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What Should I Feed My Pet with Cancer?

Posted 2020-11-10

What Should I Feed My Pet with Cancer?

My love for rescuing animals motivated me to study veterinary medicine. I have always had a house full of pets. All cats and dogs that I rescued from the streets. In fact, for quite long, I was sharing my life with 4 dogs and 4 cats!

In the last few years as a part of my post-doctoral training, I helped conduct research and clinical trials on drugs and herbs and how they can be used together. That was the start of my holistic journey. I found that natural alternatives fit into veterinary medicine perfectly. I am excited to explore holistic veterinary care further with NHV Natural Pet Products. It also gives me a chance to share my experience and knowledge with you and create the best holistic veterinary regimen for your fur baby.

For my first blog, I picked a topic that I have witnessed both personally and professionally. Cancer in pets. I have had the opportunity to help a lot of pets with cancer. But when it affected my own pets, I was as helpless as any other pet parent. One of the most pressing concerns on my mind was, ‘what do I feed my pet with cancer?’ I think this is one question that pops up in the minds of all pet owners with pets fighting cancer. I am positive this article will give you some great information to help your pet’s nutritional requirements.

Nutrition for Cancer Patients

Unfortunately, just like people, pets can get cancer. One of the questions that pet owners often have is what kind of nutrients are important to feed a pet that has been diagnosed with cancer.
The most difficult challenge when feeding cancer patients is to provide balance between calories, essential nutrients, and fluids to avoid metabolic alterations due to a decrease in food consumption.

In my view, you do not need to modify your pet’s diet just because they have cancer. However, malnutrition can increase the risk of complications from therapy and decrease survival times. Therefore, it is important to be sure your pet is receiving adequate nutrients and calories.

 

Protein:

A pet with cancer needs slightly higher concentrations of protein than the levels needed for adult maintenance. Providing sufficient levels of high-quality protein helps to maintain a positive nitrogen balance in the face of potential nitrogen reduction during active neoplastic (cancer) disease.

Antioxidant nutrients:

Antioxidants have been identified as having potential roles in both the prevention and treatment of cancer. Some supplements may help protect the cells from radiation or chemotherapy, which often work by creating oxidative damage. Supplementing antioxidants from fruits and vegetables is safe, however is important to avoid ones that are toxic to dogs and cats such as grapes, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, etc. NHV BK-Detox, ES Clear and Multi Essentials are high in antioxidants, helping to protect the body from oxidative damage. Signs of oxidative damage include fatigue, sore joints and muscles and neurological deficits.

Carbohydrate restriction:

It is well established that dogs with cancer have abnormal carbohydrate metabolism. Altered carbohydrate metabolism is a part of the reason for poor body condition in some cancer patients. You don’t need to stop giving carbohydrates to your pet altogether, because carbohydrates do have an important role in a lot of functions in the body. However, evidence suggests that by systematically reducing the amount of dietary carbohydrates, one could suppress, or at least delay, the emergence of cancer, and that proliferation of already existing tumor cells could be slowed down.

Omega-3 fatty acids:

The Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils can be beneficial to a pet with cancer. They not only prevent weight loss, but they can also decrease inflammation and may inhibit metastasis as well. NHV PetOmega 3 is an excellent source of EPA and DHA. It is made from sardine, anchovy and North Atlantic cod liver oil.

Arginine:

Arginine can benefit the immune system and may slow tumor growth and metastasis. Turkey and pork are both high sources for arginine, as well as cooked chickpeas.

Turmeric:

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may have an additive or synergistic effect with chemotherapeutic agents. It can increase overall vitality and help to support against cancer. NHV Turmeric is an excellent supplement, not only for pets battling cancer, but for pets through all walks of life. Studies have linked the frequent use of turmeric to lower rates of certain types of cancers.

Adequate Nutrition Can Improve Quality of Life

There are other nutrients and supplements that you can offer for your pet with cancer. However, it is fundamental to check with your veterinarian and discuss which are the best for your pet. Remember that a healthy, balanced diet with select nutrients may reverse some of the effects of the cancer, increase the pet’s ability to tolerate chemotherapy or radiation treatment, and improve overall quality of life. NHV Multi Essentials is an herbal multivitamin that can help to fill any nutritional voids which you may not be able to achieve with diet alone.

Keep an eye out for my upcoming video on how to make delicious and nutritious bone broth for your pet! Bone broth is a great additive to your pet’s diet when they are battling cancer. Not only is it delicious, it encourages a healthy appetite and is full of very healthy and beneficial nutrients!

If you’re looking for any holistic advice then me and my team of pet experts at NHV would love to help you. We all work closely to help decide what’s best for your pet’s longer and healthier life.

Dr. Amanda can formulate a customized, home-cooked recipe for your pet, based on their health needs!

Dr. Amanda Nascimento, DVM, MCSc., PhD completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2016. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

2 replies.

  1. Barry Lubotta says:

    Thank you for a thoughtful article and some tips. They all sound excellent but as I read them, the thought that pops into my head is that Ebby, my cat with cancer, will not eat herbal tasting supplements. Any change from the foods she likes brings a look of “you want me to eat/ WHHAAT?”

    If I knew how to get these formulas into her without starting WW3 I would jump on it. But it’s not so easy.

    1. NHV Natural Pet says:

      Hi Barry,

      Oh, we can imagine and relate to the struggles of feeding our furkiddos with new food or supplements sometimes. It can be challenging but it is important for them to get the full dosage and benefit from its nutritive and natural healing properties. We have some tips and tricks to feed the supplements to Ebby at home

      1. You can hide the supplements in her favorite treat or licky cat treats
      2. You can give it with boiled, skinless, and boneless chicken so she doesn’t realize that the supplements are being fed

      We also recommend spacing the supplements and vet medications 2 hours apart to ensure that Ebby’s body can benefit the full nutritive properties of the meds and supplements.

      Hope you find these tips useful. Let us know if you have any questions, we’re just a message away. Sending Ebby lots of love and healing vibes

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