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Published June 17, 2011, 12:00 AM

Pet Care: Oils may help heal wound

Dear Dr. Fox: My 8-year-old male Russian Blue cat was recently diagnosed with fibrosarcoma.

By: Dr. Michael Fox, INFORUM

Dear Dr. Fox: My 8-year-old male Russian Blue cat was recently diagnosed with fibrosarcoma. He also has a round open wound on his right haunch that is clean and doesn’t seem to bother him, but it drains and is quite messy. Two separate vets have told me that this wound can’t be closed and that it has something to do with the blood supply to the tumor that, at this point, is helping to keep him alive.

He doesn’t appear to be in any pain and is eating, pooping, playing and sleeping normally. His brother from the same litter is well. I don’t understand why this wound won’t heal itself or why it can’t be closed. Is there anything I can do to make him feel better? – E-R.G., Norfolk, Va.

Dear E-R.G.: It is good to know that your cancer-afflicted cat is still enjoying life and showing no other symptoms. Because fibrosarcomas in cats are linked to the place in their skin where they were injected, veterinarians vaccinate cats down their legs rather than behind the neck. Surgical removal of the cancer, often involving limb amputation, is more likely to eliminate the cancer (which can spread into surrounding tissues and internal organs) than surgery around the neck or between the shoulder blades.

Because frankincense oil has been shown to kill melanomas in horses, I would like to see clinical trials with this and other essential oils such as myrrh and helichrysum in cats with fibrosarcoma, noting that for cats (unlike dogs and humans), these oils are not without some risk to their livers. Also, discuss treating the non-healing lesion with your veterinarian using a mixture of organic honey and sangre de drago, the red-colored healing sap from an Amazon tree.

Dear Dr. Fox: We adopted a beagle a year ago, and while she is supposed to be about 5 years old, I would say she is older, as her teeth were in terrible condition and she now has a white muzzle.

The problem is that her stools have always been too soft (she has anal-gland problems). Upon changing her food in December, she had a terrible bout with hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. Since that time, I have been feeding her brown rice, chicken and broccoli, but these foods have not helped with the soft stools. Recently, after running out of rice, I gave her oatmeal instead, thinking that would be bland enough. Big mistake: The gastroenteritis started all over again.

I am not sure what to feed her. I would like to put her on the homemade food that you prescribe, but am afraid to add the supplements. At the moment, she eats Hill’s i/d Gastrointestinal Health food. – S.A., Warrenton, Va.

Dear S.A.: Your dog probably has inflammatory-bowel disease. Many co-factors should be addressed, such as intestinal infection, parasites such as giardia, food allergy and gluten sensitivity. During acute episodes of diarrhea, give rice or barley water with a pinch of salt and sugar and no food for 24 to 36 hours as an emergency measure. Body hydration is important and may require emergency veterinary treatment with replacement fluids.

During such an episode, veterinarians often prescribe antispasmodics and metronidazole; they also advise a bland, home-prepared diet of known ingredients like those recipes formulated by veterinarians for various dog and cat health problems available from Balance IT, DVM Consulting Inc. in Davis, Calif.; phone: (888) 346-6362.

Successful treatment with oral calcium aluminosilicate or kaolin and pectin, slippery elm or aloe-vera juice has been reported and could be tried under veterinary supervision. The inexpensive drug tylosin has recently been reported to benefit dogs afflicted by inflammatory-bowel conditions.

Consumer alert

Environmental changes can trigger harmless microorganisms to mutate, proliferate, and even evolve into more harmful varieties (pathogens). Environmental changes associated with the planting of herbicide-resistant, genetically modified corn, soybean, sugar beet and alfalfa, and with the repeated applications of the herbicide glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup) affecting soil microorganisms, crop-nutrient uptake and disease resistance, may have created a new pathogen.

According to Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University, this harmful organism, hitherto unknown to science, found in abundance in GM soybean meal and corn products, is linked to infertility, abortions and other health problems in a wide variety of livestock, and to sudden-death syndrome in soy and Goss’s wilt in corn. For details, see the posting on my website at and my interview with Dr. Huber in Acres USA magazine, May 2011.

Glyphosate-based herbicides, residues of which are in foods, have been shown to cause birth defects in laboratory animal tests, and many widely used agricultural pesticides are hormone disruptors causing infertility, abnormal genitalia and feminization, and could play a significant role in the genesis of various cancers.

Lawn herbicides, which should be banned, are linked to lymphatic cancer in exposed dogs. These agrichemicals may also play a role in honeybee-colony collapse, which is becoming a global epidemic and could mean ecological devastation and food shortages because one-third of our food crops need to be pollinated by insects.

My advice to consumers and pet owners in particular, pending further research and full government safety assurances, is to avoid all corn-and soy-containing consumables unless organically certified.

Send your questions to Dr. Fox in care of The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at