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Canine Prostate Cancer
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Canine Prostate Cancer

My 11 year old boxer/golden mix, Rocky, was diagnosed with prostate cancer two days ago. He hadn't been eating and was having difficulties going to the bathroom. My vet says he might have until the end of the summer. He isn't really eating and I was wondering if anybody has any tricks to get dogs to eat? I've tried all kinds of things and he just sniffs it and walks away. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I know the longer he doesn't eat the sooner I will have to put him down and I'm not ready for that. Thanks!
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My dog who died in 1999 had prostate cancer. His appetite was a bit up and down. I think it was because he had difficulty pooping, perhaps he wasn't emptying his bowels properly, and that affected his appetite, or he has pain occasionally. He was much better when the vet gave him Rimadyl, and he had no side effects from this.
I made sure he had a lot of fibre in his diet, and gave him lightly-cooked carrot and small pieces of apple. Those things definitely helped ease his bowel movements. It may be that the vet can recommend a stool-softener too. What's happening is that the swelling in the Prostate is pushing up against the wall of the colon, and making a narrower space for feces to pass through.

As for tempting a dog whose appetite loss is caused by pain....that's not easy. Take away any pain he might feel, and you might find his appetite improves. It's hard to know if a dog is feeling pain. If it's bad enough, they tremble and shake, and 'hunch' their backs with their tail tucked down. If it's not as bad as that, it can still affect appetite.

If, as you say, you have tried everything, then it's my guess he feels a little achy, and that's putting him off eating.
Boiled chicken, or chicken jelly (water the meat has cooked in, and when it cools it turns to nutritious jelly)- is often a very tempting food, as it smells so good, and is full of goodness. Will he eat oily fish like salmon or sardines? That might interest him. Brown rice is also very good for dogs, as is brown pasta. And brown rice helps with bowel movements.

I do kind of feel what you are going through. I went through this with my Toby. We had a really special time towards the end. And he was happy and having fun, even on his last day, though by that stage he was getting more tired, and slept a few hours in the day.
When the time came.....it was clear. He could no longer pee. I took him to the vet at midnight that night, and they tried every medication they could think of, and so we went back home again to wait for the meds to kick in. But nothing would work. I knew that was the sign that it was time to stop fighting the cancer, and let him go free. I acted quickly, called the vet over in the middle of the night, and he went to 'sleep' in my arms at home, by the log-fire.
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