CANCER !!! (part 2)

The word Cancer, does strike fear in the hearts of most of us.  It has taken me a long time to be able to write the part 2 of the article. Skylar lost his battle in January of 2008 just a short 11 months after diagnosis. It is hard to believe that even now, a year later, that I still miss him and think of him everyday. He was and is my best Bud. A dog that will never be replaced in my heart.

Thanks to all of you who have sent e-mails and have called about my last article. It had been an uphill battle to keep Skylar going.  I did not do it alone; he was at my side all the way. Everyday was difficult for him. Towards the end, nothing tasted good twice. We finally resorted to what ever he wanted. The disease ravished his body and he was only bones with skin, but his spirit was great and his desire to play with his balls kept him going.

I feel that it is very important to talk to your dogs Veterinarian to have a plan. With Skylar we did the draining of his abdomen (called Abdominocentesis) on an as needed basis. If this is done too often, it will need to be done more and more often. I found that with Skylar we started slowly, about once a month and then eventually once a week.  When Skylar passed, a part of his heart along with the tumor was sent to Dr. Jaime Modiano at the University of Minnesota.                                      

In his own small way, Skylar will be helping to someday find a cure for this horrible disease.

I would recommend that you donít treat your dog any differently. Play with him, etc. When Skylar was first diagnosed he was entered in a dog show the next day. We went as other dogs were entered. I did not show him, but show groomed him as he loved being groomed. Everyone told him how handsome he was and he acted normal. I had his picture taken as a remembrance as to how healthy he looked. He played with his ball and had a good time.

The diet in part 1 worked for us. It may not work for every dog, but try it. If you want use Chicken instead of Beef. I was just afraid of the chicken as it is so important to know how it is handled. Glucose and carbohydrates feed cancer cells so try to stay away from them.

Cancer is taking our friends from us. Do the right thing, donate blood for research.   Skylar had Hemangiosarcoma but other types affecting our dogs are Osteosarcoma, Lymphosarcoma and Mast Cell Cancers.  In August, my other dog, Gopher was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Within 6 weeks he was gone.  2008 was a very tough year for me, loosing 2 dogs in 7 months. I thank all who donated blood to research and donated to the GRFoundation in Skylar and Gopherís names.

*So what are these cancer fighting behaviors? Some you already know are good for the dog such as exercise. But others are surprisingly simple habits that could make all the difference.

*Sugar fuels cancer growth and triggers inflamation. Avoid refinded suger whenever possible. Also avoid white flour, which quickly turns into sugar. (When making home made dog cookies, I use a whole wheat flour/corn meal mixture).

*Adding known cancer fighters such as the spice tumeric to the diet will go a long way toward building up your body's defenses.

*Regular activity has been shown to improve survival rates for many types of cancer. Just a brisk walk for 30 minutes, 6 times a week, dramatically reduces the chances of a relapse after some forms of cancer.

*Stress causes inflammation and weakens the immune system, two disadvantages in the fight against cancer. Substances that can impair the body's cancer fighting system include certain preservative. Teflon released from cratched pans; gases given off by new objects such as those used in plumbing pipes; and bisphonel A from water heated in hard plastics.

*Add these cancer fighters to your dogs diet when possible.

                    Herbs and spices: thyme, rosemary, mint, basil, sage, tumeric, ginger

                    Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids: salmon, sardines, mackerel, walnuts, green vegetables

                    Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage

                    Garlic

                    Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries

When I hear of a dog dying from cancer (not only Goldens) I set a balloon aloft with their names to help them on their way. It is a small thing to do.

For information on donating blood for cancer research, check out the GRNews, June-July 2007 issue.

* Portions taken from AARP, The Magazine, March/April 2009

 patberger@ameritech.net

SEE PART I

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