Kula is a golden retriever and service/therapy dog.
She has been raised on organic homemade foods（Healthy Happy Pooch) in natural environments of no chemical or GMO with her family of five dogs and two cats.
Since she was a puppy, Kula has been a smart and lovable dog with a gentle, kind and calm soul. As a service dog, she has been making everybody smile during her visits to senior homes and the Santa Monica Farmers Market for many years. She has also supported me while I had to use a wheelchair and canes to walk after a near-fatal car accident. Her nature is a bit shy and quiet, but she has been fulfilling her role as a good service/therapy dog, as well as a beloved member of our family, with her unconditional love.
After her 13th birthday on May 16, 2016, she had her annual check up. She had started limping. Her holistic veterinarian doctor Sally Lane told us that Kula does not seem to have any bone problem causing the limping, but her blood test shows that she has anemia and internal bleeding. We were referred to an animal special internal medicine hospital for an ultrasound and x-ray test. On May 18, 2016, we were shocked to learn that Kula has spleen cancer, “Hemangiosarcoma.”
Hemangiosarcoma of the spleen is highly metastatic and malignant vascular neoplasms-tumors in the blood vessels that arise from the endothelial cells – the cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels. It is an aggressive, malignant tumor of blood vessel cells. Kula’s cancer had already spread to her both lungs. Usually, hemangiosarcoma can be successfully treated by surgical removal of the tumor. Chemotherapy is often used in addition to surgical excision if the veterinarian was not able to remove the entire tumor or it has penetrated into the subcutaneous tissue or muscles below the skin. Radiation therapy is also used to treat dermal hemangiosarcoma. In Kula’s case, since it had already spread to the lungs, surgery was not recommended. Dr. Hadar of the special internal medicine hospital told me that Kula’s life span will be 2 weeks to 2 months.
As I wrote in my blog about her diagnosis on May 29, 2016, I was so sad and did not know what to think in the beginning, but I realized that it is not the time for me to feel bad because Kula is still with us, and she is still enjoying eating her healing food, being outside and watching the hummingbirds every evening, and going on walks whenever she can, and moving her tail when greeting people who come to our house.
It has been 2 months since Kula was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. I have been using all of my knowledge as an of whole health macrobiotic counselor and nutritionist and getting help from Dr. Lane, Dr. May and animal communicator Lydia Hiby. I have read many books, blogs, and Internet information about hemangiosarcoma.
Cause of dog cancer factors that I found:
- Carcinogens & toxins found in commercially manufactured foods
- Indigestible and other “non-species appropriate” ingredients
- Malnutrition, due to malabsorption, from an inappropriate diet
- Lack of whole food sources and variety
- Environmental pollutants, especially herbicides/weed killers, and flea/tick products
- Too many vaccinations
- Breed Genetics & immune system dysfunction
Dr. Lane (my main holistic vet) and Dr. Hadar ( a conventional vet of the special internal medicine hospital) both said since five of Kula’s brothers died from cancer at a much younger age, and most golden retrievers get cancer because of a genetic propensity, Kula may have succumbed to that. I also believe that Kula’s case the vaccinations and flea/tick controls products I have given when she was younger when I did not know much about how much the vaccinations and flea/tick controls products affected dog’s health.
I was surprised to found out that many dogs who had Hemangiosarcoma and had surgery did not live much longer (average was two months), so it may be the best thing that Kula could not have surgery, like me.
Since I did not have any experience of counseling clients who had spleen cancer, I decided to talk to my friend, Mr. Isogai, who is a macrobiotic counselor in Japan with experience of macrobiotic healing counseling for over 6000 people. He does not have much experience with animals, but I was able to receive confirmation and gather some information from his experiences which I could apply to Kula.
What I have learned from my research and from Mr. Isogai enabled me to complement the macrobiotic approach with Chinese herbal medicines, acupuncture treatments, and my intuition from communicating with Kula every day. Kula’s cancer is a yang cancer like ovarian cancer I had in 1993. Kula’s cancer spread to her lungs, so it also had yin cancer energy. I needed to focus on making her food more yin – soft and naturally sweet food for the spleen – and at the same time food that would abate the yin energy for the lungs.
Kula is better overall and stabilized, so she is walking short distances on her own, except when climbing stairs. She has an appetite most of the time. She has high fever time to time so I have been very careful what to do when she has a high fever.
I make special healing homemade food, combining the foods she likes to eat so that she will want to eat more. She is no longer eating the same foods she was eating before, such as raw food. If she does not like the food she will spit it out to let me know that I need to come up with the recipe that she likes and will enjoy especially when she has high fever. If your dog gets sick, it is normal for her or him to not want to eat as before, so we must make adjustments to whet the appetite.
Here is the list of what I have been doing for Kula:
1) Healing food for spleen and lung cancer (also when she has high fever)
2) Healing Beverage
3) Massage her gums
4) Body scrub
5) Do-in exercise
7) Remedy drinks
8) External remedy
2. Chinese herbal medicines for her spleen cancer, lungs, and blood builders provide by Dr. Lane
3. Homeopathy medicine
4. Bach Flower remedies
5. Essential oils
6. Acupuncture by Dr. Lane and Dr. May
9. Healing music
10. Healing power stone necklace and bracelets
11. Positive enforcement words
12. Manifesting “Arigatou” chanting
13, Animal Communication
As you can see my day is pretty full. I need to organize my day and monitor Kula and at the same time enjoy my day, practicing my meditation, yoga; keep up my work for Seed Kitchen’s business, teaching, counseling people and dogs/cats; and spend time with my friends and family, consisting of my husband Eric and five other dogs and two cats.
It is surely a challenge to take care of Kula’s condition.
Perhaps it is not easy to keep a balance, but because of Kula’s cancer I am more focused, and I feel so satisfied to be able to do what I can for her in the midst of my hectic daily routine.
I am grateful to Kula, who gives and teaches me unconditional love every day.