Currently cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death in pets over the age of 10.  Knowing the warning signs is key because when it comes to cancer, the earlier it is diagnosed the better the chances for survival.  Cancer is not something new to our pets and most cancers found in pets are not caused by a single source. It can be hard to know the source of our pet’s cancer, if there has been a diagnosis, because the cause is usually a long-term accumulation of problems:

  1. Chronic Inflammation.  Pets suffering from chronic inflammation can exhibit symptoms ranging from irritable bowel syndrome, to poor skin and coat conditions including itching and yeast infections.  Often the inflammation starts in the gut, and feeding poor-quality, high-starch diets exacerbates the issues. The best support for our pets is feeding a perfectly balanced high-quality, raw food, and fresh food (not heated/cooked) diet with food-derived vitamins and minerals. 
  • Poor Immune System function is another deadly precursor to cancer development.  The total health of the body begins in the gut, and a healthy microbiome and gut function can prevent immune system problems and disease development.  When the immune system is struggling so do all the organs as they become imbalanced, leading to heart disease and other immune-mediated diseases (arthritis, joint discomfort, IBS, skin issues, and organ inflammation).  Supporting a healthy gut is easy, just provide pre and probiotics, healthy omegas, multivitamins can boost the whole system, and so can herbal immune boosters.  In addition to a healthy, balanced, fresh diet, the addition of a digestive enzyme will increase digestion efficiency and reduce inflammation.  An excellent gut boosting topper can be found in bone broth too.  There are so many ways to give the gut the boost it needs, keep it healthy by adding a variety of gut-healthy additions to your pet’s healthy diet.
  • Chemicals and Stress.  Just like you and me, chemicals and stress play a critical role in our health and predisposition to cancer.  Exposure to yard chemicals, fertilizer, cleaners, flea & tick medications, or cigarette smoke initiates inflammatory response in the gut which can predispose cancer and disrupt the healthy gut biome. In addition, when exposed to chemicals the body and must react to and filter it out of the bloodstream and organs. Similarly, when stress (emotional counts) and electric smog (microwaves, energy lines, cell phones, etc.) bombard the body it leads to poor health for the whole system as it struggles to balance itself and rid itself of the negative responses, hormones, and impacts.
  • Vaccines & Over-vaccinating.  We’ve been told for years to boost our pets’ vaccines once a year, and without question we let our pets receive them… but over-vaccinating can cause the body to become over-stimulated.  An over-stimulated immune system causes stress on the whole body including the lymphatic & hormone systems, and a cascade of organ stresses that are unnecessary.  Not to mention it can cause inflammation and immune related diseases.  There are many immune system supporting herbs and nutraceuticals available to keep your pet’s immune system strong and healthy without over-vaccinating.  Instead of boosting vaccines during adulthood, ask for antibody testing to see if your pet needs the booster.

Signs you can watch for:

Lumps & bumps, abnormal body odors or discharge, wounds that won’t heal, appetite change, noticeable weight loss or gain, difficulty breathing, coughing, changes in urination or stool, pain, lethargy or depression.  If you notice one or more of these warning signs and you suspect something is wrong it may be a good idea to see your veterinarian.

Cancer Treatment

Facing a diagnosis of cancer can feel very scary.  Remember to stay calm and focus on working with the cancer to heal it, rather than fighting with it… that only adds more stress to the situation for you and your pet.  There are many ways to address a cancer diagnosis, and there are many remedies for treating your pet including pharmaceuticals, herbs, supplements and alternative treatments (acupuncture, Reiki, homeopathy, etc.).  You get to decide how to walk the path with your pet, under the advice of your vet and any therapy your pet is getting; we have many supplements to support you on the journey.

Alternative or supportive options:

Low Carb/sugar foods: to avoid giving most cancers their preferred energy source.  A balanced, high-protein, low carbohydrate fresh and raw diet is the best way to feed your pet, not the cancer.  We have the best in organic and balanced fresh, raw nutrition, including diets that are free of bacterial contaminants.

Herbs: based on the individual pet, herbs help address the imbalances in the body, especially Chinese herbs (you’ll want to seek the advice of a natural/homeopathic vet). They boost the immune system, reduce symptoms, and increase appetite and overall energy. We have multiple options for herbs to help, including milk thistle and supplements with ginger to help support the liver and reduce symptoms.

Recent research indicated that using traditional Chinese medicine in conjunction with conventional treatment added an additional one year of life to the pet dealing with malignant cancer. – Dr. Thomas, Heal Your Life

DHA: long known to be an anti-cancer agent, look for high quality, cold pressed fish oils.

Mushrooms: Medicinal mushrooms have cancer fighting properties. They fight and prevent cancer.  When used in combination with certain anticancer drugs and/or radiotherapy, they offer synergistic effects and have shown positive effects on drug resistant cancers.  We have mushroom blends of the most well-known cancer fighters, like Reishi, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail and more

Other additions to consider, with the advice and help of your licensed veterinarian:

Vitamins A & D: vitamin A metabolizes into retinoic acid, which in higher dosages is considered a cancer fighter and an antioxidant.  Vitamin D is known for its ability to aid in cell differentiation and apoptosis (ridding itself of dead cells), and it inhibits blood supply to the tumor.  Coenzyme Q10: a potent antioxidant that modulates the immune system and reduces side effects of some chemotherapy agents.

IP6: (Inositol hexaphosphate) kills cancer cells, inhibits cancer growth, and modulates the immune system.

Whether you decide to follow holistic, conventional, or a combination in the treatment of your pet’s cancer, it’s important to consult with a licensed veterinarian for guidance developing a plan and to help with dosages and which supplements will work best to support the immune system, reduce symptoms, and increase energy and appetite.

*The staff at The Natural Pet Market are well educated & our products are well researched, but we are not licensed veterinarians and cannot provide medical diagnosis or prescription, nor can we be a substitute for visiting a veterinarian.  We believe in holistic care and treatment and we strive to support you with the best advice in holistic care of your pets.