Buford’s Stress Infection: Stress and Cancer

3 Aug

Imagine how upset I am to know I almost killed my dog due to stress.  I worked twelve days straight, long hours, and was gone from the house more than usual. My sleep was cut from 8 hours to 4 or five a night.  Buford is used to having me home more than that.    I switched up his food schedule, and had a pet sitter check on him, sometimes feeding him a little until I got home to feed him the rest.  He was agitated when I’d get home, and although his hunger was normal, he was panting heavily and not acting himself. On my last day of the project (day 12, ) I got a call at the place I was working that he wasn’t eating, and that he threw up. By that night, they told me to get home, they feared the worst.  Just so happens  I  was stuck at work, couldn’t get out due to car pooling, and got home at two in the morning. He wouldn’t look at me, he was laying half out of it and lethargic. The neighbors had been checking on him.   I tried to get him to eat his kale and chicken. He did not want it.  He turned his head away.

I wanted to test his appetite. I grabbed a chocolate donut from the kitchen. I held it in front of his nose to see if he was still coherent. He gently looked up at me, then his head hit the floor, never even noticing the smell of the donut.  Something was seriously wrong. All I could think was this was it.  I calmed myself down and told myself, “GET A GRIP, YOU KNOW THIS DAY WAS COMING!”

I told Buford it was time to go to the Pet ER and told him I think this was it.  I started to cry and hold him, really believing this was the day they talked about. They told me when he went down, he’d go down really quick, so this seemed to be it.

Ironically as if he understood English, he jumped up on the couch, and snuggled up with me, as if to say, he didn’t want to go to the ER. I figured this was it, and he wanted to die at home.  I was hoping he’d die in my arms that night and make it easy on both of us.  It was some time since he laid in my lap, and he did that with his dead weight on me.  It was hard sleeping on the couch with a 60 lb dog on your lap, but I did it.

He Snored all night but he didn’t Die. 

The next day he seemed in a better mood, so I tried to get him to eat something, anything. I opened a can of tuna fish and he took a few bites. Progress.  I took him to our property in Pennsylvania, and he ran around like a puppy.  I then had to give him some burgers, even though I am against giving him ground beef, I had to do something to get him to eat.  They were fresh cooked angus burgers.  He ate them all.  He was drinking a lot, but his bowels were not solid, they were very runny.  In fact, he had an accident in my car which has never, ever happened before.

Bacterial Infection from Stress Spore ?

Basically after taking him to the vet and doing some tests, we found out that he has a spore overgrowth in his intestines and colon, that is omitted naturally due to levels of stress. However, his twelve days without me had somehow triggered high levels of stress had made too many of these bacteria spores which had overrun the system, causing his belly to hurt and basically him to have diarrhea. Here is some information on it.

So he would not eat, because he was equating his illness with his chicken dinner, so is why he was turning his nose up at it.  Some dogs would get an antibiotic shot to knock this out, but because Buford’s system is compromised due to the cancer, I had to start him on antibiotic pills and slowly build his system back up.

Whole Foods Market

I went to Whole Foods Market in Mt. Washington , MD and bought him some grass fed steaks to the tune of $7 each which weren’t bad at all.  I made him a spanking dinner when in fact I ate a sandwich from cheap lunchmeat so that he could eat like a King!  He had grass fed beef cubs, flax seed, and for the first night mixed in a tiny bit of whole grain oatmeal. I struggled with this decision because the grains in the oatmeal may indeed  help the cancer grow, but his tummy was hurting and I wanted something to bind him up and activate his antibiotics quicker.

Within three days he was back to normal eating and I am slowing working the chicken back in.

I have also incorporated fresh organic parsley all pureed up to help him, as this contains vitamin C to boost his immune system.

Stress and the Cancer Dog

I think it’s safe to say Stress is a major issue with cancer dogs. A simple routine change and the dog can go into a huge tailspin.  This is something that you must factor in when you are committing yourself to your dog’s cancer treatment. Life as you know it must change. Your routine must include your dog.

Nursing Him Back to Health

He also dropped 7 lbs due to the bacterial infection, which is not good.  I am working hard to get him rebuilt again.  I am concerned while his resistance is down, the cancer can attack again. He is happy, calmer, and eating large portions again.

More soon.

Read more about this infection here.


One Response to “Buford’s Stress Infection: Stress and Cancer”


  1. Eight Months Strong Since the Cancer Returned | Basset Hound Cancer Alternative Treatment Case - August 15, 2013

    […] months he lived on Chicken and Kale but now he associates the chicken with his recent bout of the stress-infection. I’ve had to switch him to steak and steak cubes and slowly re-introduce the chicken in with […]

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