By Tess Thompson
Cancer is a typical state of the body where the normal process of multiplying by the dividing and destructing of old cells is interrupted, and cells grow without regulation. Most diseases are caused by the failure of the body’s own healing system. Most auto immune diseases are caused by an over-active immune system. Cancer, on the other hand, is the cause of an under-active immune system that fails to check the growth of cells. However, both chronic immune diseases and cancer in a dog are the result of its genetic structure, living in a polluted environment, and inappropriate diet.
Environmental pollution and ingestion of carcinogens like paints and chemicals are some causes of liver disease. In cats and dogs it is one of the major reasons behind the occurrence of liver cancer. The liver must perform for survival by eliminating toxins. Toxic substances start accumulating in the liver as it becomes unable to handle the increased pressure.
Moreover, dog food manufacturers are prone to add chemicals to commercial foods to increase bulk and shelf life of their product. In the long run, this can lead to liver problems and even cancer in dogs and cats.
The best prevention for cancer is to keep away chemicals and diets that contain harmful preservatives and additives. The liver needs to be protected not only from direct damage, but also from diseases in other parts of the body. For example, pancreas diseases in dogs and cats are a common problem in pets that can lead to liver diseases.
However, if cancer has already established its roots, changes in the diet of the dog may provide the much- needed help to the dog in his fight against cancer.
Cancer cells normally thrive on carbohydrates by deriving energy from them and denying amino acids. At the same time, cancer cells cannot use lipids (fats), but the rest of the body can make good use of them. Lipids are a broad and ubiquitous group of compounds that perform key biological functions. One category of lipids, polyketides, is commonly used for its anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, and anti-cancer properties. Diets with increased fat content are thus more beneficial in combating cancer than those with carbohydrates. The main focus of a diet for a dog with liver cancer is low in carbohydrates, while maintaining protein levels sufficient for tissue repair.
Home-cooked food is the best for dogs with or without liver cancer. Generally, food that contains pork back fat, tofu, olive oil, carrots, cooked spinach, sardines, crushed garlic, and grounded ginger provide the requisite nutrients and sufficient protection against the spread of cancer.
If it is not possible to cook dog food at home, a good quality commercial diet can be chosen, making sure that it contains 18-22% of good quality proteins, 55-60% of fats, and only 3-13% of carbohydrates. It must be emphasized again that home-cooked and natural food are the best, and your veterinarian can recommend the ingredients that meet the specific needs of your dog.