dog with cancer

Have You Ever Wondered Why So Many Pets Get Sick Around The Holidays?

When I was in practice, I dreaded the holidays.

The week before Thanksgiving was officially the start of lymphoma season, and it was heartbreaking seeing pet after pet come in sick, only to be diagnosed with cancer. It is heartbreaking, but there are options.

First, I want you to take a deep breath.

My teacher, Dr. Xie, always said part of the process of a pet being sick was for us to learn how to make peace with our difficult burdens. While that seems a little crazy it is a place to start, it will make sense in a few minutes.

Second, we're going to jump into the woo-woo here.

It’s become clear to me that pets are our mirrors. I think they buffer us from disease and eventually take on our conditions in many situations. Some of this is clear-cut, as it was for Esau and me. As many of you know, I had a massive exposure to mold, which resulted in the loss of my cognitive abilities, as well as profound dizziness and many other symptoms. When we chose to move from South Carolina, the humidity worsened my symptoms. In this process of getting ready to move and hit the road, Esau developed vestibular disease and worsening dementia.

We were able to support him for several months until one day, he woke up, checked out, and it was clear that we needed to help him move on from this planet. Now I could have chosen to feel guilty and wallow in it, but instead, I thanked him for protecting me and taking on this challenging burden. That’s the thing I want you to remember, they do this out of pure love and enjoy the best for us.

It's up to us to accept their gift with grace, and move forward in our lives so that we don't have to make those mistakes again.

This is what our pets want for us to grow and learn, and be happy. They gladly take on our burden to allow us the breathing room to understand how to change and how to heal. This doesn’t make it any easier when your pet gets a cancer diagnosis or is sick in the hospital from kidney disease, liver disease, or any other serious illness. Still, if you spend time thinking about your pet in terms of “oh my God, she’s going to die,” this doesn’t make things better for anybody.

Remember how I’ve been talking to you about meditation and finding a few moments of peace daily with your pet? This is where the rubber meets the road. Yes, you should be worried yes, there is something serious going on, but if you stay in that place of total negativity and fear, it makes it so much worse for you and your pet.

So what does this have to do with why pets get so sick around the holidays? I believe it’s because we put such emotional baggage around the holidays, making everything perfect, buying this and buying that, and having the whole family come over, and the whole frenzy that goes with the commercialization of what should be a peaceful and easy time with our families.

For those devout to the faiths that celebrate these holidays, this should be a time of happiness, forgiveness, and joy. Instead, it’s a massive rush up to these days, And for many of us, it leaves us feeling empty inside. So imagine what your pet perceives from you and your family during this month. They think us being afraid, panicked, rushed, and distracted from the things that nurture us, including them. If they’ve been carrying a reasonably heavy emotional burden for us, this may be the thing that tips the scales into full-blown disease. Again, my goal is not to make you feel guilty but to make you aware of what’s happening. If you are aware, then you have the choice to make a change.

If you find yourself in a situation where your pet is in the hospital, or a loved one or your friend's pet is in the same condition, here's one of the best things you can do to support you, your pet, or your friend.

ake a deep breath, and on the out-breath, see your pet or your friend’s pet wrapped in light and all the love they deserve. Our goal here is not to cure a pet of disease but to ease its onerous burden. Regardless of the outcome, the pet will be more at peace, you will be more at peace, and your friend will feel more at ease. Now that’s enough of the woo-woo.

So here are some more concrete suggestions about what you can do to support your pet with a serious disease, especially cancer. Don’t go out and buy 27 supplements. Start with the basics. Is your pet eating well? Great, let’s shift the diet to something that will support the body and allow the immune system to function more generally so that the cancer cells get killed, the kidneys are supported, etc. I’d love to tell you that the Crockpet diet is the best choice for every pet, but you need to look at where your pet is and get them eating. If all they want to eat is Fancy Feast or Vienna sausages, then let them eat that. How much better to enjoy what you were eating, even if it’s not very much than to be offered healthy food that is simply unappetizing.

It’s okay to use appetite stimulants, prednisone, B12 injections, whatever it takes to help support your pet and make them interested in food. If your pet is eating, this is the time to add supplements. Many people make the mistake of adding too many supplements at once when their pet is not eating well, which can throw them off their food. If your pet needs prescription medications to keep things under control, these are the priority items for the diet. The home-run supplements that consistently help almost every disease are fish oil, probiotics, and a multivitamin, as the body needs far more nutrients than previously.

Add those in one at a time so that if something is offensive to your pet, you know exactly what it is.

If your pet is on conventional chemotherapy, you must leave out the fish oil one day before and three days after each chemotherapy treatment. See if you can find an acupuncturist in your area. If you’re in the Charleston area, check out dr. Meredith Borakove with Chi on Wheels. If you need help figuring out where to start, check out Chi University website and International Veterinary Acupunture Society. They have practitioner lookups on the website, and you should be able to find someone close to you. Acupuncture seems to help the body feel better regardless of what’s going on.

Check out the tui-na video in my free membership area; moving the fascia will help move any good accumulating there and help your pet feel better. If you haven’t already, check out my free members’ area by signing up here, and then look at the holistic health protocols. If you are struggling with a pet with cancer, pay close attention to the Cancer Support Protocol.

Dr. Ruth Roberts DVM, CVA

Dr. Ruth Roberts Holistiv Vet

Dr. Ruth Roberts is The Original Pet Health Coach, and has supported thousands of dogs and cats to overcome health hurdles like kidney disease, GI Illness, allergies and cancer. Her natural approach to healing creates a gentle yet effective path for your pet to take on their journey to wellbeing. Dr. Ruth created The Original CrockPet Diet, a balanced home cooked diet for pets, as the foundation of health. Dr. Ruth is now training passionate pet parents, and pet professionals to be Certified Holistic Pet Health Coaches so that more pets can be helped holistically.