Diet is one of the most important factors that govern a dog’s health. Vitality, well being and appearance are all heavily influenced by the nutrients that a dog receives, but is it possible to fight off an already established disease as serious as Cancer with specially selected foods?
Mark Stevens of Mount Vernon, Washington explained how his partner devised a specialised diet for their dog after a Cancer diagnosis and the progress they made.
“My girlfriend's dog Jake was given two months to live due to having four tumours. The external pilot tumour was surgically removed. Jake is 51.6 lbs., male, neutered at about 2 years of age, currently about13 years old. Except for the Cancer he’s in good health. My girlfriend Sheila put him on a special diet. In the dogs’ four week review, one tumour was gone the other two were noticeably smaller. He may be clear of cancer in the next two months.
Here is the food diary she kept with the results as they occurred.
Late January 2007: Anal gland carcinoma diagnosed by Dr. O’Roark at Animal Care Center in Mount Vernon, Washington. Appetite good, but keeps disliking different foods; this had already started but I hadn’t quite noticed. Immediately started finding herbs to put Jake on, including: Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin E and C, Salmon Oil, Whey Amino Acids, Vitamin A and D, Maitake whole, Lipoic Acid, Co-Q10, Fibre (inulin), Bone Meal, Broccoli Sprouts, Turmeric, Quercetin, IP-6, Boswellia Seratta.
2nd February: A golf ball sized anal gland carcinoma (squamous cell carcinoma) was removed by Dr. O’Roark. The analysis said low grade tumour, completely resected with clean margins.
9th February: We saw Dr Goklait at the Veterinary Specialty Center in Lynnwood to check to see if the Cancer had spread. Took x-rays, blood work, ultra-sound. Found golf ball size tumour on lung lobe, 2 pencil eraser size tumours on lung lobe and 1 pencil eraser size tumour on spleen.
The doctor said chemotherapy was ineffective on this type of tumour. I showed him the list of pills I was giving Jake. He said to keep giving glutamine and that Milk Thistle was good, Fibre (inulin) also good, and Broccoli Sprouts should be golf-ball size portion. He advised me to remove from my list Vitamins A and D.
10th February: Virtually every plant has its own defences and therefore something in it is good for cancer, which makes all of the literature very confusing. I searched the internet to add to my herb list. Looked for educational sites with studies, I also looked up herbs that I knew were well thought of to see what they did for cancer.
Most surprising to me were several studies that indicated that Vitamins E,C, beta-carotene and A, as well as a couple of isolated broccoli antioxidants appeared to hasten death and support some cancers. This caused me to remove the pill broccoli antioxidants and go back to broccoli sprouts.
12th February: I saw Dr. O’Roark today. A pencil eraser sized tumour was back in Jake’s anal gland area. Dr. O’Roark took a smear from it and said it was cancerous. I’m really disappointed that it came back so soon.
16th February: Saw Dr. Sodi (Ayurvedic Doctor) at Animal Hospital of Lynnwood We couldn’t find the tumour, Dr. Sodi looked for it and he couldn’t find the pencil eraser size tumour in the anal gland area either.
Dr. Sodi didn’t pare my list down much as I had hoped. He said everything on it was said to be good for cancer, and there are 5000+ herbs out there which is what makes the choices confusing.
He gave me his protocol for treatment, which is Curcumin, Artimisinin, Butyrex, Ashwagandha, and Maitake-Reishi-Shiitake formula, plus a veg-enzyme every time the dog eats.
20th February: Today we saw Dr. Tripp, an oncologist with Veterinary Cancer Specialists. The chances of metastasis (spreading of the Cancer) is 85% in squamous cell carcinoma, and there is a 15% chance Adenocarcinoma.
Jake’s tumours are on both lobes so they can’t be resected, the vet said he wouldn’t want to put my dog through that anyway.
23rd February: I received Peroxicam in the mail and have started using it.
6th March: I had phone consultation with Dr. Siegler of the Animal Healing Center. He said that the theory of Vitamins E, C and A promoting existing cancers were controversial studies. Had told me to add back in my multi-Vitamin and to increase the dose of Vitamin C, to remove Ginkgo Biloba, Pau D’Arco, Echinacea, Extra mushrooms (other than MRS), Black Elderberry Extract, Ginseng, Lutein, Lycopene, Garlic Clove, Olive Leaf, Rosemary.
7th March: Setback! Jake finally ate (and liked well) a can of dog food, after not liking food choices enough to eat well for a couple of days. Then he ate the paper towel when I wasn’t looking.
9th March:. Friday. Another setback. I received Siegler’s protocol. It was homeopathic and I’m not familiar with that. I had mentioned that chemotherapy doesn’t work on this cancer. I was supposed to dilute this remedy but misread the instructions and gave it straight, then I immediately gave Jake lots of yoghurt. I consulted a 24 hour toxicology helpline. Jake was agitated that night. The next day he liked food even less than before, I gave him his herbals with yoghurt, he finally threw it all up (about 1and1/2 lbs). Sunday we babied him with syringe fed good foods, it stayed down, he feels better, got all his herbals, exercised well.
I’ve had a tremendous amount of trouble getting Jake to eat, and after cooking lots of different dishes for Jake, giving him raw beef, buffalo, and spoon feeding raw ground veggies, I’ve somewhat given up on depending on getting him to eat of his own choice. My best luck getting him to eat on his own has been spreading out about five flavour choices at meal time and letting him choose. Also, I think it’s likely I’ve been upsetting his stomach with my pills. Now, in addition to offering him food at meal time, I spoon feed him food with his pills and I don’t think he gets an upset stomach any more. I try to keep his total amount of food solids down to what he always ate, about 1.5 cups for breakfast. and dinner. Jake doesn’t seem to mind the spoon feeding, just the pills.
I feel uncertain about: giving my dog the Vitamin A, C, and E that I’m giving him (and how to replace his multi-Vitamin if I again remove these antioxidants. I’m also considering adding back in Lycopene, Lutein, and Black-Elderberry Extract (they didn’t seem to upset his stomach, and some studies say they help with some cancers, and they weren’t hard to give). I would love for some Doctor who understands the 5 types of cancer cell origins to look over the pub-med studies and tell me what has helped before in Jake’s type of cancer cell line.
The only things I’m now giving Jake that I feel have some potential for upsetting his stomach are: Vitamin C, Lipoic Acid, Green Tea in his water, Resveratrol and Quercetin, Cats Claw, Peroxicam, Broccoli Sprouts.
20th March: I saw Dr. Tripp again; he took an X-ray and did blood work. Still no sign of tumour in anal gland area and the tumour on the spleen is gone. The small tumour on Jake’s lung is smaller. The large tumour on the lung is 0.2cm thumb. The blood work came back very good, only 1 liver enzyme slightly out of range, but no others, and it is actually better than last time we did blood work.
At this point I will continue what I’m doing, and try to figure out how to be more aggressive. I’ll try to give him more fish oil. I’ll also start doing ground 10 minute aged broccoli sprouts in yoghurt 3 times daily instead of two. I’ve added back in 1/4 cup am + pm fresh ground nutrient-rich organic veggies in yoghurt. I will also try harder to get Jake to go to bed earlier and shall continue taking him for runs on the park, but I’d prefer to find a way to give him stress-bearing exercise in the hope of getting him to produce more dystrophin to improve his appetite.