Your guide to preventing Cancer in pets!

Hearing the words “Your pet has cancer” can be devastating. Cancer has become such a wide-spread disease affecting not only our dearest family and friends but our four-legged companions as well. Did you know cancer is the primary cause of mortality in adult dogs and cats? Statistics show that 1 in every 3 dogs and 1 in every 4 cats will get cancer at some point in their lives.

So how does cancer begin?

Cancer forms when changes in DNA take place. DNA is the messenger that instructs cells on how to function, when to divide and when to die. Any changes to the DNA will affect the instructions being sent out to the each cell, which can result in abnormal behaviour such as the cells continuing to divide even when they shouldn’t be.

This initial change in DNA does not mean cancer has developed. A number of other changes need to take place in order for uncontrollable growth and the spreading to other parts of the body takes place. These changes do occur over a long period of time, which is why cancer is commonly seen in older rather than younger pets. These changes in DNA can either be inherited, caused by cancer-causing chemicals, toxic foods, hormones or environmental factors such as UV radiation.

We look at what the 5 preventable causes of cancer are so your pet has a better chance of staying resistant to the disease and leading a long, healthy and enriched life.

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5 Key ways to prevent Cancer in pets

1. Sunlight

Many of us are fully aware of the damaging effects UV rays can have on our skins being a causative agent of skin cancer and our pets are no less vulnerable. Long-term exposure to the sun can cause changes to your pet’s skin DNA, which can eventually lead to skin tumours.

TIP:
Make sure you protect your pet from direct sunlight during midday, especially if their skin and coat is fair and light skinned.

2. Food Toxins and Synthetic Vitamins and Minerals

Pet food can be a high source of toxic chemicals that can put our pets more at risk of developing cancer, especially diets high in artificial preservatives, artificial flavours and food dyes. Did you know that more than 14 000 additives are added to our food supply? And these additives are not natural nutrition whether for our pets or ourselves and cause untold havoc within the body!

Artificial ingredients are not the only toxins found in our pet's food. Most commercial pet foods have been added with chemically-synthesized vitamins and minerals, which also contain a number of unwanted chemicals and potential toxic ingredients. Research carried out by the U.S. National Cancer Institute have revealed links between vitamin supplements and humans and so the Institute caution against chemically-synthesized vitamins and minerals for pets as well.

TIP:
Opt for raw, whole foods that contain an abundance of naturally occurring nutrients that are essential for your pet's health including proteins, vitamins, minerals. Fiber, antioxidants, enzymes, phytonutrients and co-factors to name but a few. Some of these naturally occurring nutrients – antioxidants in particular - have shown to help reduce the risk of some cancers. Read more about the benefits of adopting a raw food diet for your pet in our related articles.

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3. Pesticides and Herbicides

While studies have as yet proven inconclusive about the relationship between exposure to herbicides and pesticides found in lawn care products, it is nevertheless prudent for any pet owner to minimize their pet’s exposure to these chemicals as much as possible.

TIP:
Look out for earth-friendly and organic lawn care products that are non-toxic and chemical free.

4. Asbestos

Studies have found dogs that have been exposed to asbestos are more vulnerable to developing cancer similar to that of mesothelioma in humans. An extension of this, dogs whose owners work with asbestos whether job or hobby-related have shown to be particularly vulnerable. Not only can dogs inhale asbestos brought in by their owners but dogs can also bring asbestos dust into the home whether dragged in by their feet or clung to their fur should they have been near a building that is being demolished for example.

TIP:
Make sure you use the proper precautions when working with asbestos (using the services of a professional when necessary such as when removing asbestos from your home for example) and know the whereabouts of your pet for the sake of his or her health as well as that of your family.

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5. Hormones – Estrogen/Progesterone

There is an increasing amount of evidence supporting the link between hormones and the development of breast cancer in dogs and cats. For example, female dogs that have been treated with products containing hormones have shown to be more at risk of developing breast cancer.

TIP:
Studies have shown that female dogs spayed before their first menstrual period and female cats spayed before 6 months of age have a significantly reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Always get your vet to fully explain what the potential side-effects to any treatment is going to be and discuss what other alternatives are possible. If you are unhappy with the advice you are receiving from your vet, ask for a second opinion from a vet that adopts a more holistic approach.

Did you know selected herbs are known for their anti-tumour properties?

Used for centuries in tradition medicine, herbs such as Huang Qi, Ashwagandha and Cat’s Claw have been subjected to clinical research which has upheld their ability to slow down the spread of cancer to surrounding cells, retard growth of malignant tumours and strengthen a compromised immune system.

You will find these herbs as principle ingredients in C-Caps formulated to strengthen immune systems to assist with cancer prevention and treatment. C-Caps may be used on their own or in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments as supportive therapy.

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What our customer’s have to say:

"The vet gave my Maine Coon cat, Adeline, a mere two weeks to live when he discovered a lump in her bladder. He suggested putting her to sleep, which I could never do. I gave her C-Caps and two months down the road she has recovered the weight she lost and my vet says that it is a miracle. I know that it says on the package that a cure cannot be guaranteed, but my Adeline is living proof that it can!" - David B

"Have been using C-Caps since my Golden Retriever was diagnosed… 2 years ago. …She is the liveliest, and fittest 14-year-old you could wish to meet. People are amazed when they ask her age. She continues to take 4 a day, and will continue to do so. Thank you." - Marilyn H

Our Tips:

Hearing the words “Your pet has cancer” can be devastating. We know that this was always terrible news to have to give a pet owner and somehow it’s always the nicest owner’s pets that succumb to this destructive disease. More and more treatments are available for cancer but not all may be suitable for your pet. Sometimes it’s kinder to not subject your pet to days of hospitalisation for harsh treatments that may cause your pet further suffering.

  1. Find out all that you can about your pet’s cancer, get a second opinion if needs be. Be sure that you understand how the disease will progress and that you have an idea of what to expect.
  2. Pain relief is a vital part of cancer management. Remember that your beloved pet cannot tell you that they are in pain and they are always willing to please so will suffer quietly.
  3. Our advice to any owner with a pet with cancer has always been to look at it from your dog or cat’s point of view. You need to be honest with yourself and decide whether you are treating your pet so that you might have more time with your precious companion or whether the treatment will give your pet a good quality of life for a justifiable length of time.
  4. Make sure that your pet has plenty of clean, filtered water. Cats can be fussy drinkers and may only want to drink from a running tap, out of your glass of water or from rain puddles – (such is the finicky feline).
  5. Ensure your pet is eating a balanced, high quality diet with plenty of raw and unprocessed food, (preferably organic), and avoid onions as they can be toxic to animals.
  6. Try and limit the use of pesticides and herbicides and make your house a no smoking zone. Your pets need to have healthy lungs as well – and the whole household will benefit!
  7. Talk to a holistic vet before immunising your pet. Conventional over-vaccination may stress the immune system unnecessarily and negative side effects may occur.
  8. Food and water bowls should be made of glass, stainless steel or porcelain and not plastic. Make sure to wash your pet’s water bowl and food bowls regularly, using hot water. Make sure to rinse them well, so as not to leave any harmful chemical residue behind.
  9. Exercise, exercise, exercise! A good ball throwing session in the park, or a catnip mouse ‘seek and destroy mission’, will benefit your pet – and give you a good, healthy workout. A fit, healthy pet is less likely to develop cancer.

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Remember... If you have any questions or need more info on managing your pet's health you are welcome to make use of our FREE ASK US service We would love to hear from you!

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