This is Gracie, a beautiful 11 year old Newfoundland-Retriever mix. One year ago, her family was shocked when she was diagnosed with an oral sarcoma after being taken to the vet for a swollen gum. The treatment options that were offered included chemotherapy and surgery to remove part of her jaw – and an estimate of another few months of life at best. But for Gracie’s family, this just wasn’t an option for her. According to Gracie’s mom Lucy, “the thought of surgery, and a kennel and her tongue hanging out, just to buy a couple of months, was not even a consideration.” And so they sought other ways to help Gracie battle her cancer.
So, what did they do to help Gracie?
Information. First, they read as much as they possibly could about how to fight cancer. They knew that by educating themselves, they would be empowering themselves and be able to make the best decisions possible to help their girl. One resource they found particularly helpful was Dr. Martin Goldstein’s Book, “The Nature of Animal Healing,” one of Georgia’s Legacy’s top-recommendations for holistic dog care as well.
They also discovered some great information at www.charlesloopsdvm.com. Dr. Loops is a homeopathic veterinarian and his website has some excellent information about homeopathic remedies, natural supplements and nutrients, vaccines and nosodes, and of course, natural cancer treatment options. This information also helped convince Gracie’s parents that they would no longer have her vaccinated, because this can be such a burden on an already compromised immune system.
Good Food & Nutrition. Per Gracie’s vet, Lucy started cooking her a homemade cancer diet, full of quality protein and nutrients. Gracie’s diet does not include any carbs, chemicals, preservatives, or anything else that could potentially fuel the cancer.
In addition to a mix of things like ground turkey and veggies, they also add “the Budwig Diet” to her meals:
- 1 T. flaxseed oil
- 1/2 c. cottage cheese
Gracie also gets Essiac as a supplement. Essiac has a long history of helping to fight cancer and is a combination of several different herbs, typically Slippery Elm Bark, Burdock Root, Sheep Sorrel and Indian Rhubarb Root, although different variations exist. READ MORE…
Exercise & Fun. Sometimes in the middle of cancer, we forget how important fun and exercise is to our dog’s health AND quality of life. Not only does exercise help the body rid itself of toxins and help boost the immune system, it also boosts the spirit! Recognizing this, Gracie’s family took her and her brother to the beach for some healing air and water…and enjoyment of life.
So what happened? Well, against all predictions, Gracie’s tumor disappeared! It’s now been about a year since her diagnosis, and she recently went in for a check-up and was given a big thumbs-up from the vet. She is on Previcox for an ACL issue and the vet decided to keep her on that since she is doing so well. And, her heart and lungs are healthy and strong. According to her family, she really doesn’t seem much different from any other older dog with some grey hair. Except of course that she is a canine cancer superhero!
Gracie’s mom Lucy has simple advice for others going through the cancer experience with their pets. “You have to customize based on the information you learn – there’s a lot of information out there and it can be overwhelming and sometimes contradictory. But, I believe that it’s important to keep it simple when you find what works.”
“I have also learned a lot just from talking with others. In fact, I learned about Essiac from talking with the owner of our local health food store when I was picking up flaxseed for Gracie and found out that her dog has cancer too. She has been such a tremendous help to us during Gracie’s journey and a big cheerleader too. We all need to commiserate with people who really understand.”
Cancer is a scary, overwhelming experience, but often it can create opportunities for us to learn, grow and become stronger. Our animals can also teach us about how to face illness and setbacks with dignity and courage. Says Lucy, “We have learned so much from Gracie about spirit, being fearless, and remaining open to possibilities, plus we have a greater awareness of our animals as individuals, consideration of the worldwide community of animal lovers and their GRACE too.”
Keep up the good work Gracie! You are an inspiration to us all.
As a side effect of Gracie’s new health regimen, her brother has benefited as well He is also a Newfoundland/Retriever mix and has always had weight problems, but nothing seemed to keep the pounds off. Since sharing Gracie’s diet (modified to include some healthy carbs such as rice and pumpkin) he has lost 30 lbs and has more energy than ever!
Do you have an inspirational canine cancer story to tell? Email your dog’s story, or helpful advice you’ve picked up along the way to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!