Experts predict that 50% of pets who were born after 2004 will die of cancer. This figure, frightening as it is, has doubled from the 25% prediction 10 years ago. Why are so many of our pets succumbing to this disease?
Some folks say that cancer rates aren’t up, but instead that our pets are living longer and thus more of them are developing cancer at older ages, or that we can diagnose it better.
I don’t agree with that. As a veterinarian for 32+ years, my observations have been that more and more pets are developing cancer, and many of them are getting struck down at very early ages, much earlier than I had ever seen in my early days as a practicing veterinarian.
Many people agree that human cancer rates are also on the rise. Both people and their pets share the same environment, and are subject to exposure to the same environmental toxins. Our planet is awash with carcinogens, spewed forth from industrial waste sites, automobiles, factories and countless other sources.
Exposure to carcinogens increases an individual’s risk of developing cancer. Cigarette smoke is a good example of this. It can take many years of exposure to cigarette smoke for it to cause cancer, and this is true for most carcinogens, including carcinogenic radiation.
Something you may not have thought of: We know about the dangers of second hand smoke to people who live with smokers, but did you know that dogs and cats who live with smokers are also exposed to second hand smoke, and several studies have demonstrated significant health risks to pets who are exposed. This is a topic that will be discussed in articles that follow, along with many other similar topics.
This blog has been created to help you to understand more about cancer in pets, and in your pet specifically.
Here, we discuss cancer causes, how cancer is detected and diagnosed, and the many varieties of treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation have the ability to kill cancer cells, but can also cause collateral damage, killing healthy cells as well, and in the process creating adverse side-effects that are a “normal” part of that cancer therapy. The positive effects of chemotherapy and radiation can be enhanced with nutritional supplements, and the negative effects can also be mitigated through the judicious use of nutritional supplements without defeating the positive effects of the cancer therapies.
It is my opinion that there are appropriate times and places for strong oncologic therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation and aggressive surgery. Natural therapies can take too long to have an effect, and with an aggressive cancer, the patient may not survive long enough for the alternative, natural therapies to take effect. By blending chemotherapy and radiation with the appropriate nutritional supplements, and acupuncture, your pet can experience better improvement from these harsh therapies with fewer adverse effects.
Articles filed under this “Cancer” thread cover a number of helpful approaches for your pet with cancer. Here we discuss specific alternative therapies for cancer, and tell you which ones can be blended with conventional therapies for better outcomes and fewer side-effects. In-depth discussions on this topic can be found under the “Cancer” thread that discusses a number of alternative therapies (for example):
- Medical mushrooms and medical cannabis
- Acupuncture and ginger root for chemotherapy-associated nausea
- Glutamine, clay and probiotics for diarrhea caused by the cancer or the cancer treatment.
- Artemisinin for osteosarcoma or other types of cancer
- Can cannabis cure cancer and help with cancer pain?
These are just a few of the many important topics you can find under this thread.
It is important, during your pet’s challenge with its cancer, for you to maintain a healthy “mind-set”, in spite of the seriousness of the diagnosis. This way your pet feels the positive energy of your healing activities and your love. Positive thoughts create positive results. We guide you to achieve this state of mind for the benefit of your four-legged friend.
Probably the most important information we present on this blog-site, though, is what you can do to help prevent cancer from striking your pets (and yourself).
Many of my clients, after they learned of my protocols for their pets, would ask me what they themselves should be taking as cancer preventatives. This is a very important thread to follow, both for yourself, and also for your little friend. What’s good for your pets is good for you, too (except for coprophagia—just joking, here).
My blogging partner on Nurse Your Pet.com, Dr. Gabby Varcoe, like myself, is an integrative vet who sees animals with cancer every day and who uses supplements and herbs and acupuncture and pharmaceuticals to help maintain their quality of life. Dr. Gabby has been able to maintain high levels of quality of life for her patients, through her care-giving that involves home-prepared meals, conventional medicines for pain management, and numerous nutritional supplements to help the immune system, and to fight the cancer directly. Her contributions to this blog-site are very special, and I urge you to follow them closely.
I know you will find both my own and Gabby’s very hands-on practical advice will help to round out our information-rich posts. Together, Dr. Varcoe and I provide a broad-based and practical approach to helping pets with serious disease, and helping their guardians to cope both with their beloved pets’ diseases, but also with the stress and burden of being the caregiver to a pet with serious disease.