We continue this month with another special story about a cancer survivor, named Bodie. Bodie and his family live in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. We received so many emails regarding July's Newsletter on Benny that we decided to share another great story with you this month. This story is about Bodie, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Cattle dog mix who is a survivor of Mandibular Osteosarcoma cancer thanks to his caring parents, Margaret and Dean Paris, his Oncologist, Dr. Maureen and help with a natural diet and supplements. We'd like to offer our thanks to them for bringing us Bodie's story and giving us permission to share it with you.
Bodie's Story by Margie and Dean Paris
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Our darling Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Cattle dog is our courageous boy who is 8 years old, although my husband says he is nearly 18 months old since his new style of life began. In April 2008, we noticed Bodie had what looked like an ulcer by the side of a small molar tooth with a piece of bone sitting in it. We took him to the vet on April 11th, 2008 to have his tooth removed. During the surgery, the vet noticed problems with Bodie's jaw, so he put a probe into the jaw and discovered he had Mandibular Osteosarcoma. When the vet broke the news to us, he told us that Bodie probably had about two to six weeks to live.
Our family was totally devastated! We all spent that weekend totally indulging him with every mortal food or treat we could get our hands on. Then the determination to help Bodie get better set in. We got histology tests done and a young vet friend of ours contacted his Professor, who taught him at University, for advice. Before we knew it, we were taking Bodie to an Oncologist. On April 23, 2008, we had our first visit to the Oncologist. This woman was such a wonderful gem. Bodie's jaw surgery was April 25th and the vet was able to remove the cancer with good margins and off we all went, this time on a new mission! After the surgery, Bodie had to obviously make some adjustments for himself, like drinking – he used to loose a lot of water lapping it up as it just fell out the other side of his mouth, but that was OK. It just took him longer to take in the water he needed. His diet was changed a lot too. We fed him two meals per day, with no complaints from him! After doing a lot of research on the internet, my husband, Dean discovered Lew Olson, PhD, and we are forever grateful as she helped us fine tune the diet we chose for Bodie.
We converted Bodie to a raw natural diet and added in several supplements to ensure he would be getting all the required nutrients and the immune boost he needed.
We fed him a variety of different meats, such as beef, lamb, salmon or chicken. I would sometimes cook the chicken breasts in unsalted butter, as he needed the extra fat. Basically we aimed for a variety of foods to make it more interesting for him and we are fortunate, because he is such a good boy and will eat everything, however he seems to know not to eat the cracker or bread pieces that fall to the floor! He is just a treasure and so clever.
Some of the whole foods we feed him include natural yogurt, cottage cheese and a variety of different vegetables. We give him Asian greens, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic. The vegetable combinations depended on what was available at the shops, but we always added in garlic. I'd put the vegetables in the food processor for a smaller consistency and I'd make up enough to last a few days in the fridge for easy use.
Bodie is on a variety of supplements. We gave him Flax seed oil for about three months. We give him Vitamin A once a week, a half a tablet of Vitamin B in the morning, Vitamin C and Vitamin E tablets each morning and night, A Selenium tablet in the morning, Essential Enzymes at night and also give him Salmon oil Capsules and Glucosamine powder.
Of course you can't forget the treats! For Bodie's treats, we cook beef liver in unsalted butter and cut it into bite size pieces. We would make up a nice batch, keep them in the freezer and take out a handful at a time for easy use to the fridge. We also give him cubes of cheese and cut up hard boiled eggs. He truly loves his treats!
We have maintained Bodies exercise, which consists of a walk nearly every day, and general running around. When all this began, his games were limited to very soft balls that he could roll around and fetch with so he would not do any hard biting or chewing. Today, he chews on dried pigs ears (takes him a while and has to be watched – due to overprotective parents!) and Marrow bones! (raw beef bones the butcher cuts in half). He chews and licks to his hearts content.
We made other adjustments too, like raising the height of his water and food bowls onto a higher stand, which seemed to help his dribble, however today, he hardly dribbles at all. We also had to educate other family members and friends on his limitations.
Bodies Oncologist, Dr. Maureen (and we refer to her with such admiration and gratitude) keeps a close eye on him. Bodie saw her every three months for the first six months and then every 6 months. We had an x-ray done of Bodies lungs and jaw midway through these visits and all was clear. YAH! Our next visit is in October, and if all is still clear, Dr. Maureen will give Bodie the 'ALL CLEAR!'
We have noticed that as Bodie gets older, his jaw does go to the side a bit, but it doesn't matter to us. He will always be our beautiful 'Pin Up Boy' who is full of love and life.
Notes from Lew:
Bodie’s story is remarkable,
and shows the love, devotion and determination of Margie and Dean Paris for this wonderful dog!
Recently, I have had a lot of email questions about the difference between flax seed oil and animal based oils, such as EPA Fish Oil Capsules and Salmon oil capsules. I noticed in Bodie’s story, about the use of flax seed oil. While it is a source of omega 3 fatty acids (and not harmful for dogs), animal based oils work more efficiently. This seemed a good time to repeat information on using omega 3 fatty acids for dogs and its wide array of benefits. What follows is an excerpt from the
B-Naturals January, 2006 newsletter: The two essential fatty acids that are most commonly discussed for nutrition are Omega 6 fatty acids, and omega 3 fatty acids. The omega 6 fatty acids are found in animal sources, such as chicken and pork. Smaller amounts are found in beef. Larger amounts are found in plant sources, such as olive, safflower and other plant oils. Omega 3 fatty acids are less common, found in fish oil, flax seed oil and marine sources, such as spirulina and blue green algae. (4)
Since the omega 6 fatty acids are found naturally in the diet (animal fats and plant sources) it is not necessary to add this fat to the dog’s diet. Research is still incomplete on the optimal balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, but currently it is thought to be approximately 5:1 to 10:1. (1) Since most foods already contain high amounts of omega 6 (meat, fat and plant matter) it is important to add good sources of omega 3 daily to your dog’s diet.
The best sources for omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish body oils, such as fish oil or salmon oil. Cod liver oil is quite different, as it is lower in omega 3 and very high in vitamins A and D. Fish oil has a readily available form of omega 3, called EPA and DHA. Plant based oils such as Flax Seed Oil contains ALA, which needs to be converted in the body to be of use. Most dogs are unable to do this conversion which results in high amounts of omega 6 from this source, but not much omega 3. A high omega 6 to omega 3 ratio promotes inflammation, poor coat, allergies and skin conditions.
“While flaxseeds or flaxseed oil is not harmful to pets and does supply some essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil is a source of alphalinoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is ultimately converted to EPA and DHA. Many animals (probably including dogs) and some people cannot convert ALA to these other more active non-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, due to a deficiency of desaturase enzymes needed for the conversion. In one human study, flaxseed oil was ineffective in reducing symptoms or raising levels of EPA and DHA. Therefore, I do not recommend flaxseed oil as a fatty acid supplement for pets with atopic dermatitis (skin problems caused by environmental allergies). Instead, look for fish oil, which provides EPA and DHA. (5)
Other benefits of fatty acids include controlling inflammation, aiding in heart disease, cancer therapy, arthritis and renal disease. In heart disease and cancer, cachexia (muscle wasting) can cause a severity of side effects. Cathexia is caused by excess cytokine production. High doses of fish oil (1,000 mg per ten lbs of body weight) have been found to suppress cytokine, thus increasing life expectancy by maintaining integrity of the heart muscle and reducing loss of muscle mass in some types of cancer.
Because high doses of omega 3 fatty acids are found to reduce inflammation, fish oil is helpful for dogs with arthritis and orthopedic problems. The anti-inflammatory properties have also been found helpful for dermatitis and other skin conditions, as well as for certain gastro-intestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Disease and Colitis.
Lastly, omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for kidney disease. They have been shown to be renal protective, and in certain kidney disorders such as glomerular disease, fish oil helps to reduce inflammation. (4) (6)
(4) Kendall, Robert V. PhD Therapeutic Nutrition for the Cat, Dog and Horse, (Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, Mosby Press, 1997) 62
Copyright Lew Olson 2009
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