Nutritional Therapy for Canine Lymphoma

Canine lymphoma can appear in, or spread to, any part of the body where there is lymph tissue, fortunately lymphoma is also the most treatable canine cancer. After the frightful diagnosis, your first priority will probably be to find ways to improve your dog's diet to fight the cancer. A lot of options are available with reports of good outcomes.

Specific Food Products

Independent studies suggest that Omega N-3 fatty acids are associated with successful treatment. These are found in fish oils and vegetable oils such as, flax seed oil, fish and salmon oil. Even common olive oil appears in some formulas.

New products for dogs with cancer are reaching the market, and among the most exciting is Hill's Prescription Diet® Canine n/d. This formula is proven to fight the destructive effects of cancer and chemotherapy.

Hill's combined their research with a ten year clinical study by Colorado State University's Comparative Oncology Unit to determine what foods and additives produced the best survival rates, and quality of life outcomes, for dogs with cancer. Based on this study and research, they produced a patented nutrient profile and added N3 fatty acids and arginine.

Chemotherapy and Dietary Supplements

The research suggests that untreated dogs live with the disease on average only two months, which means the sooner you treat your dog the better. Some new radiation therapies are making news, but the treatment most often used by traditional veterinarians is chemotherapy, with courses of treatment using as many as four toxic agents. Your dog may need supplements of vitamins and minerals for strength to fight the cancer, and withstand the chemotherapy. Consider supplementing vitamins C, A, E and D. as well as minerals like Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium.

Any nutritional deficits your dog may have before treatment begins could play a critical role in the outcome. Ask your vet to do a blood test called a Bio-Nutritional Analysis. It will reveal any deficiency in your dog's diet so that appropriate adjustments can be made.

Important Ideas for Feeding Time

Remember, possible side effects from treatment are nausea and other complications for feeding. If your dog turns hishead away, or spits out food, don't coax or force the issue, this will only increase stress. Your vet can prescribe drugs for nausea and vomiting. Also consider medications for stimulating appetite. If the problem persists, tube feeding is an option. You can discuss all these with your vet.

Your dog may associate eating with past episodes of pain or discomfort. This also can cause an aversion to food. Try changing the setting of mealtimes, to remove the bad associations. Introduce new foods, or have someone else feed your dog. Avoid giving medicines or treatments anywhere near mealtimes.

Holistic Alternatives

Holistic approaches are increasingly popular and holistic veterinarians are reporting excellent results. Chinese herb treatments are also widely used for cancer patients.

Here's an example of a holistic dog food recipe:

  • 4 oz free range chicken (white meat)
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 TBS virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped organic carrots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 2 Vitamin C (1000mg) (500mg each)
  • 1 Vitamin E (400 I.U.)
  • 1 capsule Thorne Veterinary Immugen
  • Essiac Tea (10ml)

You can find dozens of Holistic recipes out there, and just as many stories of ‘miracles' to go with them. Just remember to take possible side effects and hidden problems into consideration when making your choices.