iLD Ask A Vet: What Supplement is Best for a Dog Fighting Cancer?

August 7, 2013

PM_SickDogHas your dog ever undergone medical (or radiation) treatment for cancer?  Did you ever consider that nutraceuticals (supplements) could be beneficial to support immune system health and other body systems? See my perspective on the i Love Dogs (iLD) Ask A Vet page in the article: What Supplement is Best for a Dog Fighting Cancer?

What i Love Dogs supplementwould you recommend for a dog fighting possiblecancer/parathyroid disease (I’m waiting for the diagnosis)?

My dog is not eating — I’m currently trying to force-feed her. She’s on Lasix, an appetite stimulant, an antacid and a stomach-coating agent.

We are re-testing her bloodwork next week. The vet gave me Pet-Tabs for her, but a friend gave me some i Love Dogs Green Tea to try. I am wondering which is the better one to give her at this point?

– Toni

Hi Toni,

I’m sorry to hear of your dog’s potential cancer diagnosis. As there are so many potential types of — and treatments for — cancer, choosing the right combination of medications, nutraceuticals (supplements), food and other treatments is always a challenge.

The i Love Dogs Green Tea supplement you received from your friend is great choice, but it does not contain the enhanced immune-system-supportive effects of the i Love Dogs Reishi with Green Tea supplement.

As I’ve not examined your dog, I can’t specifically suggest what product is most appropriate for your pet; however, many of my cancer patients and my own dog take i Love Dogs Reishi with Green Tea.

Reishi mushroom supports immune system function, which is essential so that the body can not only fight cancer, but also manage any potential side effects associated with chemotherapy, radiation or other treatments.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is found in green tea, has been shown instudies to be a polyphenol with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and metabolism-supportive effects. The green tea found in all i Love Dogs products is decaffeinated.

If you are seeking a multivitamin, then I do recommend the i Love Dogs Multivitamin with Green Tea and  Reishi over a traditional multivitamin forpets (like Pet-Tabs), due to the addition of reishi mushroom and green tea.

Additionally, Pet-Tabs contain ingredients like corn syrup, sucrose and sorbitol (a sugar alcohol) that aren’t overtly toxic, but shouldn’t be voluntarily fed to a dog with cancer.  In general, it’s recommended to avoid feeding simple sugars and refined carbohydrates (like grain by-products) to our canine patients afflicted with cancer.

If she’s not eating and needs to be assisted to eat, then getting any additional products into her can be a challenge. The good news is that i Love Dogs products can be turned into powder with a pill crusher, mixed with liquid (water or low-sodium meat broth, for example) and administered with a syringe.

Diet is an important part of the cancer treatment process — and in promoting an overall healthy state to help to prevent cancer — so food should be minimally processed (whole-food based), cooked and freshly prepared. It should contain real muscle meat protein, appropriate low-to-moderate amounts of animal fat (animal fat is rich in Omega 6 fatty acids, which actually promoteinflammation), antioxidants and fiber from vegetables and fruit, and some whole grains (they provide rich sources of vitamins and minerals).

I suggest feeding your dog Lucky Dog Cuisine, or working with your veterinarian to perform a consultation with the UC Davis Nutrition Support Service so that a nutritionally complete and balanced home-prepared diet can be formulated for your dog’s needs.

If your dog does end up receiving a cancer diagnosis, consider having a consultation with a veterinary oncologist (cancer specialist) to ensure she receives the most appropriate treatment from the perspective of a specialist with abundant clinical experience treating her particular form of cancer. If you don’t already have a relationship with a cancer specialist for dogs, you can find one through theVeterinary Cancer Society.

If you are looking for a veterinarian who can provide you with information on or even prescribe a specific combination protocol of nutraceuticals, whole-food based diet, etc., then I suggest you work with one that is more appropriately trained to advise you on such matters. You can find a holistic veterinarian on the AHVMA website.

Thank you for your question, and good luck.

Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA

Ask a Vet is intended for informational purposes only. If your dog requires veterinary attention, you should take him to your vet or animal emergency clinic for an examination. Click here to find a veterinarian near you.

Have a question concerning your dog’s health? Send it to Ask a Vet.

PHOTO: ilovemypit

Thank you for reading this article.  Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond).

Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.

Copyright of this article (2013) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

TheOldBroad August 8, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Great information!

“In general, it’s recommended to avoid feeding simple sugars and refined carbohydrates (like grain by-products) to our canine patients afflicted with cancer.”

Do you know if that’s also true for kitties? Although I don’t (currently) have a cancer kitty, I’m going to start scrutinizing ingredient listings to see if any of the cat food I use has simple sugars. Simple sugars can’t be very good in their regular diet, can they?

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