Cancer is a word you never want to hear in the same sentence with your pets name. Unfortunately, cancer rates are rising in both the human and animal populations. What causes cancer and what can you do to prevent it? I am seeing more cases in younger animals, and even more frightening, the same cancers in pets and humans of the sam family. (Especially thyroid cancer.)
There is a strong genetic predisposition, but how much is uncertain. Probably around 50%. So, what can you do with the other 50% to reduce your pets chances of having cancer? A holistic approach to cancer prevention involves looking at the entire environment of your pet. Unfortunately, we live in a toxic soup and limiting our exposure to environmental toxins is job number one!
The water supply is not pure anymore. It may be clean (we hope) of bacteria and fungi, but the E.P.A. has acknowledged that there are low levels of antibiotics, antidepressants, hormones and industrial chemicals (benzene). When this water is used to irrigate crops, the contaminants start to accumulate in higher amounts, especially in soybeans. Your safest alternative is to purchase a reverse-osmosis water filter. it is the most efficient water filter on the market. Do not let your pet drink water run off or pooling water after a rainstorm; it is full of heavy metals and insecticides.
My opinion is that the best cancer prevention diet is one that includes the freshest, cleanest, most wholesome ingredients. As a matter of fact this diet should be so good that you may want to eat it as well! This means it doesn’t come out of a bag or a can. It means you avoid by-products, fillers and most grains. High carbs can fuel cancer growth, so the best diet for pets with cancer is high protein, high fat, low carb. FDA testing has found four pet food ingredients associated with pentobarbital (the euthanasia drug!) in dog food. They are: Animal digest, meat and bone meal, animal fat, beef and bone meal. Thnto the pet food chain.
CLA or conjugated linoleic acid is a recently discovered “good” fat, that may be a potent cancer fighter. Animal studies have shown that small amounts of CLA have blocked all three stages of cancer:
**Initiation **Promotion **Metastasis
Where do we find CLA in nature? The meat and dairy products of grass fed animals!
The next most common source of stress on your pet’s immune system is toxic exposure from medications, vaccines, and flea products. We know that vaccine associated sarcomas in cats are a real hazard. Instead of eliminating the vaccine entirely, some veterinary groups are recommending you get the vaccine in your cats leg, so if it causes a sarcoma you can simply amputate! My Golden Rule is: Never vaccinate a sick animal! We want to strengthen and tonify your pets immune system and build a strong foundation for optimum health.
A North Carolina State study has linked a spot-on flea treatment to Pemphigus Folliaceus, a severe inflammatory skin disorder. The product has recently been pulled off the market. There are no long term studies on the toxic build-up from monthly heartworm, flea and tick products–so please use them carefully or not at all! Chronic inflammation anywhere in the body is a stress on the immune system, so check your pets skin, ears, and mouth for signs of inflammation. Clean and healthy gums are especially important.
Second hand cigarette smoke and radon are just as hazardous to your pet as they are to you! We wear shoes and have layer of protection from whats toxic on the ground, but our animals are exposed to cleaning agents, herbicides, and fertilizers. Dogs whose owners use a herbicide containing 2, 4-D are twice as likely to develop lymphoma. Use “green” products in your house and on your lawn whenever possible.
The current hot topic in cancer prevention is the issue of electromagnetic radiation from all the electrical devices we surround ourselves with. I-phones, I-Pads, computers, televisions, etc., all affect our elemental Qi, or life force. Probably best not to let our pets curl up to the warm lap-top for too long!
Scott Sanderson, DVM – Animal Wellness Center