My cat, 13 years old, male, was diagnosed with lymphoma last week. Chemotherapy is proposed as a treatment. It is defined as a slow progressing, alimentary lymphoma. My cat is vomiting and has sometimes diarrhea, but otherwise has appetite and the fur coat is in a good condition. It has been like this more than a year. We feed him with boiled chicken and also add food supplements such as vitamins, probiotics, immune boosting tablets, omega-3 rich oil. I would like to know what else we can do during the chemotherapy so that there are less side effects and the treatment does not make him sick. I would be grateful to hear for any kind of advice-food, supplements....
Pet Diet plays a major role in influencing the effectiveness, pet response and ultimate outcome of chemotherapy in dogs and cats diagnosed with cancer. Cancer cells alter your pets body’s ability to metabolize dietary nutrients, including carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The effect of cancer on dog and cat glucose or "blood" sugar metabolism is most dramatic in pets.
Cancer or tumor cells preferentially use anaerobic glycolysis to metabolize glucose for energy, forming lactate as the end product. Lactate is then converted back to glucose at the expense of your pet. Changes in your pets ability to metabolize carbohydrates, including the livers ability to make blood sugar, which vets call "hepatic gluconeogenesis" may be permanent. Similar adverse changes are true regarding insulin production by your pets pancreas. Insulin is needed to prevent the development of pet diabetes in dogs and cats.
Studies in dogs with Lymphoma Cancer documented elevated blood levels of lactate and insulin, neither of which declined, even when complete remission was achieved in clinical trials using a chemotherapeutic drug called doxorubicin.
These alterations in dog and cat carbohydrate metabolism are apparently not limited to dogs with Lymphoma. They have also been documented in dogs with non-hematopoietic (non blood based) cancers, including Osteosarcoma or bone cancer and Adenocarcinoma of the pet mammary gland and lungs.
Therefore feeding dogs and cats diagnosed with cancer, diets containing carbohydrates and giving fluid with lactate, such as Lactated Ringers Solution not only fuel cancer cell growth rates but also exacerbate and deplete your pets energy reserves.
This guideline is also true for and applicable to hospice pet cancer cases, as well as those pets with cancer deemed to be in critical condition and/or terminal.
When your pets carbohydrate reserves are limited, cancer cells use your pets protein and convert the proteins amino acids into glucose by a process we call gluconeogenesis. Not only does this contribute to and make your pets body wasting or "cachexia" worse, it also results in elevated blood levels of two amino acids, isoleucine and phenylalanine.
Protein depletion in small animal cancer patients is clinically significant as when the rate of protein loss exceeds the rate of protein synthesis. In addition, several important organ systems in dogs and cats are also adversely affected.
The most significant adverse changes affect your pets immune system and digestive tract. This ultimately degrades your pets overall health status and compromises your dog and or cats ability to respond to cancer therapy protocols whether traditional or alternative. It also retards your pets chances for cancer remission and/or recovery.
Fortunately, most cancer cells are not able to efficiently utilize fat for energy, which is why fats become the most logical choice for feeding pets with cancer in veterinary medicine.
Homemade pet anti-cancer diets consisting of tasty, high quality, bio-available protein and fat, along with minimal levels of carbohydrates are very helpful for pet cancer dietary therapy. This is true for dogs and cats affected with cancer.
Dogs: 50% poultry or fish plus 50% non starchy vegetables
Cats: 80% poultry or fish plus 20% non starchy vegetables
Pet Anti-Cancer Diets for dogs and cats should include a fish oil supplement which acts as a source of dietary fat, and is provided as Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3 fatty acid sources for pets with cancer may include Flax or Olive Oil.
A natural, balanced vitamin-mineral supplement completes your pets anti-cancer diet.
I am glad to offer further help-please feel free to contact our office
Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM
There are some excellent Traditional Chinese Medical Formulas to counter chemotherapy side effects in cats as follows:
Kan Herbal Company Formula's: Resilience, and Cluster Dissolving. These work together and are available by prescription from your veterinarian. Kan Herbal has these formula's as liquid extracts which make them easier to give to the finicky cat. The dose is 3 drops of each twice daily.
Dr. Xie's Jing Tang Herbal Company: Wei Qi Booster. Dose is one capsule or two teapills twice daily. This is also available by prescription.
And, to support the gastrointestinal system to keep your cat eating, and to control vomiting:
Eight Gentlemen. This is a common herbal supplement and is available online from a variety of sources without a prescription. The dose for teapills is 2-3 twice to three times daily.
Dr. Xie's Jing Tang Herbal Company has several formula's for gastrointestinal support if the Eight Gentlemen is too mild. These formula's are: Stomach Happy, or alternately: Jade Lady. The dose is one capsule or 2-3 teapills twice daily.
Please also include a medicinal mushroom extract at 1/8 to 1/4 human dose twice daily. These are widely available at health food stores and online.
has anyone ever experienced wei qi booster making diarrhea worse in a cat with lymphoma? he is eating up a storm but can't retain any of the food - has large quantities of diarrhea twice per day. He is also on phenobarbitol and prednisalone, plus metroclopamide and metronidazole, and we are trying to eliminate whatever is causing it so he can build back some strength.
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