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Avatar universal

Tips to help appetite

My dog has cancer, and his appetite is very poor.  I have tried to feed him a large variety of things, he'll eat something for a short time, and then won't eat that item again.  Any ideas on how to help his appetite, or things to feed him?  It would be great to get some help with this.
7 Responses
675347 tn?1365460645
Hi nancyjean,
What sort of cancer does he have? And is he receiving any treatments? If so, it could be that his appetite loss is a side effect of medication....?
881165 tn?1265984588
What all have you tried?  Chicken, ground beef, rice, cheese, sweet potatos?  Have you tried grinding it up in a blender?  Have you tried feeding small amounts every couple hours?

You also might want to post this question over on one of the vet expert forums; they should have a lot more experience with this.

Best of luck!
Avatar universal
I have tried all of the things you suggested, but I hadn't thought of grinding it up.  I will give that a try.  Thank you for your kind suggestion.
Avatar universal
My dog, Willie, had tumors in his colon.  He had surgery, and was put on chemotherapy meds, but he couldn't tolerate them, and his cancer has reappeared.  Outside of having him go through another surgery, which didn't seem to help much in the first place, and which I can't afford, I'm just trying to make him comfortable.  I've fed him chicken, turkey,hamburger, cheese, rice, all different kinds of meats, baby food, etc...He acts like he wants to eat, but when I put something in front of him, he sniffs it and walks away.  Thanks for your concern.  Your dog is a cutie!
675347 tn?1365460645
Poor Willie. It could be another part of his colon is affected. It could be he has 'secondaries' affecting his liver. If so, he may feel a little nauseous sometimes. Has the vet suggested any anti-nausea medication? It's possible that might help. I would think that anything which is easily digestible, and which he likes, is a good choice to feed him. If he refuses, then I think, try anything you can, much as you are already doing, to interest him. Just make sure he gets plenty of fluids, so he won't get dehydrated. As long as the food doesn't contain anything toxic for dogs, such as onion, or onion powder, then I'd say try whatever you can. Soups (unseasoned and with no onion) will serve a dual purpose, of getting a little food plus fluids down at the same time.
Avatar universal
Try cooking chicken livers - in the meat dept they are pretty cheap for a tub of raw livers. My dogs love them! Also a little tuna on top of his regular food or mixed in is ok. Ask the Vet if you can give him a tsp of Pepto Bismol about a half hour before feeding time. It might make a big difference.  
441382 tn?1452810569
I completely agree with Ginger when she says that at this stage of the game, whatever Willie will eat, unless it contains something toxic to dogs, let him eat.  A shot of Vitamin B12 might help to boost his appetite, but if he's feeling nauseous, even B12 probably won't improve his appetite.  If you could find something for controlling nausea, you might want to try that just in case that's the problem.  There's a product called NutriCal that is available either through your vet or at a well-stocked pet store like PetSmart that is a very high calorie supplement that is used to provide nutrition for pets who are either  not eating their full rations or not eating at all because of illness or injury.  Most vets get around $10 a tube for it, but if you buy it from PetSmart  it's usually around $5 a tube.  Give him as much of that a day as he will eat.  Dogs and cats usually love the taste and will almost always lick it right out of the tube.  If he won't do that, either squirt it right into his mouth or maybe smear about a 2" strip of it onto his paw and he'll lick it off.

You should try posting on our Ask A Vet forum.  There you will get a professional opinion with lots of good, sound advice free of charge.  Good luck, and I hope you are able to get Willie's appetite back so that he has some good, comfortable time left with you.

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