Caring for a dog with cancer requires more than treating the cancer cells themselves. Frequently, cancer drains a dog like no other condition can. Loss of appetite, weakened immune system and lack of energy can all sap the energy to recover. Sometimes, the treatments themselves can upset important body functions while the cancer cells are attacked.
A study, performed on dogs with stage 3 Lymphoma, shows that a diet moderate in protein, low in carbohydrates and moderate in fat - especially Omega 3 fatty acids - was successful in prolonging life. The study did not examine all forms of cancer, and not all dogs can tolerate this type of diet. If your dog has a disposition to pancreatitis or gastrointestinal trouble, this type of diet is not appropriate. However, fresh foods supplemented with high quality supplements can address even these specific needs to boost the dog's general health and recovery.
Suggested Vitamins & Minerals
Despite the trials of coping with cancer, the body continues to require vitamins and minerals for all functions. According to some studies, withholding iron and copper is beneficial because cancer cells themselves, make good use of these two minerals. Vitamin C has been studied in cancer cases and the findings show that it works as a pro-oxidant, antioxidant or does nothing at all. With such dramatically different findings, we choose not to add additional vitamin C the supplementation program. In fact, most veterinary oncologists feel the same way and suggest that a dog not be supplented with vitamins C and E over and above their normal requirements.
Ellagic acid, a key component of the Antioxidant Booster, is studied as an important part of cancer prevention.
Vitamin B-Compound: Required for almost every body function, B vitamins help strengthen a dog through recovery. They are especially important for appetite, gastrointestinal function and skin.
Your dog may benefit from digestive enzymes if s/he is experiencing weight loss. Probiotics can help the immune system by providing beneficial bacteria to the gut. We offer three types of digestive aids: Acidophilus to help the immune system, specifically the gastrointestinal area. Seeding the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria can help ease an inconsistent bowel. Digestive Enzymes includes pork-derived protease, an enzyme that helps to break down protein in food. Plant Digestive Enzymes are suggested as an alternative for dogs with a sensitivity to enzymes derived from pork.
Essential Fatty Acids
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are two essential fatty acids that together, form the membrane of every cell in the body, make up a large part of the structural and functional tissue in the brain, have vital roles in the functions of inflammation, healing and body heat and become prostaglandins which play key roles in regulating the digestive, cardiovascular and immune functions of the body.
According to Dr. Ogilvie who is credited with the most promising cancer diet for dogs, fish body oil should be fed as 100 mg per pound of bodyweight per day once a dog has cancer. Our oil of choise is wild salmon oil of top quality in ordder to avoid heavy metals and PCBs.
Fish body oils have been shown to help compromised kidneys and heart, reduce inflammation help to heal skin and benefit the coat.
For Further Reading
The Canine Cancer eBooklet: General advice for the person who has discovered their dog has cancer. Where to begin and what to look for. Includes sample diets.
Optimal Nutrition discusses many health issues and includes an interview with Dr. Greg Ogilive - creator of "the cancer diet" for dogs, and his orginal diet with explanations.
Want to discuss these articles or ask questions? Join us at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/K9Kitchen/info or https://www.facebook.com/groups/K9Kitchen/