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Food advice please, and are human supplements ok?
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Forum Posts: 17
Member Since:
27 June 2015
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29 June 2015 - 3:57 am
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Hi,

I just got back from the vets quite frustrated... It's nearly a week after amputation surgery and I took my Tess back for her fentanyl patch removal and post surgery check up. She has osteosarcoma and had her front left limb taken. Chemo starts next week.

Anyway, why I'm frustrated...

For the last couple of weeks I have been asking my vet and multiple pet stores what food, etc. is the best for her in this situation, and there has been only vague answers, nothing available is really for the purpose of strengthening her health through this ordeal. In the past fish oil was suggested as a help, because early on we thought the pain was arthritis. I have also been planning on getting mobility diet food when the current large bag runs out.

Then today, we see a different vet than our regular one, and she talks about worrying about Tess's weight and what extra supplements she should be taking in case she gets arthritis. Tess is naturally light, but obviously not moving much right now and we have been making her eat all week, worried she has been losing weight, which apparently she hasn't, she has put back on the weight she lost pre-surgery.

She has one tiny patch of arthritis in the back and our regular vet expressed not to worry about it right now. I suppose the front right leg will be under a lot of pressure and I'm not sure if that means arthritis might happen there quicker, or if muscle will build up and it will be fine. Plus, will she live long enough to develop an arthritis issue?

I personally have my own arthritis problems and take supplements daily. I asked the vet today if it has to be an animal supplement or whether I can give Tess human supplements, in particular fish oil and glucosamine. She said there is no literature on the effectiveness of human supplements in dogs, but that she uses them on her own dog.

There is a lot to think about this week and I don't know what to adopt and what to not worry about right now. Plus every time someone suggests something it's more and more money, I don't have an endless supply, I want to make sure I am spending it on effective treatments.

What is good food (packaged dry or canned wet food)?

I know low carbs but the food I have seen doesn't say low carbs. The vet said not to try to change into human food right now as she is used to packaged dog food.

What supplements are worth using? Are human supplements ok?

I have read the other pages on this site and there are a lot of things mentioned that I haven't seen here (Australia). I think I need to know what ingredients to look for.

Can someone make sense of all I just wrote and give me some advice please?

Lisa.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Forum Posts: 345
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29 June 2015 - 5:53 am
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Hello Lisa! greetings from Brazil.

My Golden boy is a front-leg amputee, 13 months post-op for Osteosarcoma, did six rounds of chemo (Carboplatin).

Regarding supplements: I give him the same Glucosamin I take.  I checked the formula and there is no difference between the veterinary supplement and the human except the price - the vet one is much more expensive, at least here in Brazil.

Johnnie also takes K-9 Immunity Plus.

Regarding food: if you read Dr. Dressler's book on canine cancer you will get the basic orientation on what type of food your dog should eat.  Basically:  no refined carbs, and as natural as possible. You can add vegetables to increase the fiber intake.

What isn't good for a "cancer diet" are refined carbs, which means white rice, bread, etc.  

I switched Johnnie to this "natural diet" as soon as he was diagnosed.  It took me about one week to wean him off his kibble, which he wasn't very fond of ( Royal Canin ).  

Johnnie is 40kg (around 90 lbs) and this is his intake for lunch and also for dinner:  1 1/2 cups cooked low-fat protein + 1 cup cooked vegetables + 2 tablespoons roots (yam or sweet potato or cassava) + a drizzle of olive oil.   I vary the vegetables and the protein, giving preference to chicken.  Once a week I give him liver, and 2 or 3 cooked or scrambled eggs per week.  Also oven-dry the egg shells and prepare an egg shell powder, 1/2 teaspoon in one of the meals.

I do the cooking over the weekend and keep it in the fridge.  I actually get good deals when I go to the farmer's market, because I can get chicken feet, chicken necks, almost for free.  I vary the protein, which means it can be also fish, especially salmon - the scraps that the fishmonger doesn't sell, and fish heads.  

It has made a big difference in his health, and my other Golden is thriving on the same food.  Their fur is incredibly healthy and shiny and I have absolutely no problem with their bowel movements - lots of fiber does miracles.

You will find options of more "natural" kibble in the nutrition threads here at Tripawds.

A speedy recovery for Tess!

Our awesome Golden Boy was diagnosed for OSA in April 2014 in the proximal humerus, front-leg amp on 05/20/2014. Finished chemo (Carbo6) on 07/10/2014. Ongoing treatment: acupuncture + K-9 Immunity Plus ( 3chews) and home-cooked no-grain diet.   Stopped Apocaps because of liver issues.   Liver issues: controlling altered enzymes with SAM-e and Milk Thistle.  October 17:  started having seizures.  Taking fenobarbital for seizures.  April 18: started prednisone.

Forum Posts: 17
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29 June 2015 - 7:24 am
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Thanks for your reply.

The slab of canned food I bought today will go back in the morning and I need to ask the oncologist about K9 Immunity Plus or something similar, it isn't readily available here :o/

The Rainbow Bridge



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29 June 2015 - 9:56 am
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Hi Liz,

Welcome to the wonderfully confusing world of pet cancer nutrition! Seriously, I know it's overwhelming. Try not to let it. You can only do your best with the resources you have and that's all that counts.

First, don't get too mad at your vets. Most vets don't receive any training in nutrition for healthy pets, much less ones fighting chronic illness. So they can't tell you what they don't know. Yes, it's good to make sure that any supplements you give don't interfere with conventional medication your dog is taking, but when it comes to things like diet and such, you're often better off consulting with a veterinary nutritionist (a growing field but hard to find these folks) and doing your own research into legitimate ways to help your dog's health while fighting cancer.

I really love Daniella's insight and totally recommend all of her tips, so start there. Also, our Tripawds Nutrition blog has many, many good tips and member experiences for fighting pet cancer. The thing to remember is that most of the supplements and diet recommendations out there are all anecdotal...no "scientific" evidence they work, so that's why many our scientific minded vets will not agree or endorse them. But, then you see dogs who've beaten the odds like our Jerry and sooo many others who manage to live very well with the cancer supplements like K9 Immunity and you can't help but see the connection between a vastly improved diet and survival rates. While you can certainly find holistic minded vets who get this, it takes doing. I'm not sure where to look in Australia, but if you check our Resources Page for holistic vet resources you might be led to some that are in your country.

Hope this helps. Remember, don't stress, because your dog doesn't want you to be upset. Do your best, remember that no matter what you do, cancer is a real crap shoot, you never know what it will do for sure. Just live each day to the fullest and you know you're fighting it as best as you can.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 17
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30 June 2015 - 3:16 am
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I was finally shown a brand of food marked grain free . I think tonight was chicken & duck. Tess usually loves her food, so all the experimenting with different foods will certainly entertain her! That's a start.

The Rainbow Bridge



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30 June 2015 - 9:15 am
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Definitely a good start! Variety is the spice of life too, if food rotation will keep her happy then by all means do it.

When we were fighting cancer, we promised ourselves not to overdo the supplements. We would try 3 at a time for a few months to see how they worked. For us, limiting the # of things that went into Jerry's diet was a good decision.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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1 July 2015 - 1:40 am
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Tonight Tess had an egg (shallow fried) on the side of dinner. It went in so fast I think she inhaled it. I'm not sure if she should have one every night or maybe every second night?

The Rainbow Bridge



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1 July 2015 - 9:05 am
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Yum!

I think that food rotation is a good thing. Mixing it up keeps life interesting and tasty too.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Los Angeles, CA
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1 July 2015 - 9:53 am
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lisac said
Tonight Tess had an egg (shallow fried) on the side of dinner. It went in so fast I think she inhaled it. I'm not sure if she should have one every night or maybe every second night?

Jasper (who is not fighting cancer or a tripawd) has 1/2 a hard boiled egg for breakfast daily. With her grain-free kibble ... my tripawd angel was on grain-free and I have started the new dog on it as well; just to be safe.

But Jasper loves her 1/2 hard boiled egg (she's a smaller girl so that's why she gets half). It keeps her coat smooth and shiny and I think it's good for her in general! 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

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