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

Thank you

Gary D. Nice
President and Founder
National Canine Cancer Foundation

February is Pet Dental Health Month

February 5th, 2016

Since February is National Pet Dental Health Month, it is again timely to remind ourselves what we can do to treat and prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.

First, get a whiff of your pet’s breath! Imagine how your mouth would feel, taste, look and smell if you never brushed your teeth. Stinky breath is the first sign of a problem.

Dr. Darren Woodson and his dog, Lune. (Photo: The Daily Times)

Next, lift the lip and look at the teeth and gums. Are the gums red and are the teeth becoming covered with tartar at the gum line?

The cause of dental disease in pets is basically the same as in people. The difference is that people take care of their own teeth, usually several times daily. Bacteria in the mouth combine with saliva and food debris to form plaque. As layers of plaque accumulate, dental tartar is formed. Over time, more layers of plaque combine and mineralize, resulting in calculus. While plaque is soft and can be brushed away, calculus is hard and must be scraped off or removed with a special instrument called a dental scaler.

Tartar and calculus trap bacteria in and under the gum line, which leads to irritation of the gum tissue (gingivitis) and then periodontal disease. Periodontal disease means sickness of the supporting tissues of the teeth: the ligaments that attach gum to tooth and jaw bone. The American Veterinary Dental Society estimates 75 percent of cats and dogs have gingivitis by age 4.

There is a pretty good chance your pet is in that 75 percent, unless you are practicing home care and having your pet’s teeth cleaned by your veterinarian. I also tell our clients that three out of 10 patients have oral pain, and since dogs and cats still appear to eat normally despite their discomfort — an evolutionary survival trait — it goes unrecognized. Beyond these problems in the mouth, periodontal disease can lead to systemic problems. Bacterial infection can spread from the mouth to the heart valves, kidney and liver. Without regular veterinary exams, much of our pet’s dental disease isn’t detected until it’s really bad.

Home brushing programs are the cornerstone to a lifetime of dental health. Though it may sound complicated, it is actually something that most dogs and cats will readily accept given the proper technique and some patience and persistence. Since most owners do not have the time or inclination to attempt this, other home dental care options have been developed. Special diets and treats are made that will help minimize plaque build-up and oral rinses or water additives can help control bacteria. None of these replace brushing and having regular dental exams with your veterinarian.

A full dental prophylaxis or professional cleaning is the best way to keep your pet’s mouth healthy and comfortable. We are now routinely using a sealant called Sanos, which is applied after the teeth are cleaned at the gum line to seal the sub-gingival gum line, thus preventing tartar accumulation for up to six months. Dental prophylaxis is a bit more involved in pets than in people since they won’t voluntarily open wide and general anesthesia is required to allow a complete dental exam and thorough cleaning.  Without full sedation, it is impossible to truly address all problem areas, especially the areas under the gum line. As with people, intra-oral radiographs of teeth are becoming a common standard of care as well. Research shows that 30 to 40 percent of normal looking teeth have root issues under the gums.

In summary, you cannot neglect the oral health of your pet. Assess their mouths now. Many veterinarians have incentives for National Pet Dental Health Month, so call yours today.

Article reposted from:
By Dr. Darren Woodson

Dog Flu Virus Spreading Across The United States

February 1st, 2016

When Elizabeth Estes’s dog, Ollie, started coughing last year, she didn’t think he was seriously ill at first. But then the 3-year-old Jack Russell-chihuahua mix got much worse.

“All of a sudden, he couldn’t breathe and he was coughing. It was so brutal,” says Estes, who lives in Chicago. “The dog couldn’t breathe. I mean, could not breathe – just kept coughing and coughing and coughing and gasping for air.”

Ollie, it turned out, had caught a strain of dog flu that’s relatively new to the U.S – canine influenza H3N2. The virus arrived from Korea last spring and has since caused flu outbreaks among dogs in 26 states throughout the nation.

No cases of human infections with the virus have ever been recorded, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And H3N2 causes no symptoms or only mild illness in most dogs. But it is triggering some severe cases of canine pneumonia.

The night Ollie got so sick, Estes spent the night on the floor of her steam shower with the dog, and rushed him to a veterinarian as soon as she could the next morning.

“They said, ‘When you get to the front of the building, call us because you can’t bring the dog in through the lobby. You have to come in through the back door. It’s that contagious,’ ” she says. “So I realized at that point: ‘Wait a minute. This is something a little bit more serious than I thought it was.’ ”

The vet rushed the dog into intensive care. “I was petrified we were going to lose him, and pretty upset,” Estes says.

After four days of intravenous fluids, help breathing and antibiotics to prevent complications, Ollie recovered. “He’s perfectly fine now. But it was a scary and expensive endeavor — but mostly scary,” she says.

Two different strains of dog flu are known to be circulating in the United States; canine influenza H3N2 is believed to have first arrived about a year ago, where it triggered an outbreak of illness among pets in Chicago. The virus apparently was brought into the country through O’Hare International Airport by an infected dog from South Korea.

“Dogs, like people, move all around the world.” says Joseph Kinnarney, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

H3N2 has since spread to probably thousands of dogs in a number of areas throughout the U.S, Kinnarney says. Most have no symptoms. There have been reports of cats also getting sick from the infection in Korea, but so far that hasn’t been reported in the United States.

The virus seems to be spreading much more easily than H3N8, a canine flu strain that has been in the U.S. longer. One reason is that dogs infected with H3N2 remain contagious for about three weeks, even if they have no symptoms; that’s about a week longer than usual. Also, Kinnarney says, because the strain is new to the continent, U.S. dogs lack immunity to it.

Mild symptoms of the illness include a cough, loss of appetite and fatigue — these dogs recover on their own. Symptoms of severe illness — more likely in very old or very young dogs, or in dogs with other health problems — include high fevers, breathing problems and complications such as pneumonia.

Dogs that spend time around other dogs are the most likely to catch it, Kinnarney says, so pets that spend most of their time at home and rarely interact with other dogs are at low risk. He recommends that dogs that frequently come in contact with other dogs get immunized — two vaccines against H3N2 became available late last fall.

“If your dog goes to doggy day care, if your dog goes to a dog park, if your dog is traveling with you, you should get the vaccine,” he says. “It’s just not worth the risk.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association gets funding for its educational meetings from companies that make the vaccines, but no specific products are promoted at those meetings, an association spokesperson says.

Other virologists and veterinarians say many dogs probably don’t need the vaccine, especially animals that live where the virus is not circulating widely. You can check with your vet to see if there have been outbreaks in your area.

“You shouldn’t be any more worried [about this strain of dog flu] than any other upper respiratory infection,” says Ashley Gallagher, a veterinarian at the Friendship Heights Animal Hospital in Washington, D.C. “It’s essentially just another kennel-cough disease.”

Though there’s no evidence so far that people can catch the virus from the dogs, there’s always a chance the virus could mutate and become even more of a threat to dogs, says Edward Dubovi, a veterinary virologist at Cornell University who is tracking the virus. Like any flu virus, “it keeps changing,” Dubovi says.

News reposted from:
By Rob Stein

7 Tips to Feed Your Dog with Canine Cancer

January 28th, 2016

With the improvements in veterinary health care, many dogs are living to advanced ages. Cancer has become a common disease in older pets.

Many dogs with cancer present loss of appetite. The first step to increase the intake of food is to provide a quiet setting for eating. Meals should be given on a regular schedule. Most homemade diets are highly palatable. Slight warming of the can increase the aroma and stimulate food intake.

The diet of a dog with cancer should include ingredients that help the body fight cancer and ingredients that help the body prevent cancer.

It is vital to fulfill your dog’s nutritional necessities at every mealtime. So you should include the following ingredients at every meal:

1. High Quality Lean Protein

Protein is a very important element. Dogs love the taste of most proteins, and that encourages them to eat. The following are good choices for protein:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Venison
  • Duck
  • Pork
  • Goat
  • Lamb

2. Fats and Oils

Omega 3 fatty acids are well known as “good fats” and they are essential for fighting cancer in your dog. Krill oil and fish oil are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

Krill oil comes from krill, the tiny shrimp that are the major source of food for whales. So krill is low on the food chain and it normally doesn’t have high levels of heavy metals. There is also proof that krill oil aids with depression, which can accompany cancer in dogs.

The abrupt introduction of fatty acids can cause stomach upset and diarrhea, so please introduce fatty acids into your dog’s diet slowly.

Fish oils (menhaden, mackerel, salmon, etc.) are similar to krill oil and they are more readily available and are usually cheaper. However, they have less impact on depression, and are more likely to hold heavy metals.

3. Vegetables

Vegetables interact with cancer in your dog’s body. Including vegetables in your dog’s diet is fundamental. The following vegetables represent good choices:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Mung beans (cooked)
  • Red or yellow bell peppers

To prepare them, simply steam or boil them. Cook them until they are very soft to make them easy for your dog with cancer to digest.

4. Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral for normal body functions. Muscle strength, appropriate blood clotting, regular heartbeats, inter-cell communication, and transmission of signals from one nerve to another are vital processes that also need calcium.

So making sure that your dog with cancer gets a proper amount of calcium is essential. Oyster shell calcium tablets are a good choice.

5. Nutritious Whole Grains

Most grains are not good for your dog with cancer. However, brown rice and oatmeal are both healthy and filling foods for your dog. The polysaccharides found in the bran in these grains may help to fight cancer.

6. Optional Healthy Additions

The following ingredients add flavor to your dog’s meal, but they also are full in cancer-fighting elements and have immune-boosting properties:

  • Fresh ginger root (peeled and minced)
  • Fresh minced leafy herbs (parsley, basil and oregano)
  • Sardines packed in oil (minced)
  • Goji berries
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Fresh blackberries

7. Do not overfeed your dog

There is always a temptation to feed table scraps or to give extra food as a special treat. Overfeeding is not healthy for dogs. It shortens life expectancy. Additionally obesity is also connected to cancer in dogs.

Research has shown that fat cells secrete adiponectin, which lessens the development of cancer cells. Fat cells secrete more adiponectin when they are being burned for fuel, which occurs in leaner dogs.

Diet is important but it is not everything. Cancer grows and spreads, destroys the immune system, causes weight loss and weakness, steals the body resources for normal functioning and induces poor life quality. A therapeutic plan defined by your veterinary assistant is also crucial for your dog to fight cancer.

Article reposted from:
Dora Mancha

Experimental Canine Tumor Vaccine Tested

January 25th, 2016

The Yale School of Medicine and The Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, Connecticut, are working together to test and evaluate a cancer vaccine for dogs with certain types of cancerous tumors. If the clinical trial is successful, researchers believe the vaccine will change the way cancer treatment is delivered to animals and people. The Veterinary Cancer Center is accepting dogs for the study.

The EGFT/HER2 Tumor Vaccine is the culmination of years of work by cancer researchers at Yale University. This stage of the project will determine whether or not anti-tumor antibodies are produced in vaccinated dogs. The vaccine ingredients are combined with a patient’s own white blood cells and then injected into a dog at two different intervals during the study. Blood samples are taken at the time of the first injection, then again on day 21, day 28 and day 56.

Yale researchers found that in a laboratory setting, the white blood cells worked with the vaccine to target malignant tumors and start to kill, reducing their size.

One patient in the clinical trial is a Pit bull mix named Valo. His owner reported the dog hasn’t experienced any side effects from the vaccine and is doing all of the regular activities he enjoys.

The ultimate goal of the vaccine study is to develop a new technology for treating cancer in people, as well as animals. This goal is somewhat rare because the majority of clinical trials for pets do not produce the same results when they are tested on people, but the Yale researchers are optimistic this study will benefit all of us.

Here are the eligibility requirements for dogs to enter the study:

  • Dogs must have confirmed mammary cancer or osteosarcoma.
  • Dogs with other types of cancer may be eligible depending on enrollment opening.
  • Dogs must weigh more than 6 pounds.
  • Dogs must not have been on prior steroid use. (ie: prednisone)

For more information about the EGFR/HER2 Canine Tumor Vaccine clinical trial, contact Gillian Rothchild at:

Story reposted from:
By Sharon Seltzer

Researchers Get OCE Funding for Canine Cancer Study

January 22nd, 2016

University of Guelph scientists working to improve cancer therapy for dogs – and potentially to enhance human cancer treatment – have received a $100,000 grant from Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).

Principal investigator is Brenda Coomber, a biomedical sciences professor in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and co-director of U of G’s Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI).

She will work with Rna Diagnostics to study dogs with advanced lymphoma, one of the most prevalent canine cancers. This project builds on her research begun in 2013 with the Toronto-based company.

Paul Woods and Brenda Coomber

“Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that all dogs with lymphoma get the best treatments we have available,” Coomber said.

“Since lymphoma in dogs is very similar to lymphoma in humans, the results of this study may also improve our understanding and treatment of human cancer.”

Certain molecules called biomarkers can help predict disease outcome or response to therapy in order to improve treatment.  Rna Diagnostics has developed a novel biomarker test called an RNA disruption assay (RDA™), intended to pinpoint cancer patients unlikely to respond to chemotherapy.

Coomber used RDA™ previously at OVC’s Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer to assess early response to conventional drugs in dogs treated for lymphoma.

Typically, treating canine lymphoma with chemotherapy involves multiple rounds of four drugs. In about four out of five dogs, this treatment leads to complete cancer remission.

But about half of dogs with complete remission will suffer a relapse within six months and will need new treatment.

“This time we’ll be studying dogs that have lymphoma and did not respond to treatment, or those who responded and were in remission but have now relapsed,” Coomber said.

Learning whether RDA™ can predict early response to chemotherapy among dogs with advanced lymphoma might spare patients from ineffective drug treatments and improve outcomes, she said.

Coomber will also analyze genes in these samples to identify other changes that might predict response to therapy for advanced canine lymphoma.

The OCE funding comes from its Voucher for Innovation and Productivity II fund, which supports collaborations between universities and Ontario companies.

“This is the kind of made-in-Ontario innovation we are always trying to find and are proud to support,” said OCE president and CEO Tom Corr.

“The work that Brenda Coomber and Rna Diagnostics are doing has the potential to not only change the way dogs are treated for lymphoma but also provide valuable information that might lead to more effective treatment of the disease in humans.”

Ken Pritzker, CEO of Rna Diagnostics, added: “OCE is a valued supporter. Funding needed studies ensures we get RDA to those clinicians and patients who need it most.”

The study will also involve clinical studies professor and ICCI co-director Paul Woods, pathobiology professor Dorothee Bienzle, ICCI clinical trial co-ordinator Vicky Sabine, and ICCI tumour bank co-ordinator Kaya Skowronski.

News reposted from:

Self-Taught Artist Paints Pet Portraits To Raise Money For Canine Cancer Research

January 20th, 2016

When Debbie Bruce’s 11-year-old golden retriever was diagnosed with cancer she was devastated. When only a few years later her 5-year old golden retriever was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer, she knew she had to do something to help further canine cancer research.

That’s how Painting For A Cure was born, a website that allows you the chance to get an affordable hand painted portrait of your pet, from which a generous percentage of proceeds go directly to funding canine cancer research.

Qupid, Debbie’s 5-year-old golden was diagnosed with lymphoma, a fast moving canine cancer that can kill a dog in a mere month. Luckily, thanks to a team of oncologists at California Veterinary Specialists, Qupid enjoyed an extra year-and-a-half of life. Still, she was only 3 months short of her 7th birthday when she passed, much too soon in the eyes of her loving family.

A painting of Qupid, the dog that inspired it all:

During Qupid’s bi-weekly cancer treatments, Debbie met people with dogs, cats and even rabbits battling cancer. One day, Debbie was struck with the idea to paint personalized pet portraits to raise money for canine cancer research. The only problem? She had never drawn more than a stick figure in her life.

Debbie wasn’t going to let a lack of experience stop her. She signed up for private lessons, watched countless YouTube videos, purchased books, and practiced almost every hour of every single day. Before she knew it, her ‘okay’ drawings were turning into incredible works of art that truly capture the heart and soul of each animal on canvas.

Today, Debbie’s website, Painting For A Cure, stands in honor of Qupid’s legacy. Providing hope that one day we will have a cure for cancer.

The self-taught artist said, “It is my hope that someday in the near future cancer will no longer have the chance to rob anyone of their golden years.”

It’s not just golden retrievers, or even dogs. Cancer is on the rise in many species, and when breakthroughs occur in canine cancer research it helps all across the board. You can help contribute to these breakthroughs by simply ordering a personalized pet portrait for you or someone you love.

Story reposted from:
By Earthables

What You Need to Know If Your Dog Gets Diagnosed With Canine Cancer

January 18th, 2016

A diagnosis of cancer in your dog can leave you scared and confused. Once you’ve had time to digest the bad news, you’ll need to make some decisions for your dog. The following information can guide you.

The doctor: It’s likely a small-animal veterinarian diagnosed your dog’s cancer. But should you pursue treatment with a specialist?

“Oncologists have the most updated treatment options and are familiar with different canine cancer behavior and adverse reactions to treatments,” said Heidi P. Watkins, DVM, a small animal veterinarian with Airport Irvine Animal Hospital in Costa Mesa, California. “If seeing an oncologist is not an option, some canine cancers can be managed by primary veterinarians that feel comfortable doing so.”

Nigel on the beach. (Photo by Audrey Pavia)

Treatable cancers: The cancers most likely to respond to treatment include some that are caught early, along with those affecting the skin. “Many early cases of canine and feline lymphomas can be treated, and treatment can extend life with quality,” Watkins said. “Some skin tumors, such as mast cell, and some brain tumors can respond to simple medication protocols.”

Chemotherapy: After a cancer diagnosis, should you pursue chemotherapy for your dog?

“There are several key points to keep in mind when deciding to move forward with chemotherapy,” Watkins said. “Severely comprised animals may respond less favorably to chemo or experience a high rate of adverse reactions. Also, some types of canine cancer can have a history of poor response to chemo, and perhaps pursuing treatment is not the best option.”

In some cases, the location of a tumor, such as squamous cell carcinoma on the face near the eye, may make treatments like radiation more risky for damaging nearby tissue, according to Watkins. And finally, money is another consideration. Chemotherapy can be costly.

Cost: If your dog doesn’t have medical insurance, or his insurance doesn’t cover cancer, cost can be a big factor in your decisions.

“Things that influence cost range from what type of canine cancer and treatment protocol to where the pet is being treated — by a regular veterinarian or a specialist,” Watkins said. “The total cost could be as low as $1,000 spent over the course of a few months, to many thousands of dollars for radiation treatments, recheck lab work, and advanced imaging.”

Audrey and Nigel take a run on the sand at Carmel Beach. (Photo by Russ Case)

Some dog owners have started online fundraising campaigns to pay for their dog’s treatment. If you are active online and have a lot of pet-loving friends, fundraising can be a good idea.

Diet: Consider changing your dog’s diet if he has been diagnosed with canine cancer. According to Watkins, it’s best to feed a higher fat and protein, low-carb diet. “Cancer cells thrive on sugars and carbs,” she said. “However, many cancer patients have decreased appetite issues, and so just getting any food into them can be a challenge.”

Clinical trials: Getting your dog into a clinic trial can help him get cutting edge treatment at a reduced cost. “Some specialty veterinary hospitals do occasionally sponsor clinical trials for developing canine cancer treatments,” Watkins said. “Contacting either your regular veterinarian or, even better, a veterinary oncology hospital to find out if there is a trial for your animal’s condition could be helpful in funding a patient’s treatment.”

Hospice: When treating the canine cancer is no longer an option, making your pet as comfortable as possible is your next step.

“Quality of life for the pet should always be the primary objective,” Watkins said. “If chemotherapy is not chosen or is not possible, or the pet is no longer responding favorably to treatment, then hospice can be considered as a prelude to humane euthanasia.”

Honoring your dog: You can make a donation in your dog’s name to a canine cancer research organization like the National Canine Cancer Foundation, Puppy Up Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation, Animal Cancer Foundation, or Canine Cancer Awareness, or you can start a fundraising page for one of these organizations in your dog’s name.

If your dog has passed, you may also want to consider something more personal, like a tattoo of your pet, a commissioned portrait of your dog, or even a special urn for his ashes. Of course, the ultimate way to honor him is to open your heart to another dog, like a rescue. Saving the life of a shelter dog is the greatest way you can pay tribute to your dog’s memory.

Nigel getting ready for the holidays. (Photo by Audrey Pavia)

When it’s time

“Cancer is not a death sentence,” according to Gerald Post, DVM, a board certified specialist in oncology and owner of the Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, Connecticut. “ Canine cancer is much more treatable now than ever before as we have far more options.”

But for those of us with a dog whose cancer is not curable, a time will come when we have to make the decision to give up the fight.

“When to give up is often the most difficult question a veterinarian has to answer,” Dr. Post said. “Anyone who seeks oncologic care for their pets loves and knows their pet. Your pet ‘speaks’ to you in hundreds of nonverbal ways every day. In many cases, your pet will ‘tell’ — whether it’s a different look, a change in behavior, or the way in which your dog interacts with you.”

Dr. Post counsels his clients to make a list of the 10 to 20 most important activities in their dog’s life, and when a significant number of them can no longer be done, then it may be time.

“It’s a very personal and very final decision,” he said. “In my 25 years of practice, I have found that most pet parents know and make the right decision at the right time.”

Article reposted from:
Audrey Pavia

Quit smoking to save your pet from cancer

January 14th, 2016

As if we needed another reason to put out those cigarettes for good, Scottish researchers say that, along with causing other health woes, smoking may be making your dog fat.

In a release from the University of Glasgow, scientists reported on observations from their ongoing study of the health effects of cigarette smoke on dogs and cats. The study has not yet been published, but the university released some findings before the end of the year, perhaps to encourage smokers to give up this dangerous habit as a New Year’s resolution.

“Our findings show that exposure to smoke in the home is having a direct impact on pets. It risks ongoing cell damage, increasing weight gain after castration and has previously been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers,” Clare Knottenbelt, professor of Small Animal Medicine and Oncology at the university’s Small Animal Hospital, said in a statement.

Pets take in “significant amounts of smoke” when living in a home with a puffer, she said. In the team’s most recent findings they discovered that cats take in more cigarette residue than dogs, which may be related to the feline self-grooming instincts.

“As an incidental finding,” Knottenbelt said, “we also observed that dogs living with a smoker gained more weight after neutering.”

Cigarette smoke has at least 40 mutagenic and carcinogenic agents that have been linked to human cancer. Scientists are now trying to pin down the effects on dogs and cats.

In this study, the researchers observed a higher level of a gene that acts as a marker of cell damage in dogs who lived with smokers.

The notion that environmental tobacco smoke, popularly known as “secondhand smoke,” can be deadly to pets is nothing new. Previous research has shown that it boosts the risk of nasal cancer in dogs, specifically those with long muzzles. Other scientists have reported that dogs who live with smokers have higher rates of atopic dermatitis (eczema) than those who live in smoke-free homes.

For more than two decades, there have been studies and anecdotal reports showing more cancers, including lung, lymphoma, and oral cancers, in dogs living with smokers.

“I recently saw a patient who had smoked over 40 cigarettes a day until she developed bronchial carcinoma,” wrote David Cummings, of the Department of Hematology, Harefield Hospital in Britain. “Two of her pet dogs had died of lung cancer … and her cat had suffered from chronic wheezing that resolved when the patient discontinued smoking.” His comments appeared in a letter to the editor in the British Medical Journal in 1994.

Article reposted from:
By: Mara Bovsun

Give Your Dog a Tbsp. of This Golden Turmeric Paste to Relieve Inflammation And Prevent Cancer

January 12th, 2016

The turmeric is an extremely beneficial herb, a member of the ginger family, is most commonly known for its deep orange color and is used for cooking, herbal medicine and dyes.

But not many of us know that it can be beneficial for our pets as well. Why? Turmeric’s prime ingredient curcumin is host of health benefits and acts as a spice, but also as a pain reliever. For this reason, it’s a great food additive for pets that suffer from ailments and illnesses which cause pain.

What are the benefits of Turmeric for dogs?

There are a number of recorded benefits of turmeric for dogs, but any new treatment of any kind should be discussed with your dog’s holistic veterinarian. Always err on the side of caution before embarking on any new treatment paths.

Pain: Because all dog breeds are subject to arthritis, turmeric can play an important role due to its anti-inflammatory properties. In dogs that have a little extra weight, turmeric can help with the painful inflammation that comes when arthritis takes hold.

Blood Clots: Curcumin is also a blood thinner, which makes it an essential component when it comes to reducing the risk of blood clots and ridding the body of excess cholesterol.  Although cholesterol doesn’t effect dogs like it does people, clots can lead to a number of problems for dogs, like strokes and heart attacks and turmeric becomes very helpful indeed.

Irritable Bowel Disease: Curcumin also stimulates bile production in the liver, which aids in digesting food properly because it helps break down dietary fats. Active dogs require diets that have at least 20 percent fat, so a little turmeric can go a long way with respect to aiding in overall digestion. Dogs that are pregnant, nursing or underweight require more fat in the diet, which means that, you guessed it, more turmeric could help.

Cancer: There are some reports emerging, albeit somewhat tentatively, that turmeric could play a role in fighting cancer. Animal and test tube studies have revealed the herb’s capability to play a role in preventative medicine as an antioxidant. It has also been proven to shut down the blood vessels that feed cancer cells in some cases, although more research is certainly needed on the subject.

This amazing Golden paste recipe was developed by the Australian veterinarian Dr. Doug English, who claims that it provides extraordinary results.

Golden Paste- Recipe


  • ½ cup organic turmeric powder (use organic turmeric powder as it contains lots of curcumin)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (Grind organic black peppercorns in a coffee grinder or a blender)
  • ¼ cup organic cold pressed virgin olive or coconut oil (it also has great health benefits)
  • 1  to 1 ½ cups filtered water


Mix the turmeric with the water, starting with 1 cup water and adding more only if needed. Stir the liquid on medium/low heat. In about 7 to 10 minutes, a thick paste will be formed.

If the mixture looks watery, you can add a bit more turmeric and heat it for another couple of minutes.

When the paste is ready, add the pepper and oil, and then stir it well. Allow the mixture to cool, place it in a jar with a lid and store it in your fridge. The paste can be kept in the fridge for no more than two weeks, and then you will need to make a fresh new paste.


Mix the paste with water and add it to your dog’s meals. Your dog won’t mind the taste at all.

At first, give it about ¼ to ½ teaspoon of the paste, depending on the size of your dog. You can gradually increase the amount, up to about a tablespoon for larger dogs. Moreover, make sure you give your dog smaller amounts, but a few times a day, as turmeric leaves the body quickly.

Article reposted from: