Emie was diagnosed with MCT cancer in June 2017 (Mast cell tumor), My world was turned upside down. The word “cancer” made my stomach drop, how could this happen to my dog that I tried so hard to feed right, make good choices on everything and anything that went in her mouth, always exercised her, she seemed healthy. To hear she had cancer was a shock and I was afraid of what would happen.
To back up a bit, Emie was fed what we believed to be one of the best brand “grain free kibble” we could find and it came with a premium price tag. We researched countless brands and felt confident that our choice was a good one. We did our homework , were paying top dollar for the “best” dog food money could buy and she was fed that food as a puppy all the way up until she turned 5yrs old in June of 2017. All of those years eating kibble she suffered from chronic yeasty ears which required frequent vet visits, ointments, ear drops, frequent cleaning and a constant comfortableness that she had to deal with always scratching at her ears. But the vet we used back then never asked us about her diet, and never offered us any real solution to the yeasty ears other than “band-aid” solutions of medicines that never stopped the real problem. The food.
A friend mentioned the film PetFooled and after watching that film I was angry at the kibble pet food industry and I always kind of knew that raw feeding had to be better but I had no idea where to begin to learn how to feed it properly. So After watching that film I was determined on learning how to feed raw and stop feeding kibble. And after countless hours reading books, and information online I was officially on my way feeding my dog a raw diet. It felt good knowing that I was giving her a better choice of food and It was great knowing exactly what was going into my dogs body. I was happy and content knowing that my dog was now eating a healthier diet.
A short few weeks later we had brought her in to the vet for a checkup and to have a very small bump on her back looked at. Emie had a history of histiocytoma’s and she had 2 of them in her life that just went away on their own and our vet had told us back then that she would probably get more in her life. So, we had just assumed that this new small bump on her back was another histiocytoma and it would be no big deal. While we were at the vet that day, he looked at the bump and didn’t think it was anything to be concerned about but luckily I pushed him to investigate this further and to do a needle aspiration just to be safe. We left that day not too concerned and figured it would be no big deal.
Later on that evening our vet called and told me that the cell sample from the aspiration was in fact MCT. At first I had no idea what MCT was, and after he explained it was Cancer, I was terrified. We ended the conversation that in most cases surgery to remove it is all that is required and the dog can go on to live a happy healthy life, but I wasn’t convinced this is “no big deal” After all, Its Cancer. Had we not pushed to aspirate that bump that day we would have never known it was cancer and it could have gone on to grow and become an even worse problem. So I always urge everyone to get any new lumps and bumps looked at immediately by a vet.
So I immediately started scouring the internet to learn about this type of cancer and I stumbled upon Keto Pet Sanctuary online, I had seen a few of their videos and saw that they were doing some pretty interesting research with diet and cancer. So I found the phone number online and called. A guy by the name of Paul answered the phone and we began to talk, he listened to my story about Emie and began to tell me about what they were doing at keto pet and some of the amazing results they were having in treating cancer in dogs through diet. It felt good to hear that there was some hope and hearing some reassurance and knowing we could implement a diet that could help sounded great. A few days later I received an email from them with information and that began our journey of learning about Keto.
July 7th 2017 was the date for her surgery to have the tiny tumor removed. Surgery went fine and we picked her up in a few short hours, but I was not prepared to see the size of the incision just to remove that tiny spot. Pictures here. I spent the next week with her 24 hours a day taking care of her, uncertain what the future would hold. Was this the end? Did we have to worry about the cancer coming back? did she have other cancer in her that we just couldn’t see? I had so many questions and it was making me sick not knowing.
To be continued……