Yeah, my guys are getting pretty old (11 and 13yrs), and it’s sad to contemplate. But look at it this way. Cancer is what we all get to die of if we live long enough. It shows we’ve succeeded in outliving the other causes of death. I see old labs get cancer because vaccination has beaten most infectious diseases here, parasites are treatable, good nutrition is readily available, after about 8 or so they’re less likely to run in front of cars or eat something poisonous, so cancer or degenerative metabolic diseases are what’s left. As you say, we all go somehow, and cancer at 14 is more common these days because the other things at 1 or 2 or 6 are less common. In the absence of achievable immortality, it’s not such a bad thing really. And, of course, we don’t usually put them through months or years of meaningless suffering first, as we tend to do ourselves.
[off topic] But my own particular idiot dog just cant stop drooling while I eat grapes. I don’t ofetn have them, but they are in season and he was comical. Maybe grapes will get him instead of cancer afterall. [/back to topic]
Cgallaga, maybe if you peel them first, they’d be ok for your dog. Check with Brennen.
Brennen and Cgallaga, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the recent studies on vitamin D which indicate that lower levels tend to be associated with higher rates of cancer. Since labs are black (or dark brown) they probably don’t produce nearly as much vitamin D as lighter colored dogs. Maybe supplements of vitamin D would reduce their cancer rate.
OK so, back to topic a bit: If I start to give my dog vitamin D, and he dies of anything but cancer, can I claim to have evidence that vitamin D reduces cancer rate in labs?
You know I’m sure if he could he would agree with you that I should: Peel him a grape, crush him some ice, skin him a peach, save the fuzz for his pillow, poach him a plumb, talk to him nice…and so on.
Well, dogs actually do not produce vitamin D from exposure to UV light. The approriate precursors are not present in the skin, and it is an essential dietary nutrient for them. So coat color is irrelevant in terms of vitamin D levels. Unfortunately, as the poor stepchild of human medicine, veterinary medicine doesn’t have the kind of research dollars, especially outside of the agricultural side of things, to do the level of research we’d like. Labs are, as a breed, predisposed to certain cancers (especially lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma), and we believe it is primarily due to genetics (breed-specific alleles of tumor suppressor genes, oncogenes, etc), but we don’t really know. Nor, as far as I know, has anybody studied in detail any nutritional strategies for cancer prevention in particular breeds, though there is some work on omega 3 fatty acids (notice subtle redirection back to thread topic ) in dogs generally.
I’d still have to veto the grapes, but as you are a culinary whiz I’m sure your boy gets plenty of gourmet spoiling, and I’m sure he deserves it!
Thanks for depressing my Brennan! My yellow lab (nicknamed ‘the perfect dog’) died of cancer at the ripe old age of 14. I now have a 7 year old black and 8 month old chocolate lab. They were all rescues. My black lab recently developed a seizure disorder. After being in denial for the first two Grand Mal seizures (he looked okay after a brief post-ictal period), I took him in for tests. He is now on phenobarb twice a day. So far so good. I was talking to a friend of mine..a nurse and fellow dog lover, she asked me if I’d tried alt med… WTH?. I just told her ‘no’ and said I was happy with the treatment my dog was getting now—especially since he’d occluded his airway during his last seizure, and had we been away, we would have come home to a dead dog. I couldn’t believe she even suggested it after I’d described THAT seizure!
Cats are deathly allergic to chocolate. :( So far, I’ve had cats who knew not to eat it when my sons would lay it down. I’ve worried about that every time I saw some chocolate lying around. Yet, chocolate has been found to be a mild anti-depressant and help some other things.