It is very common for a dog with cancer, particularly a dog
in cancer treatment, to suddenly stop wanting to eat his usual diet.
Many families spend countless hours in frustration, serving up buffets
of various foods trying to find out what their dog WILL eat. The bouts
of "not eating" are common for patients (canine and human) during
chemotherapy. They can become prolonged and stressful and can be very
dangerous if not resolved.
First, hear my mantra, "Keep
him fat!" There is much concern
about a dog losing too much weight. Not only because of malnutrition,
but also because the "not eating" can become habitual and progressive.
Not-eating is not an indication of cancer cachexia, rather it can lead
to cancer anorexia. But lack of nutrients because of inappetance can
lead to cachexia. When the non-eating cycle is not resolved to get the
dog eating again,
it leads to Cancer Anorexia.
of us can survive when we are not eating. It's necessary - urgent - to
break the non-eating behavior.
Try any foods that your dog might want to eat. Canned cat food, canned
fish (such as mackerel) without any sauces, just the plain fish. Try
liverwurst, raw meat, cooked meat, cheese, peanut butter.
Try Frozen Fishies. This is what I used to get Bullet to eat when he
would not eat anything at all. You can get a bag of Frozen Fishies,
just plain fish fillets, without the heads or skin, at most
supermarkets. Look for Whiting, Pollack or Salmon. For small dogs, a
bag of Smelts works well. Give your dog the fillet right out of the
Try hand feeding. Sometimes a dog will take food from your hand even if
he won't eat from his bowl.
You can "force-feed" your dog to get some nutrition into him. The word
"force" is misleading. Get a large syringe (without the needle) from
your clinic. Prepare some food that you think your dog might swallow
and put it through the food processor. You can add water so that it
will go through the syringe and not clog it. Hold the syringe inside
your dog's cheek, next to his teeth. His mouth can be closed, his head
should be in a neutral position. Do not force feed with a dog's head
tilted up and remember to insert a small amount, let him swallow that
before you insert more. Leave the syringe in position if your dog will
allow you to. If not, remove it and let him swallow, then re-insert it
to give the next "dose" of food.
If you still cannot get your dog to eat, see your
are medications for inappetance that might get him to start eating
Rachel Lewis (Teddy's
mom) suggests the following
EVO Grain Free Herring or Chicken/Turkey
Wild Red Salmon (not pink) in small
cans (less waste if your dog will not eat it)
Orijens Dry food with fresh fish and turkey (smells like cat
food, it's 80% protein and grain free)
Low Fat Cottage Cheese (1 percent milk fat) with pineapple
recommend cottage cheese with flax seeds instead (LK)
Organic Chicken slices or Turkey Breast
HERRING or Chicken/Turkey Dog Biscuits Grain
also has a great idea for pre-chemo treatments, to prevent diarrhea as
a side effect
the water in any white rice recipe. Then get rid of the RICE and use
only the chilled water to prevent diarrhea. This binds them
When a dog is eating but losing weight, this may be a condition called
Cancer Cachexia. (Ka Kex ia)
This condition is difficult to reverse but your vet will make every
attempt to reverse it. Whether a dog is eating normally or not eating,
the progressive weight loss continues until the dog cannot survive. At
home you can try to give your dog Omega 3 fatty acids but this in
itself will not be a solution.
Your Dog Should Never Eat
Mulch (do not use in flower beds that your dog has access to)
(6 oz of
chocolate can kill a 24 pound dog.)
- Apple seeds
- Avacado (including
- Walnuts and Macademia
- Grapes and raisins
- Sugar free foods
- (reference: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15066760/)
- even a
very small amount can lead to kidney failure and
death. Be on the outlook when walking through parking lots! Dogs will
lick antifreeze because it has a sweet taste.