Dog Cancer – The Big ‘C’
Cancer is not only a disease that affect humans, but animals as well. After the age of 10, approximately fifty percent of dogs will be diagnosed with cancer. It isn’t a certain type of cancer that affect only dogs, they can get the same cancers that we do, including skin cancer, breast cancer in females, bone cancer, etc. Some breads are predisposed to certain cancers. This doesn’t mean they can’t get others, but it is worth doing specific bread research to see if you should do something specific for your furry friend.
Be A Proactive Dog Owner
Just like humans there are telling signs and symptoms that you can recognize in dogs to suggest that they have cancer, before doing any medical exams. Early detection of cancer is key for the best outcomes. The most common symptoms of cancer in dogs are lumps, bleeding, enlarged lymph nodes and loss of appetite.
Lumps is the most common symptom that cancer is present, and is also the easiest to help early detection. Check your pup often for signs of lumps and things that weren’t there before. Enlarged lymph nodes are similar to finding lumps (but lymph nodes should always be a small bump). Check around your dog’s jaw and neck line for irregularities.
Unusual bleeding and loss of appetite are the other top signs and symptoms to cancer in dogs. Bleeding from anywhere is always a sign of something not being right. Bleeding in the stool is another thing to look for. Loss of appetite is always in the list for cancer and weight loss in your dog is also one. In Chinese Medicine a loss of appetite is not a good prognosis. Anytime we see poor appetite that is the first thing to be addressed. After all how can your dog digest herbs and foods to protect themselves if they aren’t eating.
Luckily most of the helpful signs to cancer in dogs are ones we can easily catch: my dog isn’t eating, doesn’t feel good, has strange poop, looks skinny and ill, etc.
10 Early Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs
According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation there are some early warning signs that helpful to all dog owners to look for as a preventative measure:
- Abnormal swellings including growing ones
- Sores that don’t heal
- Weight loss, especially in rapid weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
- Offensive odor
- Difficulty eating, swallowing or breathing
- Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
- Persistent lameness or stiffness
- Difficulty urinating, or defecation
Of course, there are some breeds more prone to develop cancer than others. Rottweilers are of the top highest-ranking breed that has been proved to develop cancer, especially bone cancer. Bernese Mountain Dogs are also on the list for dogs ranking high in developing cancer, with mast cell tumors being their number one culprit. The third ranking cancer breed dog are Golden Retrievers with hemangiosarcoma, a cancer that attack the vascular organs and the skin. You can always find breed specific info for additional signs, symptoms and cautions.
Other High Cancer Risk Breeds
- Scottish Terriers
- Sheep Dogs
- Boston Terriers
- Most terrier breeds have high risk
Let’s Get to Cancer Prevention
Thankfully, there are many things we can do to treat and even prevent cancer from happening in some cases. Food is medicine to dogs and many diseases can be prevented and helped with a
good well balanced and organic diet. There are many options out there to choose from thanks to proper organic food gaining demand. If this seems expensive or you want to take more control over your dogs diet, you can make your own dog food. This is a nice base dog food recipe. I make my dog her own food every weekend in a crock pot with organic meat, organic veggies and organic potatoes etc.
You and your dog can (for the most part) eat to whatever you believe in. What I mean by that is I don’t believe there is 1 way to feed your dog that is necessarily superior (given its well rounded and organic). If you want to do a raw diet, fine. If you want your dog to be paleo, fine. No poultry? fine! No Grains? Fine.
Your dog needs these 5 things:
- High Quality Protein – Meats, fish, dairy and eggs are all good sources
- Quality Fats – Don’t treat your dog like a human dieter, they need high quantities of quality fats, this is their primary energy source and for their hormones. Fats contained in the protein are the highest quality like salmon and beef (even turkey in many cases). Adding quality oils to supplement as needed – olive and coconut are good choices.
- Complex Carbohydrates – This is grains and vegetables. Most organic grains are great choices. Grain Free? Try sweet potato or banana (think about baby food in making selections)
- Calcium – Calcium and vitamins are best from natural sources. Dairy products- including the amazing benefits- like yogurt are good choices. Herbs, mushrooms and natural supplements are good for calcium and other vitamins and minerals
- Essential Fatty Acids – This again brings us back to good fats, not just any fats. Salmon is a great food for dogs as it hits every need except carbs. Egg yolks, oatmeal, turmeric, and supplements help with fatty acids.
TIP: Eggs are a great and inexpensive protein that also deliver essential fatty acids
Some other things we can do are getting dogs spayed when they are young. This is the optimal time to have procedures like this, when the dog is youthful and healthy. Getting spayed young greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer. It also helps with other potential problems down the road.
Keeping good oral hygiene is another good way to prevent and reduce the risk of cancer. Oral cancer is a form of cancer that can happen. Additionally bad hygiene can cause bad gut flora and even jaw bone cancers due to improper oral hygiene.
The good thing that with today’s advanced technology, being diagnosed with cancer is not necessarily a death penalty. Many cancers, especially if caught early enough, can be treated surgically, chemically or naturally. Studies show that there are a lot of herbs for dogs that can be used medicinally that have been proven to prolong a dog’s life that has been diagnosed with cancer in addition to reducing tumor growths and fighting cancer cells themselves.
Goji Berry (Gou Qi Zi) – The Chinese Superfruit
The Goji Berry is one of those herbs for dogs that can be used to fight cancer. They are one of mother nature’s superfoods and are packed with antioxidants as well as nutrients, which is
basically saying it gives your dog all the raw materials needed to help defend itself. Goji has anti-inflammatory effects as well and help to fight the free radicals that try and take over our bodies and whose main goal is to make us sick.
Goji is from China where it is called Gou Qi Zi or in latin as Lycium barbarum. This small red fruit has been found to be full of active ingredients that directly affects cancer cells. It can reduce
the size of a tumor as well as reduce inflammatory cytokines, which produces the perfect environment for cancer cells to flourish. The goji berry is an all-around cancer killer but it is also a vitality and health booster for dogs. Since it is safe for dogs of all ages it should be introduced into a dog’s daily diet early in life, especially if they are one of the breeds prone to develop cancer.
If giving this herbal berry to your doggie friend make sure you soak them in water first, so that it will be well absorbed into their digestive system. Your
dog doesn’t have the molars humans do to break down fruits and vegetables easily. If they are not prepared then they will most likely pass right through after consumption and right into their stools, leaving all the nutrients behind.
Therefore I recommend giving your dog Organic Goji Berry Powder. Thanks to popularity you can have no hesitation giving your pet this herb as it can be sourced 100% organic. This is the best and easiest way to give your dog Goji berry. Because Goji is delicious you can mix Organic Goji Berry Powder into some dog food, or even mix it with a small bit of water and watch them lick it up like a treat!
Always Choose Ginseng with Cancer
Ginseng is another great herb for dogs that can be used as an immunity supplement. Ginseng is so effective that it was once believed to have magical healing powers. The beneficial effects of Ginseng on your dog, and humans for that matter, are powerful full body healing and strengthening effects. This makes ginseng a popular herb for many remedies and supplements.
Ginseng power comes from its main ingredient ‘ginsenosides’. The ginsengoides are responsible for most of the actions of ginseng. In the case of cancer we are focused on its anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to modulate angiogenesis (the process of cancer cells growth).
According to the American Journal of Chinese Medicine: Ginseng’s alkaloids help it to reduce tumor growth and cancer’s invasiveness and angiogenesis . Ginseng has been formulated and the herb has been extracted into many new dog immunity supplements. It can be found in capsule or liquid form. There are many doggie friendly treats that have a high degree of ginseng as one of the main ingredients. Introducing ginseng into your dog’s daily diet can only be beneficial to them and will he
lp as an immunity boost for dogs. Additionally, as I have mentioned before, Chinese herb powder is a great way to supplement your dog as you can easily mix them in food or wet/treat food. Simply use Chinese herbs that are Lab Tested and High Quality to ensure your dog is ingesting the best medicine possible and not a bunch of allergens and sulphurs.
Astragalus (Huang Qi) – The Leader in Immune Boosting
The last herb I want to mention in this article is Astragalus, otherwise known as Huang Qi in Chinese pinyin. It has been used in Chinese medicine for over two thousand years and is an all-natural energy booster. It is also a great herb used for immune systems.
As far as cancer is concerned, it helps the body to know the difference between cancer cells and normal cells. Additionally, it improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and can prolong a dog’s life in those diagnosed with cancer. In other words, it curbs a lot of the side effects that these treatments cause the body. Astragalus is able to stimulate B-cells, which are responsible to produce antibodies which are beneficial to a dog’s overall health. Many veterinary practices are using this medicinal herb more and more when they have a dog patient that has cancer. They will also recommend the owners to start giving supplements to their dogs, if they have a known breed that is at high risk of developing cancer. This herb is increasingly popular and therefore Organic Astragalus is the best option to make sure you get the most potency. Astragalus is sweet and a little woody, even to humans it has a pleasant taste. So I recommend buying it in a powdered form for your dog as they will easily eat it without needing extra calories, filler, capsules, binders, or anything else.
Best Advice is Simple Advice: Walk your dog and feed them a quality proper diet.
It is always important to have your dog get a regular checkup from their veterinarians and to keep their shots up to date. There is no real way of knowing how and what causes cancer from developing in humans and dogs. We can only try our best in trying to prevent some cancer cells from entering and taking over our bodies. Being educated on what we put into our dog’s bodies is an extremely important thing to do, as well as keeping them in a healthy lifestyle. Veterinarians say the biggest link in dogs and cancer is poor health. Daily walks and runs are essential to a dog’s health and to be a dog owner means taking responsibility of our dogs. With all the breed specific advice, herb advice, or any other advice it seems that proper dog health is the first step. Getting them the help they need while doing the best we can to keep them happy and healthy is what being a dog owner is all about. Knowing how to prevent cancer from developing only means they get to stick around us longer, and that’s what we all want for our dogs.
Doggie Herbs offers herb powders that can naturally be worked into your dog’s diet. The herbs discussed in this article are in the product Doggie Immunity by Doggie Herbs