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Bentley’s Osteosarcoma Journey and Cancer-Fighting Diet

Today’s pawesome guest blog post was generously provided by Bentley’s Mom, Kate. If you would like to share your Tripawd’s nutrition plan, contact us today!

My 7 year old, 110lb Rottweiler Bentley, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his front left leg on 11/27/2013. It was by far the worst day of my life thus far. CANCER. That word in itself, can give chills to most people. It ruins lives. It stops a mother in her tracks. Human child or not, this boy is my world. To say my world was turned inside out, and the wind knocked completely out of my sails in an understatement! I cried for 4 days straight, but then I woke one day with a new fight in my heart.

Bentley and Kate

We have vowed to fight the good fight, and will do everything in our power to beat this monster – until the day that my sweet boy says it’s time to let go. We have heard so many positive story, and although we know that statically this disease in 95% fatal in the first year…we are determined that we can be part of that 5%. Here is a little bit of our history:

  • 11.27.13: OS Diagnosis
  • 11.28.2013: Began home cooking the ‘anti-cancer’ diet and supplements, he loves it!!
  • 12.3.2013: Visit to Oncologist, elected to put him under anesthesia and do a complete CT scan to assess the progression of cancer.
  • 12.4.2013: Results from scans back – no spread of cancer that we can see wahoo!!! But scan did show tiny nodule on his spleen, took him back in to be sedated and biopsy nodule.
  • 12.5.2013: Result of biopsy showed that is was just a fatty tumor – yayy!!!
  • 12.6.2013: Amputation of front left leg: Bentley is now a member of the badass tripawd nation!!
  • 12.20.2013: Bentley’s first round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered at half of the full dosage.
  • 1.15.2014: Bentley’s blood work all looks perfect, second round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered at the full dosage.
  • 2.6.2014: Bentley’s blood work all looks perfect again, third round of Carboplatin Chemotherapy administered

I have always felt that the biggest part of winning any battle, is mental and emotional health! Since the first week Bentley’s was diagnosed, I have not shed a single tear. We have vowed that as long as Bentley is happy and loving life, we are not going to act any other way!

We go about our day everyday just as we used to, with the exception that we have really learned to slow down and enjoy life. It’s crazy how much this monster can change how you live your life. Not only does my schedule and life revolve around his medications haha, but I never take for granted a day we have together.

We enjoy daily walks and morning snuggles. I have people tell me every day, I can’t believe how strong you are, I could never do what you do. But in reality, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different than anyone else in our shoes would do. What else can I do? Giving up and NOT fighting this, isn’t an option. And there are dogs that beat the odds every day, so why can’t Bentley be one of those??

Waiting Patiently

Bentley’s Dog Cancer Diet

Upon receiving our diagnosis, the other big puzzle piece that we needed to change was diet! At first I was home cooking, all grain free, and A LOT of proteins. Bentley absolutely LOVED this, and I continued this for about 6 weeks until I couldn’t do it any longer. I was spending about 6 hours a week preparing food for him, and it became really frustrating and hard to manage.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe Guidelines

My schedule is very flexible with work, so I tend to work odd hours sometimes. We have a full time dog sitter that stays with Bentley, and there were times that I would have to get up really early in the morning or stay up super late at night to make sure that Bentley had food for the next meal. Then if we were traveling at all, I’d have to be sure to plan days ahead to make sure he’d have enough food while we were gone.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

I did get some really good, simple, crock-pot recipes from my holistic vet – but unfortunately with Bentley weighing in at 96 lbs (we slimmed him down a bit after amputation so that he would get around better), the crock pot meal would only last him about a day. Here are the anti-cancer crock pot meals, along with the feeding guide for home cooking.

When you’re home cooking, the amount that they need to eat is significantly more than when they eat kibble (because it tends to be more calorically dense). Remember, if you’re going to do home cooking for your baby – always use ORGANIC EVERYTHING (you want to avoid any chemicals possible), and do not cook meats above 212 degrees (to avoid carcinogens being produced).

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

Once I decided that I could no longer home cook for him as his main source of nutrition, I began my hunt for a very high quality kibble that was grain free, packed with proteins and fish oil, and that was NOT heated when processed. I did find Orijen 6-Fish Grain-Free that I found to be an excellent alternative to home cooking, and the best part is that Bentley LOVES it.

I do still cook for Bentley occasionally on the weekends when I have time, just to give him a special treat! The Orijen Six Fish runs about $85 a bag, which lasts us about 5-6 weeks. Because the Orijen is PACKED with good lean protein (fish), the amount that he has to eat is about a 1/3 of what he would have to eat if using any other typical dry dog food.

Home Cooking Dog Food Recipe

Aside from food change, the other side to this coin is adding supplements to help boost his immune system and assist the Chemotherapy in killing cancer cells. This is where things can get very overwhelming and stressful. There are SO many different theories out there about what supplement therapies work and what don’t.

Bentley’s Supplements

Even from vet to vet, some will swear by a supplement, and others will say it has only negative effects. This is where you have to become your own scientist, experimenter, researcher, doctor, vet, mother, etc. You have to lead this fight, and only you know what is best for your baby! I relied a lot on knowledge and support from two Yahoo groups that we belong to: Bone Cancer Dogs, and Artemisinin and Cancer. The people in these groups have SO much knowledge about all of the trials that are going on, current ‘up and coming’ therapies, and experience with most of them as well.

Holistic Supplements to Fight Dog Cancer

It took me a little bit to get Bentley’s protocol in order, and to be honest – I’m still changing it weekly. You really have to listen to them and see how they handle everything, especially as you’re introducing new supplements it’s best to take it slow!

Here are the supplements and medications Bentley is currently on and what they do:

  • Vetri-Science Glyco-Flex III: supports joint health and helps with range of motion (Bentley was diagnoses with severe hip and knee dysplasia in both rear legs at 6 months old)
  • Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil 8 ozTramadol and Gabapentin: given for hip and joint pain
  • Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil: promotes tumor shrinkage
  • K9 Immunity Plus: Immune system booster
  • Ester-C (Vitamin C) and Vitamin E: given daily to help flush out dead cancer cells
  • Tumeric and Curcumin: given in the morning as an anti-inflammatory, and also at night after Arte combo to increase efficacy of Arte
  • Artemisinin, Artememther, and Butyrex: given as an anti-cancer supplement believed to attack cancer cells

We have also purchased Coconut Oil which I will be adding next week, and Essiac Tea which we will begin once Bentley is finished with Chemotherapy.

Here is Bentley’s actual protocol and timing breakdown:

BREAKFAST (8 AM):

  • 1 ¼ cups Orijen Six Fish dog food (fill just under purple line in cup)
  • (2) Glyco-Flex III Tablets (cut up into tiny pieces)
  • Vetri-Science Glyco-Flex III Joint Dog 90 Tablets(2) tsp. of Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil (10 mls)
  • (3) K9 Immunity Plus Chews
  • (1) Ester-C Capsule 500mg (open capsule and dump directly into food)
  • (1) Vitamin E Capsule (400 i.u.)
  • (1) Gabapentin (300mg)
  • (2) Tramadol (100mg total)
  • (1) Curcumin 95 Capsule (500mg total)
  • ¼ tsp. of Tumeric Powder (in labeled bottle)
  • *Mix Ester-C & Glycoflex in with food and stir in Fish Oil.
  • Put Tramadol/Gabapentin, Curcumin, & Vitamin E into one chunk of
  • cream cheese & Turmeric in another – then put chunks on floor in front of him*

Save on Orijen at Amazon!DINNER (5 PM):

  • 1 ¼ cups Orijen Six Fish dog food (fill just under purple line in cup)
  • *After dinner he needs to stay very active for 2-3 hours, playing with his toys or playing with you outside are his two favorite things*

8 PM:

  • (1) Gabapentin (300mg)
  • (2) Tramadol (100mg total)
  • *Put into chunk of cream cheese, and set in front of him on floor*

9 PM:
*HAS TO BE GIVEN AT LEAST 4 HOURS AFTER FOOD AND AN HOUR AFTER PAIN MEDS!*

  • Doctor's Best's Artemisinin (100 mg) 90Vcaps(2) Hepamether Capsules (80mg total)
  • (4) Artemisinin Capsules (400mg total)
  • (5) Butyrex Capsules (3000mg total)

(Put 3-4 pills together in chunks of cream cheese and place on floor in front of him)

10 PM:
*HAS TO BE EXACTLY AN HOUR AFTER LAST MEDICATIONS!*

  • (2) Curcumin 95 Capsules (1000mg total)
  • ½ tsp. of Tumeric Powder (in labeled bottle)

(open Curcumin capsules each into their own chunk of cream cheese and Turmeric in another, then place in front of him on floor)

Whew, seeing all of this written out makes my head spin! Noone ever said fighting cancer would be easy, but I know he’s worth it!

Bentley and Family

We know that the odds are not in our favor, but we also know that we have no reason not to fight! We are going to continue to fight until our sweet boy says that he’s had enough! I encourage everyone facing this battle, to fight it from every angle – and of course love, snuggles, and kisses are great medicine!

As we always say at the start of every new day,

You have to fight through some really tough days, to live the best days of your life..so never stop fighting!”

Healing hugs from Kate and Sloppy Rotty Kisses from Bentley

Recommended Reading:

Tripawds Downloads Blog: Dr. Dressler’s Free Dog Cancer Diet Guide
Tripawds Nutrition Blog: What’s All this Talk About Artemisinin?
Best Diet Tips in The Tripawds Nutrition Blog


13 Responses to “Bentley’s Osteosarcoma Journey and Cancer-Fighting Diet”

  1. Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

    Hugs
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  2. Wow, you are amazing and so well organized – I am thoroughly impressed! Thanks for sharing this. I agree that once you start learning more about cancer fighting and the options available that it is very overwhelming. At first I wanted to do it all, give him everything, but I knew I had to step back, breathe and choose wisely.
    It is a tough journey but when you’ve still got your furry guy to snuggle with it is so worth it.
    Keep on rockin’,
    Cat and Kodibear

  3. Thanks for sharing this! I’m at the beginning stages of getting my Hyde’s protocol in order. I’m cooking for him right now- and have a few supplements, but our doctor’s appointment is this Friday with a natural vet! Bentley looks good! Very Healthy, Very Happy! 🙂

    Look forward to hearing more about his success!

    Jordan (Hyde’s mom)

  4. I’m so impressed with your effort, strength, and kindness to share your feeding and supplements with everyone! And your photos are wonderful. We too spent a lot of time getting our food and supplement choice in order for our Tripawd Hunter. It’s the right thing to stand up and fight off this evil disease. May your dog live a long and happy tripawd life!

    The only thing that concerns me is your use of that much Tramadol. I’d worry about the lasting effects on his organs. As we got educated by our holistic vet, we found out that there are natural pain remedies such as Boswellia and Traumeel. You might want to look into them. We also added Livaplex that protected our dogs liver during chemotherapy.

    All the best,
    Julie – Super Dog Angel Hunter’s Mom

  5. WOW and Woof Woof!! Thankyou for taking the time to sharesuch valueable information!

    And Julie, thanks for your input from our beloved SUPER DOG HUNTER!!

    You know wjat wold be real interesng, is to start a dog from pupyhood, whose parents were on this diet andkeep him/her on the diet (modified for puppyhood)…keep him vaccine free…drnking only the purest of water…and see where it leads health-wise.

    Sendngnyo andyour amazing Bentleymthe very, very best! He’s got a wonderful advocate in his corner!

    HUGS to all!!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

  6. Hi Kate and everyone, I have just joined the site. My big beautiful lab/great dane Max was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the new year and we had his front leg amputated at the end of Jan. He is also on chemo (carboplatin) every 3 weeks and we also are home cooking him an organic anti cancer fighting diet together with supplements of curcumin (turmeric), extra virgin olive oil, krill oil, glucosomine/chonditin.

    I just wondered if you had read about a study carried out at the University of California which showed that dogs that had 6 treatments of carboplatin every 3 weeks rather than the normal 4 treatments, had a significantly longer survival time of 535 days rather than just 12 months.

    My Max is having his 3rd chemo this week and I am going to ask his oncologist to let him have 6 cycles rather than the normal 4.

    Also there is a vaccine formulated by Dr Nicola Mason at the University of Pensylvannia that has had remarkable success in extending the survival times and also resulting in remission. she is hoping that the vaccine may be licensed within 6 months – if so, we can find out about getting the vaccine.

    Does anyone know anymore?

  7. Hi there, I’m so sorry to hear about Max’s diagnosis. I hope he has a long, healthy happy life ahead.

    About the six versus four treatments of carboplatin…since that study was published, another one came out which found that there was no difference between 6 and 4. See:

    http://tripawds.com/2013/01/25/bone-cancer-treatment-news-for-dogs-and-cats/

  8. Can artemisinin and essiac tea be used in the same day for a cat with cancer.

  9. Sarah, please ask your vet or consult a veterinary nutritionist with such questions. Consider posting in the forums for more feedback from members.

  10. I found youur website as I begin the osteosarcoma journey with my 8 year old black lab. I appreciate all of your recipes and suggestions. My lab’s cancer is presenting in the upper part of the front right leg. We haven’t yet decided on amputation and chemo or a more palliative treatment route. I hope I’m not out of line when I ask how Bentley is doing ? And was his cancer high up on his leg?

  11. Thanks for sharing Lisa. We’re sorry you’re dealing with this disease but as you can see, there IS hope and dogs and cats can have a great quality of life on three. Please hop over to our Discussion Forums where you can find lots of tips and helps from others who have been there. I’m sorry to report that Bentley is now an angel, but his amazing Tripawds journey was one filled with good times and happy memories. Let us know how we can help you in your own journey as well OK?

  12. Kristopher Aponte July 15, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Wow,
    I thought I was the only person fighting this evil disease my Rottweiler was diagnosed with in February of 2017. I’m a guy, however, the day she, my Rotti, was diagnosed I had to leave the vet’s office and go lock myself int he truck because I just lost it. That is how much this Rottweiler, Bella, means to us. She is like another human to us. She, since day one I brought her home at 12 weeks, has been spoiled and treated and given the very best. We also cried for about a week after she was diagnosed but one day I woke up and said I was not going to let this disease take my girl without a good fight from me and Bella as well.

    I began to research, and buy the very best supplements described as cancer tumor fighting ones, changed her food al to organic, had her go through the chemo and pamidronate treatments and Bella, although limping a bit, is still with us and still enjoying life and making us happy to have her with us.

    Thank god I work from home, because as you say, taking care of her is, by itself, a full-time job. Bella takes pills every four hours around the clock. She also takes supplements twice daily. She doesn’t get much exercise though that is expected due to her condition. Thank god also for her Pet Insurance, they have covered just about all of the $10,000 we have spent so far on her. We also sold the extra car and a few other extras around the house, all to make sure our baby girl gets and continues to receive all medical she needs and deserves.

    Thanks for sharing and I hope you Rotti did overcome the disease and is still with you, please let me know.

  13. Kristopher, thank you for sharing Bella’s story with us. You are most definitely not alone as you can see. If you haven’t already please come over to our Discussion Forums and post, we’d love to be there for you and follow along with Bella’s incredible fight. Kudos to you for being such a great dog dad, may she have many, many hoppy times ahead!

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