Archive for the ‘Diet’ category

Off Topic: Recommended Read: Merle’s Door

December 12, 2010

I wanted to share with you a book I read called Merle’s Door by Ted Kerasote.  It is a wonderful story about a man and his dog and what drives the dog behavior and communication between dogs and humans.  I loved reading about the author’s relationship with his dog, Merle.   He goes in-depth about understanding why his dog behaves certain ways and discusses research about canine behavior.   He also describes the difficult decisions his girlfriend faced when her golden retriever was diagnosed with cancer.

Here is a link for more information on the author and his book:  http://kerasote.com/merle.html

Advertisements

Rosie is Feeling Better

July 7, 2010

I wanted to give an update to let everyone know that Rosie is feeling better.  She has been back on her regular diet for the last 3 days with no problems.  We restarted the Palladia this evening.  So far so good.  No stomach problems.  So I am guessing it must have been something she ate and not the Palladia that upset her stomach.

Mast Cell Tumors, Palladia, Diet, and Side Effects

November 28, 2009

Why is diet so important for dogs with cancer and specifically for dogs with mast cell tumor cancer (MCT)?  Furthermore, why is diet even more important when a dog with MCT cancer is on Palladia?

I have been researching dog cancer diets and getting information from our veterinary oncologist, and am considering a visit to a local holistic veterinary oncologist.  (At that statement, many owners of dogs with cancer will be appalled that I have not already been to one!  Meanwhile, the non-dog owners, and probably some of my friends and family will roll their eyes and say I have gone way off the deep-end now!  That is ok.  I can take it from both sides.) 

If you have a dog that is recently diagnosed with cancer, I recommend visiting with both a veterinary oncologist and holistic vet.  This method provides both the standard medical treatment plan as well as a holistic treatment plan, including diet.

Be aware that ANY change in what the dog usually eats can cause an upset tummy or diarrhea in a dog.  This is especially a problem for dogs with mast cell tumor cancer because the histamine released by the mast cell tumors can upset the dog’s stomach.   For more information on that, I recommend reading article on the Dog Cancer Blog at http://www.dogcancerblog.com/why-use-stomach-medication-for-mast-cell-tumors/

Furthermore, often the treatments, including Prednisone and Palladia, have side effects that can upset the stomach or cause diarrhea or worse.  Palladia’s gastric side effects can potentially be serious which is why often oncologists prescribe supplemental medicines, along with the Palladia, to protect the dog’s stomach.  If the dog has diarrhea, or bloody stool, for example, that would stop the Palladia treatment at least temporarily.  For more information on Palladia side effects see http://www.drugs.com/vet/palladia.html.  Rosie’s oncologist took her off of Prednisone when she started on Palladia.  She stated that both medicine might be too hard on her sensitive stomach. 

I can’t emphasize enough to TALK to your veterinary oncologist BEFORE making any changes to your dog’s diet, especially if you dog is taking Palladia.  Learn from my mistake.  I tried to change Rosie to a premium “grain-free” dog food shortly after starting Palladia and Rosie got diarrhea.  Rosie’s oncologist was not happy with me at the time because she could not tell if the diarrhea was from the food change or from the Palladia.  She had no choice but to stop the Palladia treatment until the diarrhea was under control.  Rosie went several days, almost a week without receiving Palladia.  This was scary to me because I had read online about several dogs whose cancer quickly returned once the Palladia was stopped.   I was given instructions to NOT change her diet until after Rosie was on Palladia for 12 weeks.  Once Rosie went back to her regular food, she did not experience any more diarrhea and has had a successful Palladia treatment to-date.

Now, Rosie’s oncologist has approved for me to SLOWLY change Rosie over to a grain-free diet.  It is important to make any diet change gradually so as to not upset the dog’s digestive system.  If there is diarrhea or bloody stool, the Palladia again would need to be stopped and we would run the risk of the cancer returning.  So I don’t want to risk that because of the diet change.  

Lots of information is available online, sometimes conflicting information about diets for dogs with cancer.  Many people recommend home-cooked meals.  Some recommend raw diets.  Some recommend specific brands of grain-free dog food.  Many recommend additional supplements and enzymes.  This is why I recommend talking to your oncologist and a holistic vet so that, with you, they can provide a specific diet for your dog’s cancer and your situation.

Since I work full-time and Rosie eats 4 small meals a day to prevent stomach upset and diarrhea, home cooking was not very feasible for me.  So I am in the process of gradually changing her over to a natural, premium grain-free dog foood which my veterinary oncologist recommended.  I’m not going to recommend any specific food in this blog.  I urge you to discuss the topic with your oncologist and holistic vet.

Dr. Dressler has some good information on diet on his Dog Cancer blog, www.dogcancerblog.com and more specifically in his book, which has additional information on diets for dogs with cancer.   I have some links on the right side of this blog also with additional information.

Good luck to each of you.