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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

What to Do with Your Pet’s Cancer Diagnosis

Dec 30, 2020 09:35AM ● By Dr. Cathy Alinovi, DVM

Cancer. This diagnosis affects at least one out of four dogs and cats, striking fear in the hearts of loving pet parents. If you have heard these words from your veterinarian, this short article will give you hope, direction and confidence as you navigate the onslaught of medical decisions coming your way.

First things first: Cancer is not an automatic debilitation and/or death sentence. No matter what someone might say, there is no planned expiration date, so stop looking at the calendar. It is scary, yes…but as a pet parent (and our pet’s medical advocate), you have options that can both extend their life and improve their health even after a cancer diagnosis. As soon as you hear these words, the best thing you can do is turn your pain into purposeful action. Even under the direst circumstances, you have options that can make your pet feel better and live longer.

Depending on the type of cancer your pet has, conventional medicine will present different options for treatment ranging from doing nothing to opting for one or more of the following: surgery, chemotherapy, modified chemotherapy with prednisone only, or radiation. If you do not already see a more holistically-minded veterinarian, you may never hear of additional (and incredibly effective) therapies, including detoxification, herbal therapy, homeopathic therapy, nutritional support, acupuncture, reiki and more. These less invasive options can complement conventional medicine options and/or be used on their own. In my own natural healthcare practice, I have successfully helped dogs and cats—allowing them to feel better and live longer—using any combination of modalities.

For the pet owner who must decide which treatment(s) to pursue, you can see the list of options is overwhelming. To begin with, the pet parent must decide if they are open to all options or only the ones presented by their local veterinarian. In my current work, I advise pet parents as they consider the risks and benefits of every option, but we always begin with addressing food therapy. Scientific evidence has proven that diets high in carbohydrates accelerate the growth of most cancers. Therefore, an immediate (and effective) shift may be a simple switch to a low carbohydrate option in an effort to slow the growth and spread of cancer.

Next, consider herbs and other options for reducing inflammation. Because cancer is inflammation gone wrong, anything that reduces inflammation can help slow the progression of the cancer which then reduces pain and swelling. For some pets, detoxification and a whole-food diet are enough to stop the progression of cancer. For others, the answer comes from reducing stress and decreasing adrenal-related inflammation and illness—which is where reiki can help.

The key is to pause, not panic. Cancer is scary, but with proper nutrition and deliberate planning, you can make a big difference in how this diagnosis affects your dog’s life expectancy and satisfaction. Consider all of your options, get a second opinion and take your role as health advocate for your best friend seriously.

Dr. Cathy Alinovi, a solely holistic veterinarian, helps clients find only natural solutions to their pets’ needs. Healthy PAWsibilities Natural Pet Wellness Center is located at 628 Cleveland St., #17, Clearwater. For more information and appointments, call/text 727-510-3665, email [email protected] and/or visit