Charlotte Peltz Living with Your Dog "Cancer Loves Carbs" brought to you by Joy Beckner Artist/ Bronze Sculptor

Living with Your Dog

Cancer Loves Carbs

By Charlotte Peltz

According to Greg Ogilvie, DVM, Dip. ACVIM, a top expert in canine cancer in the United States, there is a "dramatic metabolic change" when a dog contracts cancer. According to Ogilvie, the most dramatic change involves carbohydrates. Cancer cells metabolize glucose from carbohydrates and, with the changes, lactate is a byproduct. Dogs must then convert that lactate into a usable form requiring lots of energy. What this means is "the tumor gains energy from carbohydrates while the dog suffers a dramatic energy loss".

Patients put on a proper diet show definite signs of improved health and even tolerate the invasiveness of treatments such as surgery and radiation better than dogs not given the proper dietary changes. He points out that the "ideal" cancer diet is not known, but he and his associates are very pleased with their basic plan which is: relatively low amounts of simple carbohydrates, modest amounts of fats (which do not feed the tumor!) and highly bio-available proteins. The amounts that Dr. Ogilvie recommends are: 35 to 48 percent protein, 27 to 35 percent fat with 5 percent of the total food comprised of omega-3 fatty acids and about 25 percent carbohydrate. Compare this to the dog food you buy for your canine buddy! And, please understand that when you read protein percentage on your dog food bag that almost all of that protein has a grain as its source, not animal protein.

So, what is in an anti-cancer diet?

In an article in The Whole Dog Journal this is what is recommended:

1. All ingredients should be fresh, highly bio-available, easily digested and highly palatable, with a good taste and smell.

2. Organic foods to avoid additional stress to the dog's body that is caused by pesticides, antibiotics, preservatives, food colorings, etc.

3. Fresh, organic meats, either raw or cooked.

4. Fish-oil supplements. These are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been linked to tumor inhibition and strengthening of the immune system.

5. Vitamin C, known and used for its antioxidant properties and for neutralization of free radicals. Antioxidants must be supplemented whenever omega-3 supplements are given. And, it is my understanding that Vitamin E should be part of this combination.

6. Fresh vegetables such as broccoli and dark-green leafy vegetables are good for all dogs but especially cancer patients. According to the National Institutes of Health and the American Institute for Cancer Research, diets high in cruciferous vegetables " broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, bok choy, etc." are definitely on the list for prevention of various forms of cancer.

7. Digestive enzymes.

8. Garlic, as much as a clove a day, is an effective inhibitor of the cancer process according to The National Cancer Institute.

9. Safflower oil

10. Limited carbohydrates

What I find so incredibly interesting is that a well-known cancer specialist and many of his colleagues can spend so much time addressing the treatment of cancer, yet not suggest that just such a diet should be fed in the first place! Dogs did not evolve eating carbohydrates in any quantity, do not have the digestive system geared to deal with them, and yet most vets will swear to you that the "stuff" in bags, almost totally based on grain (read carbohydrates!) is good for your dog. It simply cannot be true, can it?

"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things man will not himself find peace." Albert Schweitzer.

"One can measure the size and moral progress of a nation to how she treats her animals." Mahatma Gandhi.

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