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Natural Awakenings Hudson County NJ

Cancer in Pets~Fighting a Frightening Disease with Alternative Treatments

Dec 30, 2021 01:33PM ● By Jorelle Baker
Jack russel dog layong by bowl and supplement bottle

Cancer is possibly the scariest diagnosis a pet owner can get. Once given, it’s common for the owner to see a time limit put on their pet’s life. And even though conventional veterinary medicine has made exceptional advances in cancer treatments like chemotherapy, they can wreak havoc on a pet’s body. It’s important to understand that there are alternative treatments for pets with cancer, giving them the best chances to fight back.
 
What cancer is
Truly understanding what that fight involves requires knowing what cancer is and how it spreads. Cancer is the uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells or tissue in the body. Malignant cells can localize in one specific part of the body or spread out to infect other body systems.

A tumor can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Many—but not all—cancers take the shape of tumors. Although it’s common for some pets to sprout lumps over time, it is imperative to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to analyze what it could be.
 
Here are some of the most common cancers found in pets:

• Carcinoma: affects skin tissue or the tissue lining the internal organs, like the liver or kidneys
• Melanoma: primarily affects the epidermis (top skin layer)
• Osteosarcoma: bone cancer
• Leukemia: cancer resulting in increased white blood cells in the bloodstream or bone marrow; commonly associated with lymphoma, which is specific to the lymph nodes
• Hemangiosarcoma: tumors in the blood vessels
 
How cancer develops
Now that we have a basic understanding of what we’re dealing with, we need to understand how cancer develops. Unfortunately, there is no single specific factor that can cause cancer cells to form, and every cancer patient will develop the disease differently.
 
However, we do know several leading factors that increase a pet’s cancer risk:

• Improper diet: Food containing artificial ingredients and preservatives are difficult to digest and full of carbohydrates, which a pet’s body does not need. When consumed in large quantities, chemicals like food dyes and monosodium glutamate (MSG) can lead to disease over time.
• Environment: In-home cleaning products, herbicides, pesticides and secondhand smoke are all dangerous to breathe in, as they contain carcinogenic chemicals. Pets are more susceptible to these chemicals due to their heightened senses.
• Genetics: Pure breeds are at a higher risk of developing cancer and other diseases. Mixed breeds have a wider range of family genetics, making them less likely to develop cancer.
• Compromised immune system: The body is constantly fighting off stress, germs and chemicals to stay healthy. When it’s overtaxed, a bigger disease can take advantage of a weakened immune system to form tumors or cancer cells.
• Spaying too early: Changing the body’s natural hormones too early increases the risk for cancer to form, as the body was not given time to develop completely.
 
Alternative therapies
All this information can be overwhelming, but a holistic veterinarian can help pet owners navigate it and understand every option at their disposal.
 
Here are some of the most effective alternative therapies for cancer in pets:

• Ozone therapy supports the immune system, combats infection, slows cancerous cell growth and increases tolerance to radiation from chemotherapy.
• Vitamin C treatment supports the immune system to slow the growth and spread of cancer cells while repairing and hydrating healthy tissue.
• Dietary change: Eliminating artificial chemicals reduces the amount of energy it takes to process nutrients. A high-quality diet with natural vitamins and minerals supports the whole body, allowing the pet to maintain optimal health during treatment and recovery.
• Bloodroot treatment: This flower salve can be ingested or applied directly onto the infected site. It eats away the cancerous cells while leaving the healthy tissue intact.
• Acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments support whole-body systems to combat disease and strengthen weakened areas. Acupuncture channels energy throughout the body, stimulating parts of the body that need it for maximum efficiency.
• Herbal supplements: Natural medicinal herbs and medicinal mushrooms have direct anti-cancer properties, giving the body extra fuel to combat cancer cells and tumors.
 
Surgery: Removing the tumor early, before it spreads, can give the veterinarian better control of the situation. Rather than fighting to contain it, the vet can be more proactive in keeping it from growing back.
 
Cancer is a frightening disease, and it’s normal for pet parents to be scared and overwhelmed by the idea of a pet’s mortality. Anyone whose pet is struggling with cancer or was just diagnosed with cancer should know that there are alternatives.
 
Jorelle Baker is the social media manager, content creator and webmaster for Holistic Pet Care. He has always loved writing, sharing stories and personal growth with the goal of continually refining his craft and spreading awareness about mental health. He aims to help open minds and further the spread of knowledge. To connect with Jorelle, email [email protected].
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