Pet Cancer. What is responsible for the recent surge of pet cancer rates in dogs and cats? What major factors in diet and environment have changed over the last several years that may be the culprits? What can pet owners do to protect their dogs and cats from the ravages of cancer?
Certainly the increase in pollution and pesticides play an important role in increasing pet cancer rates, although other significant factors responsible for the recent surge in pet cancer rates must be also explored. According to a recently published study, spaying female dogs prior to 4 years of age reduces healthy pet life spans by 30 percent. Therefore, female dogs spayed prior to age 4 will have their lives shortened by nearly one-third!
In addition, as opposed to what most veterinarians, including myself, were taught in Veterinary Medical School, spaying and neutering dogs and cats at young ages does not promote pet health. Instead, sterilization at a young age actually reduces the quality and length of pets lives and INCREASES the incidence of several types of cancer in dogs and cats. Published data cites multiple types of cancer, including bone cancer, or osteosarcoma, and reproductive-related cancers, whose incidence increases in pets as a result of being spayed or neutered at young ages.
Another factor involved in the increased pet cancer incidence according to this veterinarian’s research is diet and pet nutrition – or what you place in the food bowl for your dog and/or cat each day. Unfortunately, today’s food chain for people and pets not only lacks proper safety regulations but is also subject to “modification”. GMO’s are Genetically Modified Organisms used by companies like Monsanto to promote the growth of “super seeds” including soy, corn, and alfalfa. (It is noteworthy that Monsanto owns 30% of the world’s supply of the later three crops.) Monsanto was also responsible for the chemical called “Agent Orange” which affected hundreds of thousands of people and resulted in birth defects, auto-immune disorders, cancer, and death. Monsanto’s current popular agricultural pesticide product called “Roundup” contains the active ingredient “Glyphosate” which,once again, is highly toxic. When Roundup is sprayed on the GMO seeds and crops not only are the crops contaminated but the soil, land, pastures and fields are also damaged on a long-term basis.
What is the result? The result is permanent DNA damage and genetic mutations in the individuals ultimately consuming these food products. The resultant genetic damage and its relationship to our increased cancer incidence are topics of great concern for this veterinarian. In fact, not only do over a million cattle die annually from grazing these genetically modified “toxic” plants, one published study reveals development of various auto-immune disorders including “Lupus-Like” syndromes in animals consuming raw GMO alfalfa seeds. One has to wonder as to the true health benefits that health conscious individuals blending alfalfa drinks, for example, actually experience on a long-term basis.
What future health consequences will the animals being fed fresh alfalfa experience? One must ponder this question with knowledge of the fact that the FDA is currently attempting to ban labels from revealing whether or not a particular food product contains GMO’s.
What’s worse is that one of the board members of Monsanto was recently appointed to a prominent position in the EPA! The recent refusal by the Haitian peasants of Monsanto’s “gift” of tons of GMO seeds is a true eye-opener as it reveals the fact that even these poor people suffering from environmental devastation would rather starve to death than be subject to the health consequences of GMO’s.
Our water supply is also an important link to cancer. Currently the FDA has guidelines for “allowable levels” of highly toxic, cancer causing chemicals in our drinking water including: mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic to name a few. Providing pets with distilled drinking water is one way to help circumvent this issue.
In conclusion, health conscious pet owners attempting to offer their dogs and cats the very best and avoid cancer might consider these Top 10 Pet Cancer Prevention Guidelines:
- Feed pets home-made meals and avoid commercial pet food and commercial pet treats. If home cooking is not an option, buy organic pet food that has not been recalled by the FDA.
- Provide pets with distilled drinking water and avoid bottled, spring, and tap water.
- Keep pet vaccinations to a minimum. Vaccinate puppies and kittens with 2 initial boosters for the major viral diseases and rabies. Repeat vaccines once every three years. Check antibody titers to validate vaccine adequacy.
- Spay and neuter pets after age 4.
- Provide an all-natural, USA made, comprehensive vitamin, mineral and antioxidant supplement daily to balance home-made pet meals.
- Maintain pets with a lean body weight and avoid obesity.
- Pet exercise is a must! Exercise at least 20 minutes daily with dogs and provide indoor cats with at least four, 10 minute play sessions each day.
- Visit your veterinarian at least once a year. Senior pets (age seven and older) should have veterinary checks twice a year or at 6 month intervals.
- Partner up with your vet and work together as a team. Institute “pro-active” preventative pet health care measures for your dogs and cats.
- Relax, use common sense, have fun and enjoy your cherished 4-legged companions every day.