DEAR DR. FOX: My 17-year-old cat has a neoplasm at the site of a rabies vaccination on his mid-back that he got about four or five years ago. It has increased in size. I raised objections to the injection site (having heard that it was better to give the shot in the leg), but the holistic vet said that's no longer true. My homeopathic vet has begun treating it and wants to refer me to another holistic vet to consider escharotic injection. I understand it's very messy and possibly traumatic for the cat (and owner).
We haven't done a biopsy. He is in no apparent pain, it doesn't hurt when I touch it gently, he is eating well, he loves his twice-daily walks with me and his eyes are bright -- he's in good spirits.
My vet is also treating him homeopathically and with Standard Process Feline Renal Support for serious renal issues, further compounding my aversion to surgery for the neoplasm. I've had him on homemade cat food, high quality raw food and high quality canned food all his life, with about 10 nongrain kibbles as a bedtime treat.
Do you have any further suggestions for these issues? Many thanks. -- B.N., Potomac, Md.
DEAR B.N.: An escharotic injection is an injection of a caustic chemical like silver nitrate. Such a caustic material would not differentiate between the cat's healthy tissue and the cancer, essentially destroying both and possibly stimulating surviving tumorous cells to proliferate and probably causing the cat great discomfort. I think the veterinarians need to focus more on your cat's age and quality of life than on treatment options.
I am not aware of clinical studies demonstrating effective escharotic treatment of feline fibrosarcomas. Nor am I aware that there has been any change in the protocol for vaccinating cats as far down on their legs as possible, where amputation of the limb above any injection-site turmors is a more reliable way of getting rid of the cancer than extensive surgery.
If this were my cat, I would give him supplements of fish oil; Resveratrol for cats; and put one part each of essential oils of frankincense, lavender and myrrh in 40 parts organic almond oil. Apply this mixture twice daily for seven days, stop for seven days and apply again for another seven days. If there is no sign of shrinking, stop further treatment since essential oils are risky for cats.
While grapes and raisins can cause renal failure in dogs, the toxins involved have not been identified. Resveratrol for dogs and cats is, by all accounts, safe, even though it is extracted from grapes. Its anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and other beneficial qualities have made this a popular human supplement. For details, visit resvantagefeline.com. I have no financial interests in any company producing this supplement.
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The Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science (SPARCS) is hosting its first international three-day conference on dog behavior in Redmond, Wash., June 28-30. The latest knowledge and scientific research into canine behavior, communication, cognition and development will be presented, discussed and debated by some leading researchers, including yours truly. SPARCS believes that every dog lover deserves easier access to the science of dogs, thus the 2013 conference will be broadcast online for free. Profits will fuel research grants in canine science so we can continue to grow in our understanding of man's best friend. Dog experts, trainers, owners, therapists and others from around the world are registering now to attend for this unique gathering. Do come! Visit CanineScience.info for more information.
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