So many people have asked me how my 12-year old dog, Emmy, is whipping cancer. She’s transformed over the last four weeks. Here’s how we’re doing it.
After a kidney cancer diagnosis, and a less than one year survival prognosis — if we removed the kidney and followed with chemo — we decided to fight it with science and nutrition. The goal, no suffering, and good, happy days for as long as possible. So far, we’re winning.
At diagnosis (4/12/16), Emmy had periodic vomiting, very little appetite, and lethargy. She was losing weight, was disengaged and mostly wanted to be alone, which is very unusual for my girl. I knew she didn’t feel good. Was she leaving? My first goal was to see if I could get her eating again.
The day after diagnosis I changed her diet from Simple Formula Wellness dog food (which I believe to be a high quality food) to an all human diet plus a superfood supplement. We started with scrambled eggs cooked in a tiny bit of coconut oil. She went for it.
“We just want her infused with clean, healthy, easily digested food to not tax kidneys. My supplement will boost her immune system. We can build on that.” – Nancy
We started with foods that fight inflammation and are high in anti-oxidents: sweet potatoes, blueberries, pumpkin, coconut oil. I blend them in the Vitamix so they’re super easy for her to eat and digest. Each day we added new foods: Greek yogurt, butternut squash, green beans. Smaller meals, more often. Each meal, I add the Shining Star Pets supplement (dosage by weight).
What’s in it? My well dog, Lola, also loves it!
“It’s all chemistry and nutrition fueling her immune system. Appetite and poop are important to us. We tweak… She eats.” – Nancy
Her appetite immediately improved, but she was losing weight, down to 52 pounds. So we increased the carbs. I alternate oatmeal and brown rice at meals, always sweet potatoes, plus a small amount of protein. A snack can be cottage cheese mixed with canned pumpkin. Peanut butter on mashed banana. I make greek yogurt blueberry pops as a superfood treat. We limit the protein to no more than 20% of her diet so we don’t tax the kidneys. Anything that isn’t processed (meaning — you can see it in her poop!), I put in the blender. Easier to eat, easier for her body to digest. Every nutrient of the food is used by her system.
To be clear, this isn’t a table scraps diet. It’s a low salt, good oils (coconut and olive), good fats, good carbs and a controlled amount of protein. It took me about a week to get the hang of it.
Our results so far: She’s jumping up and down when it’s time to eat. She rolls around in the backyard. We walk 2-3 times a day.
That doesn’t look like a dog that’s dying to me. The cancer is still there, but she isn’t suffering. She’s happy, engaged and making the most of every day.
It makes me think, if we can transform a dog with cancer in just a few weeks using whole foods and nutritional supplementation, shouldn’t we be considering that option for people in the same predicament?
Have you ever tried a whole foods diet with your dog? Would love to hear about it.