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nutrition for reoccurring lymphoma
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nutrition for reoccurring lymphoma
My dog has been in remission for one year after being in a 24 week protocol called chop. I would like to know where I may get nutritional counseling that has been clinically tested
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984446 tn?1263311374
Greetings,  

I am so sorry to hear that your dog has come out of remission.  One year of complete remission is excellent, however, and the rescue protocols for lymphoma often do lead to another remission. I hope that this is the case for your boy.

Regarding nutritional support for dogs with cancer. There are several studies, albeit relatively small, regarding the efficacy of nutritional support for dogs with cancer. In your case, the news is very good, as most of these have been in dogs with lymphoma.  Currently, the best approach to support health and to possibly slow tumor growth is a low carbohydrate (starch) diet that is moderately increased in protein and fat.  The fat that is provided should have an adjusted omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio (between 5:1 and 10:1). This is best supplied by increasing long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids are found in the oil from cold water fish, so may contribute a rather fishy smell to the food.  There is evidence that increased omega-3 fatty acids afford several benefits to cancer patients, which include reduced effects of cancer cachexia (not that common in dogs), slowed tumor growth, reduced tissue inflammation, and possibly increased remission duration.  A general recommendation is for the food to contain 50% to 60% of total calories from fat, 30% to 50% of calories from protein, and the remaining proportion of calories from soluble carbohydrate (i.e. no more than 20 percent of calories, preferably less).

Many performance foods meet these criteria (low carb, increased protein/fat, increased omega-3 fatty acids), and there are also several low carb or no carb maintenance OTC foods available, You do want to make sure that the caloric content is relatively high (increased fat), especially if your dog loses his appetite during his chemotherapy treatments.  If you are taking him to a veterinary oncologist for his treatments, you may want to ask what their clinic recommends for a cancer diet.  Some veterinarians have traditionally suggested adding a fatty acid supplement to the dog's normal food, but a better approach is to purchase a food that already contains increased omega-3 fatty acids and an adjusted ratio, and also, very importantly, reduced carbohydrates.

I hope this information is helpful to you - and best of luck with your dog. May he have many more days of feeling well with you - he is lucky to have such a caring owner.

Best wishes,

Linda Case
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