Many of you will know of the Blue Staffy Ramsey, an absolute beauty of a grey (“blue”) Staffordshire terrier who has an enormous Instagram following, over 250k fans, and even his own line of collars, leashes and harnesses at company called Bully Billows. Check it out. Ramsey has cancer. It’s painful to say, painful to hear and painful to read. Ramsey’s cancer is also a particularly aggressive form, called Hemangiosarcoma. I reached out to Jason, Ramsey’s human, offering to help and I am extremely happy to say that he accepted my offer. I’m happy because I know I can actually help, and I’m going to talk about how. Ramsey’s position is precarious, he recently had his spleen removed by the Vets to slow the metastasis (spread). But the reality of Hemangiosarcoma is that it forms in cells, and whilst it does form growths in particular organs, it’s at a cellular level (the endothelial cells) where this cancer develops and needs addressing. This may sounds like a terrifying thing, but it’s at a cellular level where diet can impact health. I see and know, that there is a great opportunity for nutrition science to support Ramsey, to be a major part of this therapy and to maximise the time he gets on this earth, and potentially see him recover. In my opinion, cancer is hugely misunderstood. For so long we’ve assumed that cancer is about bad luck, that outcomes are down to doctors and vets, and the only way to fight cancer is to inject poison into the blood stream to kill it off (and in doing so, a lot of the patient with it). The reality is 90% of cancers are due to lifestyle and environment factors, choices that we make for ourselves or choices we make for our dogs cause tumour growth. Studies have shown that diet causes around 30% of cancers in humans, this will be higher in dogs as they don’t smoke, drink alcohol etc. (All research references provided here). If lifestyle affects the growth, then lifestyle can inhibit growth. Ketopet, a wonderful organisation has proven that diet can be the cure to many cancers. They even have a case study of a dog recovering from Hemangiosarcoma, Cali, you can read her story here. When I had a dog running company, many moons ago, my best friend and colleague at the time got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. It was a brutal awakening to real life, at such a young age we all thought we were invincible, but we actually just knew nothing at all. Oli, my friend, utilised diet to help him recover despite the recommendations from doctors to eat donuts and pasta to fatten him up for chemo, he went the other way. The same doctors said they’d never seen tumours shrink like his. Oli happens to be the main reason I got into canine nutrition, it’s another story but it highlights that medicine hasn’t caught up with reality. That nutrition works. When approaching cancer therapy there are some general steps that need to be taken:
- Feed the best quality diet you can.
- Give immune supporting supplements.
- Give your dog chemical-free water (filtered or spring water).
- Avoid other toxins, garden, kitchen etc.
- Move the lifestyle to being as natural as possible.
- Make specific dietary adjustments.