Pets and cancer | Lifestyle

Pets and cancer |  Lifestyle

It’s not a topic I like to talk about, but it’s something a lot of pets deal with, and honestly, I see more cancers in Guam than anywhere else I’ve worked.

Animals can get exactly the same types of cancer as humans. The most common ones I see in Guam are thyroid, skin, liver, prostate, bone, and breast cancers.

The only difference between humans and animals is the stage at which we catch it. Our pets can’t tell us that they don’t feel well or that something hurts.

pets and cancer

Sully Howe was diagnosed with liver cancer in early May 2022 and crossed the rainbow bridge on May 26, 2022 at his home in Honolulu.

This leads to late diagnosis and shorter life even with treatment. Therefore, it is important to start annual blood tests and x-rays on pets at the age of 9 years or older.

Pets must age faster than humans, a 9 year old dog is like treating an 80 year old human.

The other difference is how we treat. Unfortunately, when we find cancer in a pet, it’s usually already spread, and we treat it to slow its growth and deal with the secondary problems the cancer is causing.

Therefore, chemotherapy does not cause the same side effects, such as hair loss, extreme fatigue, and nausea.

I am a licensed animal herbalist and acupuncturist, so I use a lot of herbal supplements to not only help with side effects, but also to help slow cancer growth.

pets and cancer

Cats are especially susceptible to cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and kidney, according to Dr. Lisa Silk, so they should only drink filtered water.

I also change the diet to something that the cancer can’t use for food, and that helps the patient not lose as much weight and try to starve cancer cells that we don’t have the right machines to diagnose or treat.

We don’t have ultrasound specialists to help us find cancer sooner nor do we have a radiation center for animals that is desperately needed to kill some types of cancer.

reasons for cancer

What causes cancer? The reasons are the same as with humans. Some cancers show a genetic predisposition, others are related to exposure to toxins (environmental, food, aquatic).

Toxins can include food additives or abnormal growths, insecticides, cleaning products, and radiation exposure.

It’s important to remember that our pets are low to the ground, so anything that gets sprayed in the house or garden is directly near their skin, nose, and mouth.

They also need to have good quality fresh food. I always recommend filtered water, no over-the-counter foods, keeping all kibble in the fridge, and keeping it away from exposure to air as much as possible once opened.

Always check your pet for lumps or bumps on the skin, not forgetting the mouth. Some of the most aggressive cancers start in the mouth.

I also recommend completing the blood test early, starting at least 8 years of age.

Cats are especially susceptible to cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and kidney, so it is important to feed them good quality canned food to increase body moisture and only filtered water.

Pets and Cancer

Cats should only have good quality canned food because they are especially susceptible to cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and kidney, according to Dr. Lisa Silk.

diet is important

They can have dry food, but canned should be added. I carry a fluid supplement in my clinic to help with this. Be sure to use pet-safe cleaners and keep all outdoor chemicals away from your pets and keep them off your lawn or sprayed area for 24 hours.

Diet is the single most important thing we can do to keep our pets safe from cancer. Cancer is simply an overgrowth of normal body cells that have been damaged.

If the immune system is not strong enough to eliminate these abnormal cells, they will grow, replicate, and spread.

Maintaining good immunity requires clean filtered water, good pet food with no unknown additives (no grocery store food), and yearly checkups from your vet.

Pets and Cancer

The most common animal cancers seen by Dr. Lisa Silk in Guam are thyroid, skin, liver, prostate, bone, and breast cancers.

New chemotherapy treatments

If a possible cancer is found, I will do surgery to remove it and send a sample to the lab for diagnosis by a pathologist.

Once you know what it is, we can discuss treatment. For me, this always includes immune supplements, a change in diet, and chemotherapy if that’s something that will help.

There are now new chemotherapy treatments that are in pill form, making it easier for the owner to do at home.

If your pet has been diagnosed and you have been told nothing can be done, make an appointment to see me and we can discuss options.

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