Canine Lymphoma...

"Sparky Fights Back: A Little Dog's Big Battle
Against Cancer"
a new book by Josée Clerens and John Clifton

    Special section:" If Your Dog Gets Cancer"



Dog Writers Association of America - Finalist in "General Interest" category
- 2006 Annual Awards
- MAY 2, 2005


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Fighting a pet's cancer takes getting the right information. And three other factors. . .

What we discovered that can make all the difference

Canine Lymphoma ...

This page is a supplement to the information in "Sparky Fights Back." Readers of the book are invited to check back periodically for updates.

Statistics | Advice | Radiation | Noni Juice? | Diet
Supplements | Bottom Line | Links

Dear Visitor,The award-finalist book "Sparky Fights Back"

Our dog Sparky was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in August of 2000. He was given only a few weeks to live without treatment. Chemotherapy, we were told, could extend his life, perhaps by a year.

Our wonderful Sparky was fully one-third of our family. Given these two choices, we naturally chose to treat him.

During the course of his treatment we began to explore ways that might extend his life even further. We investigated holistic treatments, diet, and even spiritual healing.

We were successful.

Sparky lived as his puppy-like, frisky, stubborn, clever, funny and affectionate self for more than eight more years. He finally passed away of general old age conditions in January, 2009, still cancer-free at the age of 14 1/2.

Why did Sparky remain in remission all those years?

What singles out the fortunate survivors from those not so fortunate? We learned that there are three factors that seem to always be present in successful cases.

                                         Read more about this...

Supplement to the book: More Statistics on Canine Lymphoma

  • Update - "How's Sparky doing?" At the time "Sparky Fights Back" was published, Sparky was in his fourth year of remission. He was in his ninth year of total remission from lymphoma when he passed away from general old age in January, 2009.

  • Incidence of cancer in canines - Dogs today are more likely to die of cancer than old age. According to studies, 45% of dogs 10 years or older will die of cancer. About one-third of dogs die of old age.

  • Reminder - 5% of dogs achieve remissions longer than one year. We believe that longer survivals are not just a matter of luck!

  • New statistic - One recent New York State study showed that cancer in dogs has increased by 150% in the last four years.

Supplement to the book:  Advice about Canine Lymphoma

   Since the publication of "Sparky Fights Back" we have read many of the heart-wrenching accounts of beloved pooches who went into remission quickly, rallied, but survived no more than a year or so after diagnosis. Of those few who beat the odds and survived longer periods, several common threads seem to run through their stories. Not so amazingly, these parallel the approaches in "Sparky Fights Back." We remind readers to maintain the "shock and awe" techniques described in the afterword of the book.


Supplement to the book: Financial Aid   

   The list of Financial aid institutions is growing (albeit not fast enough!). In addition to the those listed in the book, consult our "Paying the Bills" web page for additional help. 


Supplement to the book: Radiation Treatment for Canine Lymphoma

   Radiation treatment - Angell Memorial, BostonAs you have read, Sparky was irradiated 6 months into his one-year chemotherapy protocol. Since publication, many veterinarians have cut back to a half-year chemotherapy protocol, which leaves the question of when to radiate, should you decide to do so. Little has changed concerning the pros and cons of radiation itself as discussed in the book.


Question from readers: Noni Juice

   Many have asked us about the brand of Noni juice we used. Noni, a Polynesian fruit, is explained in the Afterword to "Sparky Fights Back," entitled "If Your Dog Gets Cancer." We don't endorse a particular brand name, but there is a great deal of difference in the purity and quality of the juice from one brand to another. Some is reconstituted from concentrate; some is diluted with other ingredients. Make sure the brand you use is pure! By the way, we firmly believe in noni and its curative powers.

   Even more readers have asked about the dosage we used. Sparky is just under 20 pounds. We started him on 2 ounces per day, one ounce in the morning and one in the evening. After two years of remission, we reduced this to one ounce a day. Important: We think that the special timing described in the book's section "If Your Dog Gets Cancer" is a must, if you want the best absorption into the system.


Diet  for Canine Lymphoma

   The subject of cancer diets is an area embodying a wide diversity of opinions. "Sparky Fights Back" doesn't specifically lay out a preferred diet, but simply what the authors fed Sparky during treatment. We are currently doing some more investigations on this topic, and will be posting our findings here. We have recently discovered a website containing the specific diet of a holistically-treated dog that survived hemangiosarcoma. You might want to check it out. We notice that the diet includes raw carrots, something Sparky receives every day.


Supplement to the book: Dietary Supplements

   You noticed in "Sparky  Fights Back" that we gave Sparky fish oil  during his chemo treatments and found it to be beneficial. At least one independent study we have recently seen confirms that fish oil prolongs remission times in dogs. We might ad here that other oils rich in Omega N-3 fatty acids, such as flax seed oil and even olive oil are also used.   

In addition to the information in the book, we add the following: A dog fighting cancer, especially one undergoing chemotherapy, needs the extra boost that vitamins and minerals provide. We advise checking with your veterinarian about this. You might bring up the following: Vitamins A, C, D and E and minerals such as calcium. zinc and magnesium. Your vet might want to do a Bio-Nutritional Analysis test, in order to spot deficiencies. This involves simply taking a blood sample from your dog and having it analyzed.  

   Investigate the use of anti-oxidants to bolster the immune system. There are many other herbs and formulations which are touted as helping to cure cancer. Be careful if you choose these.  If there is no scientific evidence for the product's effectiveness, side-effects, etc., you're taking a gamble. Still, some of these products might be very useful. Go ahead, but make sure you do no harm. Check here periodically for updates on this topic.


The Bottom Line

   We strongly urge readers to you continue to explore all possible treatments, including holistic methods, nutrition and experimental methods alongside traditional chemotherapy and radiation, as outlined in "Sparky Fights Back." Remember that innovations continue to appear every day. "Sparky Fights Back" is just the beginning.

Read more
about lymphoma:

  Animal Medical Center
  Wash. State U. Veterinary

"Sparky Fights Back: A Little Dog's Big Battle For Life"
A book about a dog who's winning the battle against lymphoma. Endorsed by the Animal Cancer Foundation.

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