Did you know that the primary cause of death in dogs over two years of age is cancer? In fact, half of all adult dogs will die from cancer. That’s a staggering number. But you can beat the odds for your dog by following these five simple steps.
The Best Cure For Canine Cancer Is Prevention
Cancer begins when carcinogens damage DNA, which then waits for just the right opportunity to create cancerous cells. The good news is your dog’s body has a built-in mechanism to kill cancer cells; a gene called p53. However exposure to toxins and viruses can damage that gene and limit its ability to protect the body from the spread of cancerous cells.
We all know that treatment options for cancer aren’t all that effective. The best cure for cancer is to just not get it in the first place. Happily, there are easy, actionable steps you can take to prevent cancer in your furry family members. Here is a list that every pet owner should be aware of.
5 Ways To Help Prevent Canine Cancer
#1 Reduce the use of flea and tick products
Dr. Dobozy of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) pesticide division states that one of the laboratory effects of fipronil in the popular flea and tick product Frontline, is thyroid cancer and altered thyroid hormones.
While the company creates the impression that their product does not migrate into the body, radiolabeled fibronil was found in several organs and in the fat of tested dogs and was also excreted in their urine and feces.
Bio Spot Flea and Tick Control, Defend Exspot Treatment and Zodiac FleaTrol Spot On all contain one or both of the active ingredients Permethrin and/or Pyriproxyfen. Permethrin has been implicated as a carcinogenic insecticide causing lung cancer and liver tumors in laboratory animals. Exposure to a carcinogen typically occurs many years before the cancer appears. Often times it never escalates into a cancerous growth. Imagine how potent the carcinogens are that create cancer within several months in a laboratory setting.
Don’t think that the numerous products not mentioned here are safe. According to the Center for Public Integrity, who collected information through the Freedom of Information Act, the “natural” pyrethrins (naturally occurring compounds from the chrysanthemum plant) and pyrethroids (the synthetic counterpart) caused double the fatalities (1,600) from 2002 to 2007 than the non-pyrethroid compounds.
#2 Maintain your lawn and garden with non-toxic products
Lawn chemicals, weed killers and herbicides are just as toxic as flea and tick products. Dogs and cats are low to the ground and are much more susceptible to these toxins.
Studies (Abstract of Environmental Health 112(1): 171-6 (Jan. 2012), show a link between lawn chemicals and cancer in dogs. In this study, researchers identified 263 dogs with biopsy-confirmed canine malignant lymphoma (CML), 240 dogs with benign tumors, and 230 dogs undergoing surgeries unrelated to cancer. Then, they asked the pet owners to complete a 10 page questionnaire.
Scientists found that dogs with malignant lymphoma were 70 percent more likely to live in a home where professionally applied lawn pesticides had been used. Dogs with serious malignancy were also 170 percent more likely to come from homes where owners used chemical insecticides.
For nontoxic lawn nourishment, broadcast one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch of high-quality compost over your lawn using a shovel. Compost nourishes beneficial soil microbes and doesn’t contain harsh salts the way many chemical fertilizers do, and you could see some improvement in just a few days.
Instead of reaching for Roundup or other harmful synthetic products to kill weeds creeping up through sidewalk or driveway cracks, try using BurnOut, an organic weed killer made of food grade vinegar and clove oil. Just be sure to spray it directly on weeds on a warm, sunny day for the best effect.You can also use BurnOut to quickly and organically kill weeds in the yard; however, it will temporarily leave a brown spot, and you’ll need to reseed the area to shade out new weed growth.
#3 Know what’s in your detergents, soaps and cleansers
Take it upon yourself to research dryer sheets and room deodorizers on the web and you’ll discover their cancer causing ingredients. If all the carcinogens our dogs are exposed to on a daily basis, this would be a very long and depressing article.
Even cleaners labeled “safe,” “non-toxic” and “green” can contain hazardous ingredients. There should be a law against bogus claims, but there isn’t. Some companies are willing to bend the truth – because they can. Even citrus and pine based cleaners can react with trace levels of ozone air pollution to form ultra-fine particles that penetrate deep into the lungs and formaldehyde, which the U.S. government classifies as a known human carcinogen.
The good news is you can make your own inexpensive green cleaning products. Click here for some great recipes.
#4 If you must alter your dog, don’t do it too young
A growing body of research is implicating early spaying and neutering in increasing cancer rates. In a 2002 study, it was established that there was an increased risk of osteosarcoma in both male and female Rottweilers sterilized before the age of one year.
In another study, it was shown that the risk of bone cancer in sterilized large purebred dogs was twice that of dogs that were not neutered.
Spay and neuter, especially when done before 18 months of age, shouldn’t be an automatic decision. For more information on spay/neuter decisions, click here.
#5 Eliminate or minimize vaccinations as much as possible
We saved the most important point for last. In cats, the Feline Vaccine Associated Sarcoma is an aggressive malignant tumor that appears at vaccine injection sites. What is the veterinary solution for this? To vaccinate cats in the tail so it can easily be removed when fibrosarcoma strikes.
This doesn’t mean dogs don’t get cancer from vaccines. The Journal of Veterinary Medicine, August 2003, shows that vaccines cause cancer in dogs at their injection sites too.
Cancers are found in not only in vaccine injection sites, but in other areas of the body not directly the vicinity of the injection site. Documented cases of lymphoma have resulted in patients developing vaccine injection site fibrosarcomas.
The reason cancer is so strongly linked to vaccines is a commonly found vaccine adjuvant: aluminum. In l999, the WHO named aluminum hydroxide as a grade 3 out of 4 carcinogen, with 4 being the most carcinogenic.
Not only do vaccines inject this dangerous carcinogen into pets, they also have the same effect as the above toxins; the damage the cancer protecting p53 genes. Talk about a double whammy!
If you must vaccinate, be aware that it only takes one core vaccine to protect a dog or cat for life. There is no need to revaccinate once a dog has responded to a vaccine. How do you know if your dog has responded to a vaccine? You ask your vet to run a titer test, preferably two to three weeks after vaccination.
You can learn more about vaccine risks and duration of immunity.
So there you have it! Five easy ways to help prevent cancer in your pet. What changes can you make today!