Nutritional Requirements of Dogs and Cats with Cancer
Any illness, be it cancer or a benign disease, will have an impact on the patient's metabolism. During disease, there are many changes in the way the body uses proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It is important to realize that, for the most part, these are adaptations that are geared toward survival. In effect, the body is prioritizing its available nutrients for purposes like wound healing and maintaining the immune system. Sometimes, these metabolic changes can become exaggerated or prolonged to the point that they are harmful rather than beneficial to the patient. Significant weight loss and muscle wasting can occur rapidly and can be difficult or even impossible to reverse.
NB-When your pet has cancer it is especially critical to feed a fresh food diet. S/he needs all of the nutrients and vitality of real food. Avoid carbohydrates as they are the favorite nutrient of cancer cells. NO KIBBLE! Fats and protein is most important. Palatability of a raw meat diet can be increased by lightly searing the meats and adding immune-enhancing spices like cayenne and tumeric (if your pet likes and can tolerate them). Fish oils, antioxidants, etc. are all helpful. These are the supplements that I use for cancer patients in my practice: --Dr. Jeff