Canine Gastric Cancer: Can Diet Cause It?

The number of canine cancer fatalities is nothing short of alarming with research proving it to be the leading cause of death in dogs older than 10 years old. Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna concurred that at least 50% of all canines of that age are known to contract cancer at some stage in their later years.

Canine cancer has been very poorly documented until a few decades ago. During the mid-80's, advanced gastric carcinoma was diagnosed in 11 dogs at the University of Milan. All the cases were examined clinically, radiologically and endoscopically, with 9 dogs being submitted for an autopsy. There appeared to be a breed predisposition to the tumors with 8 of the 11 affecting Belgian shepherd dogs. The Animal Tumor Registry (ATR) of Genoa, Italy, was established in 1985 with the aim of estimating the occurrence of spontaneous tumors in dogs. Today, many other provinces have followed suit in an attempt to better understand, prevent and treat cancer in canines.

Can My Dog’s Diet Cause Gastric Cancer?

In short, yes! Nitrosamine is a huge contributing factor to gastric cancer in canines and is readily found in many substandard dog food as well as everyday ‘human’ food.It is absolutely imperative that your dog follows a healthy diet consisting of high-quality pet food. Consult with your local veterinarian if you need assistance in making a well-educated decision pertaining to the brand of food to feed your canine.

What Is Nitrosamine and Where Is It Found?

Nitrosamines are toxic compounds formed when sodium nitrate combines with functional groups that exist in proteins known as amines. Sodium nitrate is commonly used in processed meat, fish and pet food to give it an appealing reddish or yellow color. These nitrosamines are highly carcinogenic compounds that are believed to increase your dog’s risk of pancreatic, stomach and intestinal cancers and are something you definitely want to minimize within your body.

Common sources of nitrosamine ingestion by dogs:

·         Salami

·         Sausages

·         Bologna

·         Ham

·         Bacon

·         Canned dog food

·         Dog pellets

·         Dried meat-derived dog treats

No dog lover will intentionally expose man’s best friend to cancer causing elements but we are all prone to feeding our pets scraps of our own food and making pet food purchases without doing adequate research or checking the product labels for potentially harmful ingredients.

The treatment and care of a cherished pet is a very personal decision for every pet owner but most will agree that prevention is indeed better than cure. Should you find yourself having to care for a pet with cancer despite your best efforts to prevent it, make sure to discuss all possible treatment plans and outcomes with your vet in order to supply your dog with the best chance of recovery.

(Courtesy of Jackie Edwards)



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