kitchen table math, the sequel: Catching up - off-topic

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Catching up - off-topic

Number one: Surfer.

For passers-by, a year and a half ago one of our dogs, Surfer, was diagnosed with stage 3 mast cell cancer.

For a dog, Stage 3 mast cell cancer is the Big One. The statistics I found had 80% of dogs diagnosed with Stage 3 mast cell cancer dying within eight months, and the younger of the two vets in the office we take our dogs to told me Surfer's diagnosis was the "pancreatic cancer of dogs."


As it happened, there was, at that very moment, a new miracle drug on the market that looked to be pretty effective, but Surfer nearly keeled over dead after just 2 weeks on Kinavet, which would have had to be taken for the rest of his days to work.

So I forgot about chemotherapy & just took palisadesk's dietary advice.

And it worked.

Surfer is completely fine. Beyond fine, he's fabulous. He's thin, energetic, tuned-in, and .... not sick. At least not as far as anyone can tell. The young vet, who likes to argue & pooh-pooh, actually said to me, a few weeks ago: "Whatever you did, it worked."

I did whatever palisadesk told me to do, so there you go.

Meanwhile Abby's the one I'm worried about; she's suddenly old, losing control of her back legs, deaf, and not looking good.

Here's hoping Palisadesk has more tricks up her sleeve.

Surfer is 13 years old. We got him 2 months after 9/11. Pit bull/Rottweiler/hound mix.

Abby is 12. Yellow Lab.


Anonymous said...

What does a ketogenic diet look like for dogs?

palisadesk said...

Catherine, I don't think I know a magics olution, but one thing I've used that has worked semi-miracles with old dogs starting to fail is (maybe I should say "are") a couple of products from a family business entitles Springtime, Inc. in rural Maryland.

Here is their website:
Springtime Inc.

I swear especially by "Fresh Factor" and the "Longevity" formula. You might want the Advanced Hip and Joint chewables for Abby, and sometimes intramuscular b-complex or b-12 injections help with dogs losing power in the hind end. I haven't had to use that recently however, have had excellent results with FF , longevity and the joint chewables (I have several geriatrics, and since I stepped up the supplements both look several years younger and are reasonably active. The oldest went on a weekend hike with me (mostly level terrain and mild weather, but still, a real accomplishment for a 15-year-old with significant arthritic elbows).

Salmon oil also benefits joints, coat and (by some accounts) cognitive function. You can squeeze salmon oil caps or buy a bottled version for dogs -- the first is a cheaper alternative. The dogs will eat the capsule once they taste the oil.

It takes a while to see obvious benefits (a month? maybe longer) but I recommend taking a photo/video before and at regular intervals thereafter, so you can see the difference. And of course, different outcomes for different folks applies to pets as well -- but in general, commercial pet food is of low nutritional quality and contains ingredients not readily bioavailable for dogs. I add Prozyme (a digestive enzyme) to their food as well (only the older dogs).

I'm starting my new pups on a grain-free regimen. The evidence for dogs needing a significant carbohydrate component to their diet is slim and can be met with veggies. Mine like squash, yams, lightly cooked broccoli, green beans, even celery!

Check out the folks at Springtime, they are very helpful. If the person you talk to can't advise you (they may have newer staff I haven't had the opportunity to chat with), ask for Jenn. They are great and ship promptly.


palisadesk said...

To anonymous -- a ketogenic diet for dogs is a canine version of the Paleo Diet or Atkins Diet or whatever -- very low in refined carbs (grains, treats of various kinds) or high-glycemic vegetables such as potatoes, carrots etc., and mostly consisting of meat, poultry, fish, bone (I feed raw fresh chicken backs, but you need a good, safe source to use raw meat), healthy oils/fats, mixed green vegetables and some others like squash and even some fruit like pears and apples.

This keeps their weight in the normal range, they have beautiful coats, few problems with teeth, no fleas (and I live in the country in a farming area where vermin abound). There are commercial producers of grain-free foods for dogs (as a response to demand) or you can make your own, or a bit of both. You want to keep the carbohydrate percent of the dog's diet around 30%. Some commercial foods are as high as 80%. The carb foods are cheaper to produce.

BTW, gluten is not an issue with dogs, so far as I know; the issue is species-appropriate nutrition. I have used dog foods containing rice as the sole grain, and had no problems (am still using it with a number of my dogs) but am going to raise the youngsters without it and see whether I note any differences. Dogs don't need a lot of fiber in their diets, but ground flax meal can be added to address "output issues."

Laura in AZ said...

That's wonderful news! Remember reading about Surfer when you first started on that journey - and wondered from time to time how he was doing. Wish I had been able to do the same for my cat when he was so sick... but I didn't know then, what we know now. Yeah for Surfer - wishing him many more happy and healthy days ahead!