Veterinary Cancer Specialists Lucedale MS
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Henry, our 7-year-old mutt, has just been diagnosed with lymphoma. Aside from chemo, what are our treatment options?
As resilient as we canines may seem, like humans, we too can fall victim to an unexpected cancer diagnosis. Lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, occurs more commonly than most dog lovers would like to believe. I told Henry’s story to my friend Shawn Messonnier, DVM, and he offered some good information. He says lymphoma is commonly treated with an integrative approach, but if you choose a purely holistic route, he says you’ve got to attack the disease aggressively by using multiple therapies specifically designed to boost our immune system.
The first thing the good doctor says you should do is review Henry’s eating habits. “The diet for pets with lymphoma needs to be high in protein, high in fat, and low in carbohydrates,” he explains. Go for a high-quality, organic canned dog food. Should Henry not respond well to the first one you buy, check out some other food options. Any high-quality, organic brand of canned cat food (gasp!) can work just as well, oddly enough. “Cat food is higher in protein than dog food,” reasons Messonnier. (Easy for him to say.)
Along with a healthier meal plan, Messonnier stresses adding nutritional supplements to enhance immune function. Fish oil, which Henry will have to take in very high doses, will give him the essential fatty acids he needs to fight lymphoma. Depending on Henry’s size, Messonnier recommends giving him 1,000 to 3,000 mg a day of EPA plus DHA, which are the active omega-3s in fish oil. He also suggests antioxidants like vitamin E, selenium, green tea extract, and red wine extract.
Herbal remedies also can help, and most of them don’t taste half-bad. Echinacea’s strong immune-modulating properties make it a popular choice in battling cancer. And mistletoe contains the essential extracts needed to protect DNA, encourage cell death, and stimulate the immune system.
Treat Henry to a little acupuncture and aromatherapy, which can round out his treatment. I’m told they ease the stress we dogs encounter when undergoing rigorous cancer treatments.
Exploring holistic treatments for canine cancer can lead owners down many different paths. “There are a lot of variations in holistic therapies,” Messonnier points out. “What works for one dog may or may not work for another.” He knows we’re all individuals and should be treated as such. A veterinarian who helps you explore holistic approaches will surely keep Henry’s tail wagging.
To find a holistic veterinarian in your neighborhood go to www.altvetmed.com.br />
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