We started our beautiful, rescued, 10 year old German Shepherd Sammi on a ketogenic diet immediately following her emergency splenectomy on August 17th, 2017. She was officially diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma a week later on August 25th, 2017. We had anticipated the bad news and wanted to start her on this high fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet, as not to waste any time in potentially helping to prolong and improve her life and health.
According to CanineCancer.com, Hemangiosarcoma is defined as
Hemangiosarcoma in dogs is an aggressive, malignant tumor of blood vessel cells. With the exception of the skin form of hemangiosarcoma, a diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma is serious. Because these tumors start in blood vessels, they are frequently filled with blood and when a blood-filled tumor ruptures, it can cause problems with internal or external bleeding.
Between our own personal experience with being on keto for cancer prevention and improved health and well being, and with the research and work done at this amazing place called KetoPet Sanctuary – which was built and designed to help dogs with serious cases of cancer by utilizing a ketogenic diet – it gave us a sense of hope that maybe, just maybe, we can potentially fight Sammi’s Hemangiosarcoma with diet and nutrition and not just wait helplessly on the sidelines.
But wait, what is this keto stuff? What does it mean? In short, KetoPet Sanctuary describes it as the following:
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state in which the body uses ketones released from burning stored energy reserves, to fuel the body. This occurs when metabolism adjusts to an absence of carbohydrate, and begins to use fat as a preferred fuel source. A metabolic state of lower serum glucose and higher serum ketones describes nutritional ketosis.
The goal with being on a ketogenic diet for cancer treatment is, in very short, to starve the cancer cells so they don’t continue to grow. According to the Warburg Effect, cancer cells feed off of glucose, so in theory, if you eliminate glucose from the body and convert it into a fat-fueled machine (vs a glucose-fed one), you can essentially starve the cancer cells.
My partner Dave, and I built this website so as to document her – and our – journey with her Hemangiosarcoma, and being on a reactive ketogenic diet as a result.