Hope’s chemotherapy treatment this week was a repeat of week 1. He was given a drug called vincristine that requires a short visit to the oncologist for the injection. He seems to tolerate it very well and has shown no side effects.
He has only gained a few ounces since last week and during my research on b-cell lymphoma, also known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, weight loss is not uncommon. In fact, it is one of the symptoms of the cancer. From what I’m reading, I think the cancer takes the body’s nutrition to support itself. So, even if the dog is eating well, he can still lose weight. I think I need to double my efforts in keeping food in his tummy.
Another interesting fact I learned is that it is believed that a low carb diet can be beneficial for dogs with lymphoma because the cancer cells thrive on carbohydrates. Since Hope is currently on a raw diet consisting of almost all meat, we are already ahead in that area. It was suggested that dogs increase omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon oil is an excellent source of omega-3, so I just placed an order with www.onlynaturalpets.com along with an order of immune strengthener.
To read more about canine cancer and diet, I found an informative website called http://www.dogaware.com/health/cancer.html
Next week’s chemotherapy will be different, requiring Hope to spend the day with the oncology department at Georgia Veterinary Specialists.
Getting back to a low carbohydrate diet for dogs, one of my other dogs, Danny, a terrier mix, had demodectic mange when I adopted him. Several friends suggested I put him on a raw diet to help control the mange. They told me that the skin mites in demodectic mange eat the yeast in skin, causing the skin irritation. A low carb diet virtually starves the mites to a manageable level. After three years on a raw meat only diet, he has only had one relapse, and that was about two years ago. To see him today you would never guess he once had mange. I am becoming a strong believer in we are what we eat.