National Canine Cancer Foundation to fund a new innovative Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) Research Project

June 19th, 2014

I have some new exciting news. As you all know we are always trying to find an new edge in the battle against canine cancer. And Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is one of those cancers we would like to get a better handle on since it seems to end up being diagnosed too late to save the dog. In fact, we are so keen on finding out how to deal with HSA that we have actually initiated our own research project on HSA with G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. This is very exciting for the NCCF because this type of research on HSA has never been tried. Let me tell you how it all came about by first talking about a dog name Batman.

Batman was the first dog to undergo a breakthrough experimental treatment for brain cancer, led by doctors, G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. They developed a combination treatment plan for dogs with glioma, a very aggressive and relatively common form of brain cancer. First they removed the tumor surgically. Then, in some cases, they use local gene therapy to attract immune cells to destroy remaining tumor cells, and finally they created a personalized anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent tumor recurrence.

I personally love the thought of taking a cancer that was killing a dog and turning it into a personalized vaccine to kill the cancer!

Dr. Pluhar, a surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center, and Dr. Ohlfest, head of the neurosurgery gene therapy program at the Masonic Cancer Center, gave Batman his initial treatment in August 2008. Batman led a normal life unaffected by his tumor until his death from cardiac failure in February 2010, there was no tumor recurrence. According to the Dean of the College, Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, “the far-reaching implications of this promising new treatment are almost difficult to fathom; not only could these treatments lead to a cure for brain and other systemic cancers in dogs, but because dogs and humans share many physiological traits, dogs could also be the missing link in the cure for brain cancer in humans.”

Then something interesting happened. Almost one year ago, Davis Hawn’s then 8-year-old yellow lab, Booster, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his nasal sinus. Booster was given three weeks to live. Hawn did not want to accept the death sentence and began searching the country for a cure. His search led him to doctors in Florida who removed Booster’s tumor and gave him chemo. An online search then led him to Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar from the University of Minnesota’s canine brain tumor clinical program. Davis asked her to help his dog, but Dr. Pluhar had never made a vaccine for this type of cancer before. But Davis was not going to take no for an answer so she did agree to try. She shipped the vaccine off and ten months later Booster is cancer free.

Then after Davis contacted the NCCF to tell us about how well the vaccine works, we contacted Dr. Pluhar to ask if she would be willing to try the same research that was successful with brain cancer and skin cancer, and use the same protocol to try dealing with splenic HSA. The NCCF’s thinking is that with all these other cancers, the similarities were that the cancer had to be removed and a vaccine needed to be created from the cancer cells. With splenic HSA, one of the more common forms of HSA, the spleen is typically removed so we felt that Dr. Pluhar’s research could possibly work. With that in mind, we asked her if she could try and apply her protocol on splenic HSA. After doing some initial research she agreed to do the study based on reaching certain goals before going on to the next level.

First, she needs to insure that we can culture the cancer cells in the lab,

Second, she needs to insure that the tumor vaccines stimulate immune cells to attack tumor cells. If she can achieve these two steps she can go on to treat the HSA cancer. We could not be happier and are guardedly optimistic over this research project.

The cost for this project will be $55,500. I hope you are all as excited as we are about this research and will help fund the project. If you want to help with funding this new innovative NCCF’s initiated project please CLICK HERE or got to this link

http://wearethecure.org/giving/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=70

Thank you

Gary D. Nice
President and Founder
National Canine Cancer Foundation

One third of cancer deaths in people and dogs are preventable through diet changes

May 27th, 2015

One out of three cancer deaths in humans as well as dogs can be prevented by simple, natural diet changes. That’s the conclusion of research presented by Demian Dressler, DVM, at the 2010 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago, Illinois.

So how could so many fatal cancers be stopped? Dr. Dressler, known as the “dog cancer vet” because of his work in unraveling the intricacies of canine cancer, said the key is severely limiting snack foods for humans and dogs that contain ingredients rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3s (found in cold water fish such as salmon and other foods including flax oil and walnuts) and omega-6s (found in meats and some widely used vegetable oils such as corn oil) are essential fatty acids (EFAs) that must be consumed for the body to function properly. Omega-6 fatty acids tend to increase inflammation, blood clotting and cell proliferation, while omega-3 fatty acids decrease those functions of the immune system. The problem is that the typical American diet — for people as well as their pets — tends to be overloaded with omega-6s and deficient in omega-3s.

In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research reports that the current ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids eaten by most Americans is about 15-to-1; however, a healthy ratio is closer to 4-to-1. This is a serious problem because, as NaturalNews has previously reported, scientists have linked this imbalance to autoimmunity, allergy, heart disease, arthritis, asthma and cancer

The glut of omega-6s comes mostly from vegetable oils, such as soy oil, which are used in most of the snack foods, cookies, crackers, sweets, fast foods and — in the case of dogs’ diets — doggie treats and many commercial dog foods. The result is an eating pattern that promotes inflammation. That, Dr. Dressler stated, creates an environment conducive to cancer in dogs and people.

Another important way to reduce fatal cancers in humans and their canine companions is to keep weight at a healthy level. Dr. Dressler noted studies show obesity in both dogs and humans limits the production of a hormone dubbed adiponectin that inhibits the growth of cancer cells. He recommended reducing calories and especially staying away from sugar — not only because it contributes to obesity, but also because it is now known to feed cancer cells and spur their growth.

A panel meeting at the 2010 IFT Annual Meeting & Food Expo panel encouraged pet food manufacturers to consider the health implications of their products in order to improve animals’ health. According to the media statement, Kelly S. Swanson, associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, suggested the ideal blend of fiber for dog food is about 75 to 80 percent insoluble and 20 to 25 percent soluble. What’s more, adding quality prebiotics to pet foods could also enhance dogs’ health

Article reposted from:
http://www.naturalnews.com/029291_cancer_diet.html#
By Sherry Baker
For more information:
http://www.ift.org/Newsroom/News-Releases/2010/July/20/Cutting-Fat-and-Calories-Can-Lower-Cancer-Risk-in-Dogs-and-People.aspx

Treating low-grade lymphoma in dogs can add more than two years to a pet's life.

May 25th, 2015

Lymphoma in dogs is one of the most common pet cancers. May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, so we’re highlighting one of the most common causes of death in dogs. The National Canine Cancer Foundation says the disease accounts for half of deaths in pets over 10 years old. The canine cancer rate is comparable to that in humans, while cancer is less common in cats.

Lymphoma occurs when there is an overgrowth of lymphocytes, immune cells. (Wikimedia Commons / Joel Mills)

What is lymphoma?

Although there are over 30 types of lymphoma in dogs, the cancer comes from an overgrowth of lymphocyte cells. Lymphocytes are an integral part of the immune system, protecting the body from infection. Other parts of the immune system are most susceptible to lymphoma, like the spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. Lymphoma of the skin, digestive system, thymus gland, and other organs may also occur. Lymphoma in dogs accounts for 7 to 14 percent of all canine cancers, according to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Purdue University.

What are symptoms of lymphoma?

Depending on the cancer’s location, signs of lymphoma in dogs include swelling, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and increased thirst and urination. The primary symptom is swollen lymph nodes, located directly under a dog’s jaw on either side of the neck. Swelling, or edema, of the extremities may occur if a swollen lymph node blocks drainage of fluid from the affected area.

Lymphoma in dogs most commonly presents as swelling of the lymph nodes, just under the jaw on both sides of the neck. (Wikimedia Commons / Joel Mills)

Lymphoma of the skin is commonly mistaken for allergies or fungal infections at first; when it occurs in the mouth, it may be misdiagnosed as periodontal disease or gingivitis. When lymphoma in dogs occurs in the gastrointestinal system, vomiting and unusually dark-colored diarrhea are the primary symptoms.

How is lymphoma diagnosed and treated?

If you notice any sudden changes in your pet’s appearance or behavior, see your vet. Diagnostic tests for lymphoma in dogs include biopsy of any masses or affected areas, which may require sedation. Once a diagnosis of lymphoma is determined, multiple staging tests may be conducted to establish how far the cancer has advanced; these tests include routine lab work like blood and urinalysis, as well as x-rays and sonograms.

Diagnosis of lymphoma in dogs requires a biopsy and several stage tests. Chemotherapy is a common treatment. (Flickr.com/kqedkquest / UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine)

Treatment for lymphoma in dogs depends on the cancer’s stage. Chemotherapy is usually recommended, while more advanced cases may require surgery or radiation to shrink and remove masses. Widely considered to be the most effective treatment, UW-25 is a drug cocktail modeled after human lymphoma treatments.

How will chemotherapy affect my dog?

The side effects of chemotherapy in dogs are similar to those in humans, although much milder. Vomiting and diarrhea may occur, along with loss of appetite and lethargy. Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine reported less than five percent of dogs experience serious chemotherapy side effects requiring hospitalization. If this does occur, your vet will adjust the dosage accordingly.

While undergoing chemotherapy, your dog may experience vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. (Flickr.com/95438852@N08)

Usually, dogs don’t lose their fur from chemotherapy. However, poodles, terriers, and Old English sheepdogs have been known to experience hair loss while undergoing treatment.

What is the prognosis for lymphoma in dogs?

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, treating low-grade lymphoma in dogs can add more than two years to a pet’s life. The good news is, 70 to 90 percent of dogs treated with UW-25 experience partial or complete remission. The key to a good prognosis is early diagnosis. Regularly inspect your pet for any lumps or bumps, and pay attention to sudden changes in appearance and behavior. If you suspect anything is wrong, make an appointment with your vet – better safe than sorry.

Article republished from:
https://www.healthypawspetinsurance.com/blog/2015/05/19/lymphoma-in-dogs/
By Taylor M

Low-Carb Ketogenic and Raw Food Diets Helps Dogs and Cats Live Longer and Fight Cancer

May 22nd, 2015

The ketogenic diet has been shown to help manage a variety of diseases, including epilepsy and cancer in both mice and humans. But researcher Thomas Sandberg says the ketogenic diet can also help dogs and cats live longer as well as prevent and combat cancer.

Thomas Sandberg, CEO of Long Living Pets Research, has been researching the use of the ketogenic and raw food diets to promote longevity in dogs. (Photos courtesy of T. Sandberg)

Sandberg, an animal activist and founder of Long Living Pets Research in Oakley, Utah, has been studying the use of the low-carb, grain-free ketogenic and raw food diets to enhance the longevity and health of dogs for the past 15 years.

Sandberg, who launched his 30-year research project in 2000, has been tracking the health of 1,000 dogs around the world.

He discovered dogs (and cats) thrive on both a low-carb, grain-free raw food diet (raw meat, offal and bones) and a ketogenic diet, which is an extremely low-carb, high-fat, adequate-protein diet.

“Dogs are pure carnivores and do not thrive on your average commercial dog food,” said Sandberg, author of Learn How to Add Years To Your Dog’s Life.

“I have studied dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems since 1997 and believe feeding them a simple diet of raw meats, edible bones and organ meats will promote a healthy immune system. The result is a long, healthy life way past what is the expected lifespan of most breeds that are fed commercial dog food.”

Thomas, who was born in Norway, said the commercial kibble that most dog owners feed their pets causes them to get sick, fat and die early.

Sandberg believes you can dramatically extend a dog’s life (even two-fold) simply by limiting their intake of unhealthy carbs and feeding them what nature intended.

Sandberg, who himself follows a ketogenic diet, said his research also shows dogs placed on a ketogenic diet were able to completely eradicate their tumors and become cancer-free.

The cancer-inhibiting effects of a ketogenic cancer have been studied for years by leading researchers such as Dr. Thomas Seyfried of Boston College.

Cancer researcher Thomas Seyfried says the ketogenic diet can treat cancer because cancer is a metabolic, not a genetic, disease.

In an interview with the Examiner, Dr. Seyfried said his decades of research indicate cancer is a metabolic — not a genetic — disease. And the best way to treat a metabolic disorder is through diet, not by pumping a patient full of toxic radiation.

Seyfried published his findings in his ground-breaking book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease.

The problem with the traditional treatment of cancer, said Seyfried, is that the cancer community has approached it as a genetic disease, so much of the research efforts have gone into gene-focused studies, which he says does not address the root of the problem.

Dr. Seyfried, widely considered the godfather of the nutritional treatment of cancer, joins a growing number of researchers who say the ketogenic diet can treat most forms of cancer.

This is because nearly all the healthy cells in our body have the metabolic flexibility to use fat, glucose and ketones to survive, but cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility and require large amounts of glucose and cannot survive on ketones. So by limiting carbohydrates (as the keto diet does) we can reduce glucose and insulin, and thus restrict the primary fuel for cancer cell growth.

Thomas Sandberg has read Seyfried’s research and agrees the ketogenic diet can help both humans and dogs. He’s astounded by the reluctance of many dog owners to accept that kibble is not the optimal food for their pets.

Fortunately, Sandberg says the tide is slowly changing, as evidenced by the growing number of dog owners who ask to be included in his research project.

“Dogs are carnivores,” he said. “Therefore, the only food they can properly digest, metabolize, and utilize is raw meat. This is a fact.”

Sandberg, a former fitness executive and lifelong animal lover, started his research project because he wanted to learn how to extend the lives of his own dogs and cats. Thomas has six dogs and two cats.

“I have fed my Great Danes a ketogenic raw food diet since 2000,” he said. “Every year my dogs undergo a full medical check-up and each year, without exception, they have been 100% healthy. There’s no reason why all dogs can’t enjoy a long, healthy, disease-free life with the proper nutrition.”

For more information on Thomas Sandberg’s project, check out Long Living Pets Research. To help support his research, check out his GoFundMe page.

Article reposted from:
http://www.celebrityhealthfitness.com/27693/low-carb-ketogenic-diet-can-help-dogs-live-longer-and-fight-cancer-says-researcher/
By
Samantha Chang

Why are so Many Golden Retrievers Dying from Cancer?

May 20th, 2015

We love golden retrievers. Affectionately known as goldens, they’re icons on our screens (anyone else love Comet from Full House and Buddy from Air Bud?). While the breed’s popularity fluctuates, goldens are very familiar in the top 10 lists of U.S. dog breeds. Newsweek reports that in 2014, goldens ranked third in the American Kennel Club’s top 10 most popular dog breeds. They were only beat by the Labrador retriever and German shepherd. Unfortunately, that’s not all that’s beating our beloved goldens.

Looking for Answers

For decades, countless goldens have lost their cancer battles. I know what it’s like to have a companion animal with cancer. Watching an innocent creature suffer so much is agonizing. Goldens are disproportionately affected by cancer and their lifespans are being cut short, according to San Jose Mercury News. And a team of researchers wants to know why.

The scientists plan on following the lives of 3,000 purebred goldens for answers. Solving this puzzle won’t only help the breed; it may help humans, too, since we share 95 percent of the same DNA.

In 1972, one veterinarian recalls that the goldens he saw could easily make it to age 16 or 17. Today, many goldens are lucky to make it to age nine or 10. That’s unfortunate. But how they’re going is more heartbreaking; they’re dying from “bone cancer, lymphoma and a cancer of the blood vessels more than any other breed in the country,” reports Mercury News.

Golden guardians have to track everything for researchers, including the mundane details to understand if the cancer is coming from the environment, breeding practices, diet or genetics. And I wasn’t kidding when I said everything. If there’s a move, a new addition to the family, a new food, a mishap with a bug, researchers want to know.

The veterinarians are key in this study. Every year, they’re collecting the usual samples (blood, hair, nails and waste) searching for any clues or changes. They’re also monitoring the goldens’ temperature, diet, activity and blood pressure.

3 Other Health Concerns Affecting Golden Retrievers

Hopefully, in the end, it’ll all be worth it. Goldens, and their guardians, deserve some answers. They’re awesome dogs. The goldens I’ve known are super friendly, funny and smart. They love to play and they go to great lengths to make their human happy.

But potential guardians should also know about more of the health risks that could come with loving a golden. Unfortunately, it’s not just cancer. Here are a few other health concerns from Rescue a Golden of Arizona that potential guardians should know to decide if they’re financially, physically and emotionally ready to care for a golden retriever:

Allergies: Allergies are a big problem for golden retrievers. While not usually fatal, allergies can cause discomfort; they could upset their stomach or make their skin itchy. It can take a lot of trial-and-error to find the right food for your golden.

Ear infections: Along the same lines of allergies, ear infections are caused by yeast and bacteria growth. While common, the infection shouldn’t be left untreated. It could result in a loss of hearing or a loss of balance down the line.

Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia can affect one or both sides of the hip. These dogs may have more stiffness or run with a “bunny hopping” gait. If left untreated, your golden might not be able to walk. Drugs and invasive surgical procedures are commonly used to treat hip dysplasia.

Article reposted from:
http://www.care2.com/causes/why-are-so-many-golden-retrievers-dying-from-cancer.html
By Jessica Ramos

Common options to treat Cancer in Dogs

May 18th, 2015

A diagnosis of cancer is devastating to a dog owner, but it is not necessarily a death sentence for the dog. Cancer is usually detected when it either forms a distinct tumor that’s quite noticeable, or it leads to organ failure and its associated symptoms. For example, a kidney tumor in a dog may cause vomiting and increased thirst, and this would be obvious to his owner.

Age is the biggest risk factor for development of cancer in dogs, and because they are living longer these days, there is a greater chance that they may develop the condition.

Advances in human medicine are often carried over to veterinary medicine. This means that cancer can be diagnosed much earlier in the course of the disease, and new treatment options can result in a better outcome for your dog.

Let’s look at the common options available to treat cancer in dogs.

Surgery

If a cancer is easily accessible, the first thing to do is reduce its size. This means that an affected dog will undergo surgery to either completely remove the tumor, or to de-bulk the tumor as much as possible. This is easy to do with tumors such as those on the skin or mammary gland, for example. It’s also possible to surgically remove a cancerous organ such as a kidney or spleen, however the surgery is more invasive and recovery time is longer.

When a tumor is excised, a pathologist will examine the lump to look for what vets call “clean margins”. A good example of this is a mast cell tumor in the skin. If cancerous cells extend right to the edges of the tumor, it means that some dangerous cells have been left behind, and more surgery is needed to make sure more mast cell tumors don’t develop in the same area.

Theoretically, a 10mm margin of normal tissue around a tumor indicates that it has been completely removed, but it’s always worth keeping an eye on that area as a dog gets older.

Sometimes surgery isn’t particularly effective at treating a cancer, but it can make life better for the patient. That’s definitely the case with osteosarcomas. These cancers usually occur in the bones of a dog’s legs, and they are very aggressive. By the time they are diagnosed they have often spread to the lungs, and the prognosis is very poor even with treatment. Osteosarcomas are also extremely painful. Although it sounds extreme, amputation of the affected leg is very effective in easing a dog’s pain.

Surgery on its own may not be sufficient to treat a cancer, and it is often followed up with chemotherapy or radiation. Many alternative therapies can be used alongside these conventional treatment options.

Chemotherapy

When it comes to choosing how to treat a particular cancer, one of the main criteria is where the tumor is located. Some tumors can’t easily be removed by surgery. Other tumors such as lymphosarcoma can occur in many parts of the body at once, so it would be difficult, if not impossible, for surgery to remove all tumor cells.

This is where chemotherapy is particularly useful. This treatment option relies on drugs being delivered to the tumor through the bloodstream. It allows veterinarians to kill cancer cells that can’t be reached with a scalpel.

Ideally, the drugs used in chemotherapy need to specifically kill tumor cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. These drugs interfere with processes that occur in cancer cells but not in healthy cells. One feature of cancer cells is that they are rapidly dividing; many chemotherapy medications therefore specifically target rapidly dividing cells. This works well; there are several chemotherapy drugs that are proven to be effective in killing cancer cells in both humans and dogs.

The main problem with chemotherapy is that there are some healthy cells in the body which also have high rates of cell division. Examples are hair follicle cells, bone marrow cells and those cells lining the intestines. These are also affected by chemotherapy medications, and this explains the side effects of this type of treatment. Unlike people, dogs don’t seem to lose their hair with chemotherapy but if their fur is shaved, it may not grow back very well. Also, their whiskers may fall out. Damage to their bone marrow can result in reduced production of white blood cells, which means their body can’t fight off even the slightest infection. Diarrhea and vomiting can result from the effects of the drugs on their intestines.

Chemotherapeutic drugs are usually given by intravenous injection. They are extremely irritating so if there is any leakage outside the vein, there can be extensive tissue damage. The result is a large raw ulcer which may not heal.

Chemotherapy is often after surgery or in conjunction with radiation, but in some types of cancer it is very effective on its own.

Radiation

Treatment of canine cancers with radiation often results in shrinkage of the tumor, and significant pain relief. It is useful for tumors that can’t easily be removed, and also as a follow up treatment after surgery.

Radiation works by damaging a tumor cell’s genetic material, so it is no longer able to divide. As you can imagine, it can also damage healthy cells, but the effects of radiation on healthy tissue appears to be less than that of chemotherapy. This may be because radiation equipment can tightly focus the radiation beam on a small area, and minimize the amount of radiation that reaches neighboring healthy cells.

This type of cancer treatment is particularly useful for tumors that haven’t spread throughout a dog’s body. It is necessary to give a dog a general anesthetic for this treatment. That way he won’t move, and the radiation beam can be better targeted to the tumor.

Alternative therapies

Many dog owners these days are interested in alternative treatments for their four legged family members. They feel they are safer than conventional treatments, and that they are just as effective. Although these treatments are natural, they still need to be treated with respect. Even if they are non-toxic, they may still interfere with other drugs that have been prescribed for your dog. It’s important that dog owners tell their veterinarian about any other supplements or natural treatments they are planning on giving their dog to help treat his cancer.

Good nutrition will give a dog the energy to heal. Organic produce is the best food for an animal undergoing treatment for cancer, because it is less likely to have been exposed to pesticides and toxins. Similarly, if the budget allows, and the option is available, choose organic meat products to add to their diet.

Chinese Herbal Medicine may also help a dog recover from cancer. These herbs help them recuperate from tumor removal surgery, and support their body as it is exposed to follow up radiation and chemotherapy.

Acupuncture can reduce pain associated with cancer treatment and improve post-operative recovery. Homeopathy will encourage a dog’s body to heal itself.

If you’d like to investigate the benefits of alternative medicine in treating cancer in dogs, ask your vet for a referral to a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association. Many “general practitioner” veterinarians aren’t familiar with alternative therapies, and would be happy to refer you to a colleague with more experience in this area.

Every dog’s cancer is different, and every dog will respond differently to treatment. For many cancers in dogs, treatment is available that can completely cure the disease. If a complete cure isn’t possible for your dog’s type of cancer, then treatment can prolong his life and make him a lot more comfortable.

Article reposted from:
http://www.petyak.com/dogs/health/articles/treating-dog-cancer/
By David

Preparing your pet for travel this summer

May 14th, 2015

For some pet owners, it may be easier to leave your cat or dog at a “hotel” when you head on your summer vacation.

However if you really consider your companion a member of the family, you may be inclined to bring him or her with you on the trip.

Don’t worry, traveling with a cat or dog doesn’t have to be a hassle. The North Shore Animal League has several tips on how to get your feline or canine friend ready for the road:

• Visit your veterinarian about a week before you leave, especially if they have a preexisting condition, and get a clean bill of health before going.

• Bring your pet on a few drives before the long trek. This will get them accustomed to travel in general.

• Make sure their cage is big enough to be comfortable and well ventilated. But not too big: you don’t want them flying around on bumpy roads.

• Don’t let your dog stick his or her head out the window, no matter how romantic the cliche is to you. This can cause serious facial and eye injuries.

• Provide plenty of water, keep their regular diet, and pack their favorite toys. Routine will help them adjust to the changing environments.

Check out the rest of the North Shore Animal League’s tips here. Or, just let your dog drive instead.

Article reposted from:
http://www.phillyvoice.com/preparing-your-pet-travel-summer/
By Daniel Craig

Nutrition for Dogs With Cancer

May 12th, 2015

No other disease strikes as much fear deep within our hearts as cancer. We panic and start searching the Internet for something that can save our dog.

There is a lot of information out there, some websites even offering miracle supplements and cures for cancer. Please remember that promises that seem too good to be true very often are.

And don’t think that “natural” is safe and more is better. This is a time to stay positive and act on scientific truths rather than hearsay or guesswork.

Goals of nutritional therapy

Most dogs with cancer have a decreased food intake; therefore a major goal of nutritional therapy is to select a food that is highly palatable and energy dense.

The food’s nutrient profile should be individualized to maintain normal body condition, inhibit tumor growth and prevent or manage cachexia.

Avoid excess carbohydrates and increase protein and fat

A study done by Gregory Ogilvie, DVM, at Colorado State University, on dogs with stage 3 lymphoma, found that a diet moderate in high quality proteins, low in carbohydrates and moderate in fat, especially Omega-3 fatty acids, was successful in prolonging life.

Although much more research is needed and this study did not examine all forms of cancer, the results are encouraging.

This type of diet, however, is not appropriate for all dogs and should only be fed under veterinary guidance.

Foods of interest in dogs with cancer

High quality protein such as dairy products made from goat or sheep, egg, low-mercury fish, organ and muscle meat preferable natural raised.

Healthy, functional carbohydrates such as sweet potato, broccoli, quinoa and gluten free oats.

Antiangiogenic foods such as apples, berries, pumpkin and maitake mushrooms.

Cruciferous vegetables (unless your dog has hypothyroidism) such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and bok choy.

Green leafy and yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots, turnip greens and sweet potato.

Avoid gluten and get rid of high-GI foods such as corn, wheat or white rice (brown rice is fine).

Increase Omega-3 fatty acids

Increase Omega-3 intake and keep the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio as close to 1:1 as possible.

Wild salmon oil is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids but do not use cod liver oil as the amounts of vitamin A and D would be excessive when given at high doses.

Do not use flax seed oil instead of fish oil because the form of Omega-3 fatty acids found in plants must be converted to EPA and DHA in order to be utilized by the dog.

Vitamins C and E

There is some question as to whether vitamins C and E should be given in amounts above the daily nutritional guides set by NRC and AAFCO.

Although vitamins C and E have been shown to decrease cell damage, in particular DNA damage, their usefulness in neoplasia, once already diagnosed, is largely unknown, and some suggest they may even be harmful.

The debate starts when a patient is receiving radiation or chemotherapy. The presence of increased antioxidants in tissue may interfere with the anticancer effects of radiation and some chemotherapies and may counteract some of the cellular benefits of Omega-3.

I never add additional vitamin C or E and I urge you to ask your oncologist before adding any to your dog’s diet.

Digestive enzymes

The body’s ability to process and absorb nutrients in the food can be greatly affected by cancer.

Digestive enzymes help the body to break down food, making it easier to absorb nutrients. Thus they can be extremely valuable, in particular to dogs experiencing diarrhoea or weight loss.

Turmeric (Curcumine)

Turmeric is the spice found in curry which gives it the yellow colour. Although more research is needed, studies show turmeric has the ability to inhibit growth of tumours and metastasis.

Milk Thistle

This herb protects against or treats liver cells from damage from toxins such as chemotherapy drugs.

Probiotics

Probiotics is the ‘good guy’ bacteria that fights the ‘bad guys’ in the gastrointestinal tract, protecting the dog’s immune system, improving gut health and digestion.

Bottom Line

It can be difficult to address the needs for each neoplastic condition due to the complex nature of cancer.

However, dogs that have a higher nutritional status are not only more likely to fight off infections and tolerate therapy and its side effects, they also have better odds of actually winning the battle.

Article reposted from:
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/kristina-johansen/nutrition-for-dogs-with-cancer_b_6908834.html
By Kristina Johansen

7 Superfoods to Add to Your Dog's Diet

May 10th, 2015

If your pet is a picky eater, then he may appreciate having a treat added to his food bowl. Think of it like your meal, when you add ketchup to French fries… or add bacon to almost anything.

Of course, unlike your addition of bacon, you’d probably prefer to give your dog something healthyas an add-in. While your dog may enjoy having bacon added to his dog food every day, your dog’s health may suffer, as he doesn’t understand that certain types of foods need to be eaten in moderation. To help you select the ideal add-ins for your dog, I’ve created the infographic below to explain both the benefits of Superfoods and which you may want your pup to try!

Adding Superfoods for Your Dog

Dogs will enjoy a variety of foods as add-ins, including those that will be good for them. The superfoods listed in the accompanying infographic can provide both a great add-in to the dog’s regular food as well as desirable vitamins and minerals that will contribute to your dog’s good health. Some superfoods are better as a standalone food, while others are great to add to the kibble. The following list includes the five best superfoods to add to a dog’s regular kibble!

  1. Broccoli. Cooked broccoli needs to be cut into very small pieces to be added to your dog’s food. Some dogs may like the stalk of the broccoli better than the flowery head, and others will want to eat the flowery head only. The vitamins in broccoli can help a dog’s digestion, while also healing any skin problems and preventing cancer.
  2. Carrots. If you’re going to add carrots to your dog’s food, you’ll be adding vitamins A and C to the animal’s diet, which will help its heart and eyes. Most dogs will like the carrots better as an add-in if they’re cooked, rather than raw. The soft carrots won’t help to clean your dog’s teeth as well as a raw, hard carrot, but they will provide plenty of health benefits.
  3. Fish oil. Pouring a bit of fish oil over the top of the dog’s food bowl can help the dog’s coat and skin look healthier, and salmon oil may even help alleviate a dog’s problems with allergies. The Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in the fish are especially beneficial for the dog’s overall health.
  4. Kale. As with the other foods on this list, kale is a superfood for both humans and dogs, providing the benefits found in vitamins A, C, and K, while also providing high levels of calcium and iron. If you search the Internet for baked dog treats with kale, you’ll find plenty of options that can help you introduce this superfood to your dog’s diet. You can spread steamed kale over the top of your dog’s regular food too.
  5. Spinach. Steamed spinach offers plenty of iron and vitamin K, which will help the health of your dog’s bones and heart. Spinach is also a great cancer-preventing vegetable, making it a great add-in to your dog’s regular meal time dog food. As with kale, baking spinach into dog treats is a good way to add this superfood to your dog’s diet.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Many Options

You may have to experiment a little bit to find just the right combination of superfoods and dog food to appeal to your dog’s taste buds, just be careful of food allergies. Most dogs enjoy eating a few different superfoods, so the experiments shouldn’t take too long.

You also may want to read through the list of ingredients on your dog food bag. Once you know which nutrients the dog food provides to your pet, you can pick a superfood that will supplement the dog food’s nutrients, giving your dog the entire range of vitamins and minerals it needs!

Article reposted from:
http://www.entirelypets.com/7-superfoods-for-your-dogs-diet-infographic.html
By Amber Kingsley

One last promise for Tanner the dog

May 7th, 2015

As I lay in my bath, ethereal music surrounding me, I began to cry. While beautiful music will make me cry, these tears were the result of devastating news I had received from my veterinarian two days prior. My scholarly dog, Tanner, has cancer. I don’t know how long I will have him, but what I do know is: I will keep him comfortable until the dreaded day I have to make that final decision.

Cancer is a scary word. I have lost family members to the disease and watched friends beat the beast. The news about my dog is ominous. Cancer is cancer, but when it comes to treatment of a beloved dog, it becomes a different type of choice.

Tanner is going to be 15 years old on May 23. As any pet lover knows, our time with our pets is too brief. We know we are given 15 years on average, depending on the size and breed of the animal. My last dog, Achates, lived to be 18. I made the hardest choice of my life to put him down that day. I cried, but I knew I made the right choice for him.

We humans are selfish. We want to keep our pets around forever, but when we are faced with the quality of that life for the animal, we are allowed the choice to take their pain away. I made that choice with Achates, and one day I will have to make that choice for Tanner. But right now, I am not ready.

When I got the first call from Ken Fiedler, my vet, to tell me that nothing could be done for Tanner, I wept. I drove around for hours in my car before I could pick Tanner up from the vet at the end of the day. I tried to prepare myself for the worst. But when I spoke to Ken I had composed myself enough to listen. Tanner’s prognosis is a matter of time, but I can treat him long enough to keep him comfortable for now. I told my vet that I would take him home, love him, care for him, feed him whatever he wants and monitor things day by day.

I am not delusional that Tanner will not someday die, but I will care for him until the end. I will make that decision for him. He expects that from me. It is my duty to keep him free from pain and to do the right thing in the end.

Dogs do not live long enough. What they expect from us is love, care and help guiding them into eternity. I will do my best for Tanner for as long as I can. He has given me years of unconditional love. All I can do now is do what is best for him.

I hold on to these words: “Please see to it that my life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.”

Story reposted from:
http://www.journalstandard.com/article/20150505/NEWS/150509795/?Start=1
By Jane Lethlean