regional lymph nodes and the lungs. Malignant mammary tumors in cats tend to metastasize rapidly. Around 10% of feline mammary tumors are benign, meaning they will not spread except by local growth. To date, surgical excision at the earliest possible opportunity is the most effective therapy for any mammary tumor. If the tumor is benign, complete surgical excision is curative. If the tumor is malignant, post-surgical treatment with chemotherapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy may be warranted. These options will be discussed with you by the medical oncologist following surgery, if appropriate.
Mammary gland (“breast”) tumors are the most common type of tumor in the unspayed female dog. Breeds at risk for developing mammary gland tumors include toy and miniature Poodles, Spaniels, and German Shepherds. The average age of dogs at diagnosis is 10-11 years. There can be a single or several tumors, and they can occur in one or more glands. The last two sets of glands (the 4th and 5th glands) are most commonly affected. The tumors can be firm or soft, well-defined lumps or diffuse swellings. Tumors can be attached to underlying tissues or moveable, skin-covered or ulcerated. They can be different sizes, and they may grow slowly or quite fast. Most dogs are seen by the veterinarian for signs associated with the primary tumor and are otherwise feeling well. A few dogs are diagnosed with advanced metastasis (tumors that have spread to elsewhere in the body, such as the lungs and lymph nodes) and might be feeling ill from their tumors when they come for treatment.
Nutritional Requirements of Dogs and Cats with Cancer
Any illness, be it cancer or a benign disease, will have an impact on the patient’s metabolism. During disease, there are many changes in the way the body uses proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It is important to realize that, for the most part, these are adaptations that are geared toward survival. In effect, the body is prioritizing its available nutrients for purposes like wound healing and maintaining the immune system. Sometimes, these metabolic changes can become exaggerated or prolonged to the point that they are harmful rather than beneficial to the patient. Significant weight loss and muscle wasting can occur rapidly and can be difficult or even impossible to reverse.
NB-When your pet has cancer it is especially critical to feed a fresh food diet. S/he needs all of the nutrients and vitality of real food. Avoid carbohydrates as they are the favorite nutrient of cancer cells. NO KIBBLE! Fats and protein is most important. Palatability of a raw meat diet can be increased by lightly searing the meats and adding immune-enhancing spices like cayenne and tumeric (if your pet likes and can tolerate them). Fish oils, antioxidants, etc. are all helpful. These are the supplements that I use for cancer patients in my practice: –Dr. Jeff
The goal of cancer treatment in the veterinary patient is to prolong good quality of life for as long as possible. Continue…
Twenty-first century medicine boasts a number of treatments that are actually very dangerous to human health, none more so than for cancer. Continue…
I am writing this at five in the morning. For years, this has been the hour I get into my office and begin my work. I am armed with my computers, phone, fax, files and several walls of books, old and new, which I have painstakingly collected over the years. I generally put in long hours in this office learning as much as I can about cancer treatment. Some people consider me a bit obsessed with the topic. But I want to be able to share accurate information with cancer patients and their families…and that takes study.
My work has often taken me away from my home and family, as I travel frequently to investigate new treatments around the United States, Europe, Mexico and elsewhere. I have visited dozens of physicians, clinics, hospitals and labs to meet innovative doctors and to interview their patients. I evaluate their data firsthand. I also try to make time every work day to do a phone consultation with a cancer patient and his or her family about their own individual circumstances.
What motivates me to keep up such a rigorous schedule after thirty years in the field? What keeps me charged up and vitally engaged with my work? Simply put, it’s hope. There are no ‘magic bullets’ for cancer. But I have seen dramatic improvement in the lives of some my clients and subscribers. This certainly keeps me very hopeful and determined to make an even greater contribution to the cancer research world. I hope to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families as they deal with the many difficulties presented by this disease, including some insensitive doctors and intrusive insurance companies.
What exactly is cancer? What is its relationship to normal biological functions? These questions fascinate me. The last time I saw Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, he said that what kept him going was reading the top scientific journals and keeping up with the latest findings. And he was past 90 at the time. I understand that passion.
NB: As readers of my site and clients already know, I advise exploring all treatment options. Especially in cases of serious and potentially fatal sickness. Dr. Moss provides a wonderful service. Please peruse his site or call him for a personalized consultation.–Dr. Jeff
Please note: The information provided here is meant to supplement that provided by your veterinarian. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of information at this site. Nothing can replace a complete history and physical examination performed by your veterinarian. -Dr. Jeff
Cancer represents a unique state whereby the body’s healing system fails to eliminate cells with damaged or altered DNA.
This allows these cells to escape the normal regulatory signals leading to uncontrolled cell growth. While most auto-immune diseases represent a failure of the healing system from an over-active immune system, cancer represents the extreme opposite, whereby the immune system is hypoactive (at least in regard to the tumor). On the other hand, both chronic immune diseases and cancer probably represent outcomes from the failure of the healing system brought about by living within a polluted environment, coupled with the genetic make-up of the dog.
While we are beginning to unravel the complex biochemistry of cancer development and have begun to understand how DNA is damaged and repaired, we still have a long way to go before the cure for cancer will be found. Spontaneous healing of cancer has been documented many times in human beings and animals, suggesting that a cure is possible. On the other hand, there is a great deal of information about the potential for preventing many forms of cancer. Most of these techniques involve the use of diet and dietary supplements. We can not control the air we breath, unless we do this as a whole. Using alternative means of transportation, car-pooling and clean energy production are good for the environment and for those living in it. It does pay to fool Mother Nature, she will get even in the end. We can, however, control the food our pets eat and the water they drink; thereby, reducing their pollution load. We can provide our pets with anti-oxidants and bioflavonoids, compounds which help protect DNA and the healing system. We can give them sufficient fiber in there diets to support digestion and protect the gi tract from cellular damage.
Treatment of cancer with traditional Western medicine involves surgery (to remove or de-bulk the tumor mass), ionizing radiation (to expose the tumor to lethal doses radiation, minimizing radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue), and chemotherapy (to poison the rapidly growing cancer cells without poisoning the rest of the body). One or all of these methods may be employed in a given patient in an attempt to delay or prevent further cancer growth. On average, the success of Western approaches to cancer provides 1 to 18 months of relief from the cancer. While longer survival times are seen with certain forms of cancer, the long term prognosis for even the best forms of “systemic” cancer is poor to grave. The best chance for a good prognosis is for localized cancer (particularly benign lesions) which can be removed completely with surgery. When surgical removal of the cancer is not possible, or when the cancer has already spread to other organs (metastasized), control of the tumor may not be possible by conventional means and the owner must make difficult choices about the continued care of their pet. Some of these choices are very expensive. Traditional Western diagnostic methods have advanced dramatically in the last few years and provide the best chance to discover the natural of the tumor and to predict its clinical course. Advanced imaging techniques like diagnostic ultrasound, computer-assisted tomography (CAT scans) and magnetic resonance image (MRI scans) have vastly improve tumor diagnosis. Fine-needle aspirates or “true-cut” biopsies of tumors (sometimes performed in conjunction with an imaging technique) can provide cytological confirmation or histological diagnosis of the tumor type, leading to better therapeutic recommendations.