I am not a doctor or a veterinarian. Instead, I am a pet owner who is alarmed at the epidemic of cancer in dogs, as well as in humans.
My own family uses alternative medicine. We only see mainstream doctors if there is no other option. I’m not comfortable with the fact that so much treatment centers on prescribing drugs, while not addressing the root cause of the disease.
But I’m straying a bit off topic. What is causing the canine cancer epidemic? One out of every two dogs, who reaches 10 years of age, will be diagnosed with this disease.
(Actually, I originally wrote this post more than three years ago. I’m updating it now. In that time, our beloved dog has also been diagnosed with probable cancer. We didn’t do a biopsy because our vet is pretty certain that’s what he has. And a biopsy won’t change his treatment protocol. The good news is that our dog is 16. So he’s already beaten the odds by living to such a ripe old age.)
Why Are So Many Dogs Getting Cancer?
In humans, alternative medical experts generally believe that cancer is caused by a toxic overload, coupled with poor nutrition. This seems to be the general consensus among holistic-minded vets as well.
Please bear in mind that I’m not an animal healthcare expert. I’m just a dog Mom who’s tried a natural approach with our own Cocker spaniel. However, even this didn’t prevent him from getting cancer. On the other hand, he didn’t get diagnosed until he celebrated his 16th birthday. So maybe he wouldn’t have been diagnosed in the first place if he hadn’t used natural remedies to keep him healthy, because he’d already have departed.
Anyway, I did find a good article in Dogs Naturally Magazine, which talked about cancer prevention. (You can find a link to this at the bottom of this post. The author cited a number of reasons why she believes more dogs are getting cancer. These include:
- Use of toxic flea products. (We’ve never used these on our dog. Only natural essential oils.
- Toxic lawn care products. (Our own yard is full of weeds.)
- Toxic chemical cleaning solutions. (We use natural cleaners.)
- Spaying and neutering at a young age. (There’s evidence this can increase certain types of cancer.)
- Vaccinations. (The link between pet vaccinations and cancer is cause for concern.)
What is Causing Cancer in Dogs?
I’m not a vet. But I do have a couple of my own theories as to why we’re seeing so much cancer in canines. Is it possible that commercial dog food is part of the problem? Many of these products are grain based. They’re heavy on the corn. Unfortunately, in the United States, nearly all of our corn is genetically modified.
Genetic modification is highly controversial. It’s happening partly because it yields crops resistant to an herbicide called Roundup. Under normal circumstances, Roundup would kill the crops. But genetically modified strains are designed to survive. Only the weeds die.
It may seem like a farmer’s dream. But glyphosate is now being linked to health problems. Also, a researcher at the University of Caen in France found that genetic modification (with or without glyphosate) caused cancer in lab animals. Even though these animals were rats (and not dogs) it does make you wonder.
Why Do So Many Dogs Get Cancer?
Another problem with commercial dog food is that it’s radically different from what an animal eats in the wild. Genetically, dogs are the same as wolves. They’re not meant to eat a lot of grains and other highly processed foods, much of it filled with chemicals.
We also load our dogs up with prescription drugs, made from foreign molecules, which possibly put a strain on the system, as the body must work hard to excrete these substances.
Is it any wonder our pups are getting sick, just the same as many of the people we love?
What Dog Breeds Tend To Get Cancer
Certain breeds such as English bulldogs and Bernese Mountain dogs, do seem to have an elevated risk of cancer. So do Cocker spaniels. Actually, I wasn’t even aware of this until our own dog was diagnosed. I wonder if it’s possible that over breeding is contributing to the alarming incidence of canine cancer.
I’m old enough to remember when mutts were plentiful. Now, it’s relatively difficult to find a mixed breed dog with unknown parentage. Aside from rescue dogs and shelter dogs, breeders now largely control the supply of dogs. In fact, some breeders will not even sell a puppy unless it’s neutered. No one wants a lot of unwanted dogs. But this is another factor I wonder about.
Natural Dog Cancer Treatment
In future posts, I’m going to be discussing cancer prevention. But my next post will be about the risks of canine chemotherapy. Meanwhile, here’s an excellent book if you’d like to read more about how to keep your dog healthy.
Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs
Is Dog Cancer an Epidemic?
Dog cancer is now an epidemic. I think it’s important that dog owners are aware of this. For two reasons. One is for prevention. The best “treatment” for canine cancer is prevention. Knowing the real risks that your dog could develop a life-threatening malignancy may lead you to choose a better quality food. Our own dog eats a lot of organic people food. This includes raw USDA-certified organic chicken.
But we also supplement with USDA-certified organic canned dog food. This food is grain free. Even though I think real people food is best, it’s just not practical cooking for a dog. So he does eat canned food. But no GMOs.
Also, I believe, it’s a good idea for pet owners to think about a plan of action. What would they do if their dog had cancer? Would they treat it naturally? Do they have an holistic-minded vet lined up?
Having the right information available would lessen the panic and stress if you were ever faced with a situation that required quick action.