Myra's oncologist, Dr. Kate Vickery, trained at the Chi Institute of Chinese Veterinary Medicine, which is where I also received my certification in acupuncture and food therapy. It was great being able to bounce my ideas off some one with similar training. She agreed that using traditional chemotherapy along with alternative treatments would give Myra her best chance for recovery. This plan is specific for Myra's care, but all pets with cancer can benefit from the right diet and supplements added to their care. Consult with a trained holistic veterinarian if you would like to design a program for your pet. Here are some of the things we are adding to Myra's treatment plan:
- Pure CBD oil. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive concentrate extracted from hemp. Marijuana, which contains THC, can be highly toxic in pets but the CBD oil provides many benefits without being toxic. Cannabidiol may help prevent nausea and increase appetite, may help decrease pain, and may help fight tumor cells. It is anti-inflammatory and has antioxidant properties.
- I'm Yunity medicinal mushroom extract. Medicinal mushrooms have anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer properties. They also enhance the immune system. This extract has been extensively studied in quite a few cancer trials and has been shown to reduce tumor size. It also stimulates appetite during chemotherapy and increases energy levels.
- Wei Qi Booster. This is a Chinese Veterinary Medicine herbal product that helps boost the Defensive Qi, or energy that protects the body. We think of this in Western medicine as the immune system. The herbs in the formula tonify Qi and Blood and dispel Heat toxins.
- CoQ10. This is a powerful antioxidant. Oxidation causes damage to cell membranes, proteins, and DNA. This damage can cause mutation of cells. By giving antioxidants, we fight the oxidative damage.
- IP6. This is another powerful antioxidant. It is a derivative of the B vitamin, inositol. Studies have shown that it reduces cell multiplication and can cause some cancer cells to revert back to normal cells. It has been shown to enhance the anticancer effects of chemotherapy, control spread of disease, and improve quality of life.
- A healthy, home cooked, organic diet, with some raw diet as well. Because Myra has severe allergies, we will use foods that do not set her off, so that her immune system can fight the cancer. She does very well on rabbit and duck, so those will be our main proteins.
- Acupuncture. Myra will receive weekly treatments to strengthen her digestive and immune systems. She needs to be strong to fight. She already had her first treatment and was very good. One point along her back was particularly sensitive, but otherwise she was great!
- Dinosaurs. Myra loves to attack toy dinosaurs and remove their squeakers. Her Daddy has been giving her a dinosaur a day. Some dinosaurs last longer than a day, others die a sudden and quick death. (Now we know why they are extinct.) Myra's fans are now sending her dinosaurs in the mail and she enjoys opening packages as much as she enjoys attacking dinosaurs. Play time is VERY important for pets with cancer. Fighting cancer includes LIVING a great life instead of agonizing about dying.
Myra already had her first injection of chemotherapy, which was a drug called L-spar, which is L-Asparaginase. It is commonly used in lymphoma treatment protocols and I found many articles where it is recommended for use in treating cats (of course, since our dog may be a cat, apparently). All cells need asparaginase in order to produce protein. Healthy cells only need a little of this enzyme, which they can produce internally. Cancer cells require large amounts in order to survive and grow and must acquire it from outside sources. The drug L-asparaginase eliminates any asparaginase outside the cells, so there is not enough to feed the cancer cells and they die.
Once we have the results of Myra's flow cytometry test and have a better handle on the type of lymphoma she has, we will know the options for her chemotherapy protocol and how aggressive it needs to be. I am thankful to Myra and to Dr. Vickery for giving me the opportunity to learn new information that will help me help my patients.
In my next blog I'll show you the great stew Hue was nice enough to cook for Myra.