Understanding the Terms that Define Your Pet’s Cancer

July 31, 2018

in Cat Health

Over the last month, your dog lost a few pounds, seemed a little listless and could not tolerate much exercise. When he decided he no longer felt like eating, however, alarm bells sounded and you had him to the vet the same day. Your vet ran some blood work, shot a few x-rays to back up the findings and now you are sitting in an exam room with your faithful companion and wondering how you missed the warning signs for cancer.

Cancer in pets, much like the human equivalent of the disease, is an all too common problem. There are so many types, treatments, grades, stages, and protocols. The pressure to know what is best for your pet is intense and unrelenting.

What is Cancer? The correct name for cancer is actually neoplasia meaning new growth and there are two types “malignant and benign. Malignant tumors invade, grow, destroy healthy tissue, and spread. Malignant tumors metastasize or spread through the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, and through growth.

Benign tumors grow in one area and do not invade or spread into other parts of the body. Benign tumors are also easy to remove because they have formed edges like an egg where malignant tumors can look more like an octopus with long tentacles. For an accurate diagnosis of whether a tumor is benign or malignant, your veterinarian or, preferably, a pathologist must examine a sample under a microscope.

Only ten percent of tumors in dogs are in the digestive system, ten percent in the lymphatic system, five percent in the reproductive system and the remaining five percent are a variety of types. Around half of all dog cancer is skin tumors; approximately sixty percent of these are benign. Mammory cancer is the next most common, accounting for almost sixty percent of female tumors; half of those are diagnosed as benign.

Some breeds are more prone to specific types of cancer than others. Giant breed dogs are more likely to develop bone cancer. Large breeds such as the Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Standard Poodle and Giant Schnauzers are prone to develop malignant spleen tumors.

Dog Cancer Terminology: The basic terminology veterinarians use to describe cancer can be as confusing as how best to treat it. Terms like Stage, Grade, and Metastasis are daunting to an already scared layperson, but are simply basic descriptions.

There are three primary terms used when describing cancer in dogs- Stage, Grade, and Metastasis. Stage is used to notate how far along the tumor is. You may recall your vet saying the tumor is in the ‘early’ stages. The earlier the better! Early, or late, the cancer need not be confined to one area of the body; there could be multiple sites!Vets use ‘Grade’ to describe the cancer’s tendencys, like how aggressive it is on a scale of 1-4 (4 being the worst prognosis, and how quickly it will spread. METASTASIS describes the spread of a cancer i.e. King’s liver cancer has metastasized to his lungs.

Wow! I can’t imagine how heartwrenching it would be if I had to choose between expensive cancer treatments for my dog, versus putting him down. Fortunately, today you can opt for an all-natural dog cancer program. If you go that route, you should do so under the guidance of a holistically minded vet.

Approaching cancer treatment naturally is often the most humane protocol for pets. If you have not already done it, clear away all possible carcinogenic materials from your pets area such as household cleaners, pesticides, insecticides, and other toxic substances. Use only metal or ceramic food dishes and serve only clean, filtered water.

One of your choices is to consult with a veterianarian who specializes in the holistic approach. They view your dog as a whole living, breathing organism. They feel that any illness, including cancer, develops only after your dog’s immune system breaks down. Their first goal is to nourish your dogs immune system back to health, while monitoring the disease. They use human grade supplements; vital pet lipids, soil-based probiotics, super pet enzymes, and lithothamneum (sea minerals) to restore immune vitality. These supplements work to replace the cells and tissue that the cancer is consuming. What dog food chocies you make are under a microscope, now, more than ever! Most so called ‘natural dog food leaves a lot to be desired. Research natural dog foods on the web so you can make an informed decision. Without proper nutrition and supplementation, the cancer will rob your dog’s body of these substances leading to muscle wasting, weight loss, and, eventually, kidney and liver failure.

A healthy digestive tract is the next step in a natural cancer treatment protocol. You can spend a fortune on high-quality organic meats and vegetables to give your ailing pet but if his body is not capable of absorbing the nutrients, all that good food is not doing him any good. Soil-based probiotics support a healthy intestinal flora, allowing the full impact of those nutrients to be digested and used to help fight the invading cancer.

Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, selenium, and zinc all help strengthen and support your dogs immune system. There are many herbs and homeopathic supplements that help fight dog cancer and a visit or consult with an expert in canine nutrition is a mandatory step in natural cancer treatment in dogs.

Sunshine, exercise, and love are all vital to your dogs fight with cancer. Even if he is feeling sluggish, get him outside in the fresh air and encourage him to chase a ball or go for a walk. Depression is a part of the disease and we all know how much a little exercise can help release natural endorphins and alleviate stress.

Cancer is treatable and researching the many choices your dog has available to them will help you to feel informed and educated about choosing the right path for your beloved pet. Whether it is a few weeks, a few months or, hopefully, a few years, make the time special, treat him with kindness and patience and always keep his comfort and happiness at the forefront of your mind throughout your days together.

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