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Cancer and nutrition to boost immune system

August 11th, 2008, 12:01 PM
Hi - my 7 year old husky is having a soft tissue sarcoma removed on Thursday. I posted this in the health section to see if anyone had a similar experience but so far no replies (one from hazelrunpack with support :))

I don't want to unnecessarily scare myself with all the info. out there but read a connection with vaccine site injection, however this lump is on the outside of her hind leg right above her knee - far from any vaccine she has had in the past.

I am just trying to figure out if there is anything else I could add to her diet to boost her immune system?

I have been feeding Orijen and have recently switched her to Horizon Legagcy just to see if a potato-free food would make a difference with her arthritis. I have always feed kibble with a variety of fresh foods and have used a few supplements over the years (right now both my dogs get Udo's Pet Essentials). I have also been giving some raw like chicken hearts, liver and some frozen bison berry patties made by Farm Fresh Foods in Saskatchewan. I give fish oil and vitamin E but have heard the fish oil has a blood thinning effect so am withholding this until after her surgery.

I have wondered about vitamin C but there seems to be mixed reviews. This site warns against it but not sure about this site overall (Dr. William Cusick - the animal advocate)

Anything else that you could suggest?

I was also told that she may be constipated after the surgery - not sure if this is from the pain killers or anethetic??? but would some canned pumpkin help?

Sorry for the long post!
Here is a picture of her from this past weekend:

August 11th, 2008, 01:51 PM
I'm pretty sure that Frenchy had Sam on a raw diet for a while, I can't remember who here had given here the info on it though. I'm sure one of them will pipe up with some help soon.


August 11th, 2008, 02:34 PM
Your pup is a cutie! The only thing I've read/heard about diet and cancer is that a high-protein, low-carb diet is best (the "Atkins" approach, so to speak), and it sounds like you're already doing that. I hope others can come up with some ideas for you!

August 11th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Your husky is a beauty ! :lovestruck:

clm is right , my Sam was on raw diet. Sam is my 10 yr old , almost 11 , golden , has been diagnose with Fibrosarcoma last December , was given 2-6 months to live. He's still going strong after 8 months :) He was put on raw diet , who slows down the cancer , it feeds the dog and not the cancer. You can also feed a non grain kibble which is less time consuming and much easier to feed.

I had to take Sam off the raw diet weeks ago , he was having severe diarrhea :sad:

August 11th, 2008, 03:51 PM
Thank you for the replies - I have been feeding a high protein low carb diet since Orijen came out so good to know that helps.

Frenchy - I'm glad that your Sam is doing well. Did he have surgery to remove the lumps? I have been trying some raw but don't feed it exclusively - but she seems to like it.

I am not sure what type of sarcoma this is - understand there may be differerent types so I guess I will find out once they remove it. It was graded as intermediate with the needle biopsy but have been told by the vet that is not accurate so will wait for the results once it's removed to find out if it has spread.

August 11th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Sam's was already as big as a grapefruit when I felt it. (under his anus , he's very hairy , even when I brished him , we couldn't see or feel it)

It was too big to remove , not an ideal position. My other golden had the same lump , 2 years ago , it was smaller so she got the operation but the cancer came back after 2 months.

Sam would have needed chemo , radiation , and then ask one of the dog surgeons/specialist here in Quebec if one would do the operation. After all this , only 30% of dogs live more than a year. So I decided against. My vet also thought Sam may not have survived all of this.

When is your dog having the surgery ?

August 11th, 2008, 04:27 PM
I'm sorry they could not remove it but you are doing very well if you have surpassed the 2-6 month life expectancy!

It is hard to find lumps especially when they have such thick coats. I just happen to feel this one while rubbing her leg which I usually don't do but it is a fairly small lump (about the size of a quarter) so I was suprised they graded it as intermediate (but again not accurate with a needle biopsy).

It is going to be removed this Thursday.

August 11th, 2008, 04:32 PM
It is going to be removed this Thursday.

That is great !! :thumbs up keep us posted and good luck :goodvibes:

August 11th, 2008, 04:39 PM
Thank you :) - I will keep you updated.

August 23rd, 2008, 08:13 PM
I just wanted to give an update on the surgery.

It went very well although I don't have the results from pathology. I am glad Monday is almost here - she will have her stitches removed. It was difficult at first because they removed a lot of tissue and so the skin was stretched close to the knee area - with that tightness and the swelling she couldn't put weight on that leg and seemed very uncomfortable. She did chew a few stitches out herself :eek: so very important to wear that terrible cone on her head when we are not able to watch her! Apparently there are 2 layers of stitches beneath the top layer so it kept together well.

At this point she has really bounced back - eating well and even wanting to play and catch wasps! (her Fall addiction).

Just anxiously awaiting the results so we know what type of sarcoma and grade the lump was.

August 23rd, 2008, 08:54 PM
I'm glad she's on the mend! :thumbs up Somehow, I missed this thread--so I never saw how pretty she is! :cloud9:

I hate waiting for path reports! :goodvibes: for good results! :grouphug:

August 24th, 2008, 09:53 AM
Thanks! I hope to get a good report :pray:. I have two threads running on this - one in the health section where I just attached a picture of her with her incision.

I think she has recovered very well from this so that makes me feel good - I have been adding more cancer fighting foods to her diet - last night both my girls had bok choy which they seemed to enjoy!

August 24th, 2008, 01:44 PM
I just found this thread now :o least I seen the other one sooner. :o

YAY for her eating the bok choy :thumbs up ........ and, if she was feeling really bad she wouldn't touch something like that. ;)

Good luck with the results....I hope you get them soon. :fingerscr :goodvibes:

August 25th, 2008, 03:06 PM
All fingers and paws crossed for good path results. I am also a member of the Sumner Foundation (dogs fighting Hemangiosarcoma), the folks there are VERY informed about diets and supplements for fighting cancer and aiding in post surgery recovery. You can find the group on yahoo. A lot of them are using Hills N/D food and lots of protien. Also pumpkin (not the pie filling type) is used by many with good results

Keep us up todate


August 27th, 2008, 09:08 AM
Pathology results are in and the lump turned out to be a benign cutaneous fibroma! :thumbs up

I am very happy but poor dog had to go through that sugery but what can you do? I guess they take such a small sample from the middle of the lump that they can make mistakes. She tried to explain but I was lost - something about the cells having double nuclei and lacy cytoplasm so can be mistaken for a sarcoma.

August 27th, 2008, 10:29 AM
I am so happy for you both!!
Better to to be sure than wait, wonder and worry.

August 27th, 2008, 11:03 AM
WOohooo !!! :thumbs up

September 2nd, 2008, 04:59 PM

I am thrilled to hear that everything went so well! Maybe it would be a good idea to still get some info so you can work on prevention? Someone mentioned the Yahoo boards, now while I'm not on the cancer ones..I am a member of the Kidney boards..and I must tell you..they saved my dog's life!

We don't have a very serious case...but it helped to get as much info as possible to halt the disease. I strongly believe that if we hadn't, things would've progressed so much quicker! Not to mention it really helps to just become knowledgable in these things so when you meet with the vet, you don't get 'lost' you mentioned in your last post. Now we aren't going to become vets overnight of course! But you will be surprised how helpful it is to know which questions to ask, what to look for, and number to be PROACTIVE to avoid these diseases. Your vet will appreciate that you are taking interest in understanding and together you can both come up with treatments. YOU know your dog, your vet knows the medical side...together you can make a much stronger impact. I hear all the time, how vets glaze over info to not 'confuse' us..I've had vets recommend unecessary treatments, or also...recommend excessive or wrong treatments too!

A great way to be proactive is with supplements and diet of course! I highly recommend home cooking as much as possible. You are controlling the can get as organic and pure as you want. Imagine...less allergens, pollutants, possible carcinegens (sp?), less chemicals are going into their much better can you get?

It is GREAT you are already using fish oil and vitamin E..they are amazing antioxidants, vit E is great for blood circulation, and of course skin and eyes. Have you considered CoQ10? It is an amazing antioxidant as well. My dog has flourished with this combo..I also add vitamin B. Your little one is a senior now..have you started glucosamine yet? Maybe if you join some of those boards you can get some more cancer preventative tips?

I wish you and your baby the best of luck!