James Jacobson: When the dog has cancer one of the things that can happen is the dog can feel nauseous and that happens i guess, not only as a result of some treatments produces it as a by-product of having cancer. Is that right Dr. Ettinger?
Dr. Susan Ettinger: Yup! It can be, I mean sometimes it’s more direct or just a cancer in the abdominal cavity and pushing on some receptors making a pet nauseous, or just some like chemicals that are released from it and then sometimes from the treatment itself specifically chemotherapy.
James Jacobson: Ok, and Dr. Dressler, when you see dogs that are nauseous with cancer are there certain things you can do natural things to make a dog feel better?
Dr. Demian Dressler: Yeah! Absolutely! I mean, when we’re talking about using full spectrum care, we need to contemplate, everything that we have in our disposal. Some of these dogs are quite nauseous. It will just take 2 seconds to go over signs of nausea. Probably the number one sign of nausea in dogs is decreased the appetite. Sometimes they’d go up to their food bowl, started to look at it act interested and then turn tail and walk away. It’s very strange thing because many times guardians will ask, “well, he looks like he wants to eat but he can’t”. But the strange things is the brain pattern is there and when it’s time to actually do the eating, well, there’s very little interest and they walk away from the food bowl. So, there’s other sign of nausea too. Many times that we can have is lips smacking which is kind of, leaking of the chops so to speak and then obviously vomiting would be an obvious sign of nausea. Now that Dr. Ettinger talk about some of the conventional practice of dealing with nausea and it something that does come up another one with the cancers as a consequence of this certain reactive chemicals that get secreted in the blood stream many times to the dying tissue, dying cancer cells, or inflammation in the body that is connected with cancer and also has Dr. Sue is talking about the pressure and would not, but also sometimes..
Dr. Susan Ettinger: But I think also in another quick one to add is drooling a lot of dogs will drool at the smell of food so the similar thing they may walk up to their food, and they’ll just start to drool, and that could be that really stringy, gooey stuff just coming out of their mouth and that’s a really common sign of nausea that I also see.
James Jacobson: Yeah! So, what is some things to be done about it?
Dr. Susan Ettinger: I mean, there are definitely from my stand point anytime I’m starting chemotherapy interestingly as opposed to people most dogs do not need to be pre-medicated with nausea medications but I will always send all of my guardians home with what I call “just in case medications” Those will be some medications that have been shown to be very effective for nausea. A really common one that’s approved for dogs now is called Seronia. The nice thing about Seronia is it’s a once a day medication. So, usually I tell owners if you are noticing that your dog is showing any of the symptoms, you know Demian just mention go ahead and give a dose of Seronia. If they start eating normally, you don’t have to continue, its not like antibiotic so you can really use it as needed and use it quite safely. There are few chemotherapy drugs such as Doxorubicin which also called Erythromycin with some recent studies have shown than just go ahead and using Seronia for the 4 days after treatment has been shown to really decrease some of the GI side effects to the gastrointestinal side effects that we see with those. So your Oncologist may recommend, just go in ahead and using the Seronia with automatically after some drugs, or if we start to learn that your dog get sick from a certain drugs, we will go ahead and use the medications prophylactically because in some instances it is easier to prevent nausea than to treat it after it get started.
James Jacobson: Then rather natural from anything Dr. Dressler that you’d recommend to counteract nausea?
Dr. Demian Dressler: Yeah! There’s a couple of different things we talk about the addition of plain old ginger which interestingly has some anti-nausea effects and these are published to everything that we talk about in the dog cancer survival guide has data. The full spectrum approach is always data driven. There’s nothing that you’re going to be reading that comes out of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, the blog, The Dog Cancer Diet that’s just sort of made up. It is all backed up by a good Science. So, anyway, the ginger which is one of the additions of the dog cancer diet has some anti-nausea effects. It blocks chemical signal called substance P and also some other inflammatory mediators that things cause inflammation in the tummy and it’s a really nice gentle way to help with nausea.
James Jacobson: Great! Lots more information on the subject of nausea and what you can do about it if your dog has a cancer, and lots of other information in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. Dr. Ettinger in New York, Dr. Dressler in Hawaii. Thanks so much!
Dr. Susan Ettinger: Thank You!
Dr. Demian Dressler: You’re welcome!