|I developed a diet for my dog Beanny based upon some of Dr. Ogilvie's findings and
the Budwig protocol. It includes plentiful amounts of anti-oxidents and supplements
thought to be cancer fighting. Most holistic veterinarians will tell you to immediately
stop feeding your dog commercial pet food as the ingredients are often not of high
quality and the processing of the food significantly decreases the nutritional benefits.
A diet made with whole, raw, and non-processed foods enables the dog to get the
maximum nutritional benefits. It is imperative that you boost the dog's immune
system so it can fight the cancer. Click here to view Beanny's Anti-Cancer Diet.
|Dogs with cancer have special nutritional requirements and feeding your dog a cancer fighting
diet can be an important component of treatment. Some of the most comprehensive work on this
subject was done by Gregory Ogilvie, DVM at Colorado State University. Dr. Ogilvie had
previously worked in the Boston area, and treated one of my dogs for lymphoma many years
ago, so I was already familiar with his commitment, compassion, and vast knowledge about dogs
with cancer. Also very interesting was the work done by Dr. Johanna Budwig, for which the
famous Budwig protocol was named after. More information about Dr. Budwig's work featuring
flaxseed oil and low-fat cottage cheese can be found at the bottom of this page. I incorporated
the work of both these physicians into Beanny's anti-cancer diet.
Dr. Ogilvie found that while cancer cells thrive on sugars, they starve the body of proteins and
carbohydrates. Cancer cells can use sugars, but not specific types of fats as a primary source of
energy. When the cancer cells use sugars for energy, they produce lactate, a waste product that
poisons the host. Lactate depletes the dog's energy, allowing the cancer to weaken the body and
the tumor to grow stronger. This condition is called cancer cachexia.
The diet recommended by Dr. Ogilvie consists of:
|Nutrition for the Canine Cancer Patient
|Dr. Gregory K. Ogilvie, from Complementary and Alternative Veterinary
Medicine, edited by Allen M. Schoen, D.V.M. MS and Susan Wynn, D.V.M.
Mosby Press, St. Louis, 1999.
Dr. Ogilvie's article, "Nutritional Approaches to Cancer Therapy," covers a wide
spectrum of tests using various diets in dogs with and without cancer. He reports
that one of the biggest problems in dogs with cancer is cachexia, or progressive
involuntary weight loss. He states that cachexia leads to decreased quality of life,
decreased response to treatment and shortened survival time.
Cachexia is caused by the tumors and treatments alike, and is caused by
metabolic alterations to the dogs system. Dr. Ogilvie feels diet can help in cancer
treatment, and outlines the differences in dogs with cancers ability to metabolize
carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Dr. Ogilvie reports that tumors need glucose to live, which are simple sugars found
in many carbohydrates. It gives energy to the tumor, and robs energy from the
dog. Further, tests conducted proved that the dogs ability to metabolize
carbohydrates is altered in dogs with cancer, unlike the dogs tested who did not
have cancer. He recommends that dogs with cancer have a reduced amount of
carbohydrates in their diet, and further states that the use of lactated Ringer's
Solution can give tumors energy and food to grow. He reports it is best not to use
these, unless medically indicated.
There is a competition between the dog and cancer for the amino acids found in
proteins. Dr. Ogilvie states that it is a good idea to provide high quality proteins
and amino acids to dogs with cancer. Tests have shown that some amino acids
decrease toxicity in the dogs body. Two amino acids noted in particular are
arginine (enhances the immune system) and glutamine (which aids in maintaining
health of the gastrointestinal tract. Glutamine can also help with vomiting and
diarrhea associated with chemotherapy.
Not only do dogs have metabolism differences with carbohydrates, but they also
show abnormalities in lipid metabolism. These abnormalities contribute to immune
suppression. Malignant cells cannot use lipids for energy, so Dr. Ogilvie suggests
adding much more fat to a dogs diet, and in particular, the essential fatty acid,
Omega-3. He not only states that Omega-3 fatty acids will help a dog with energy,
but can actually help stop tumor growth.
Omega 3 fatty acids are a wonderful source of DHA anti-inflammatories, and are
helpful almost across the board in canine cancer patients. Generally these are
found in fish and flaxseed oil supplements. However, when flaxseed oil was
studied in canine patients it was found that this short-chain fatty acid cannot be
manipulated into long-chain fatty acids by dogs, like humans and rats can do. Dr.
Ogilvie's current recommendation is to use an algae source for this important fatty
acid. He recently changed his previous recommendation of salmon or fish oil as a
fatty acid source because of the increased levels of heavy metals and
organophosphates that have been found in these products across the board. The
brand he recommends as a source for a straight DHA fatty acid supplement that is
sourced from algae (no heavy metals) is called Algal-900 DHA. His recommended
dose is 30/mg/kg/day.
Foods rich in Omega-3 include salmon and other cold water fishes and these can
be added to your dog's diet in small portions. It is important to limit the amount of
Omega-6 fatty acids in your dogs diet, as it has proven in tests that these oils can
cause cancer to grow faster. Those oils would include GLA's, or primrose oils,
borage oil and black current oil.
Vitamins and Minerals
The list of these that Dr. Ogilvie recommends are:
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Iron
Miscellaneous nutrients suggested are:
- Therapeutic enzymes, especially those containing L-asparaginase
- Garlic (in limited quantities as too much can be toxic to dogs)
- Green and Black Tea
In a study of dogs with lymphoma that were treated with chemotherapy, dogs who
were fed a diet high in fat had longer remissions than dogs fed a diet high in
carbohydrates. Typical commercial dog foods are high in carbohydrates and low in
fat although some premium brands now carry high protein formulas.
If you can not prepare a home cooked diet for your dog, Hill's Pet Food Company
has introduced a commercial diet for dogs with cancer called Canine n/d. This food
contains high amounts of protein and fat and fewer carbohydrates. Recent studies
have shown that dogs with lymphoma, oral and nasal cancers had increased survival
times and a higher quality of life. However, the protein source in this food is not of
the highest quality and therefore it is a distant second to a home cooked, all-natural,
human grade diet that takes into account the special nutritional needs of a dog with
Dr. Ogilivie at the Angel Care Cancer Center in California has developed this
homemade diet that the Hill's Canine n/d mimics.
A balanced homemade formula for dogs with cancer.
The following recipe will make three days worth of food for a 12-15 kilogram dog.
Lean ground beef, fat drained 454 grams (1 pound)
Rice, cooked 227 grams (1 1/3 cups)
Liver, beef 138 grams (1/3 pound)
Vegetable oil 63 grams (4 ½ Tbs)
Fish oil 9 grams (9x1000-mg fish oil capsules)*
Calcium carbonate 3.3 grams**
Dicalcium phosphate*** 2.9 grams (3/4 tsp)
Salt substitute (potassium chloride) 1.9 grams (1/3 tsp)
* Note: Owners are encouraged to feed the highest fish (or preferably
acid (DHA)) oil dose tolerated by the dog.
** Calcium carbonate is available as oyster shell calcium tablets or TumsÒ tablets
(0.5 g in
regular Tums, 0.75 g in Tums Extra and 1.0 g in Tums Ultra).
** * Bone meal can be used in place of dicalcium phosphate.
Cook the rice with salt substitute added to the water. Cook the ground beef and drain
fat. Cook the liver and dice or finely chop into small pieces. Pulverize the calcium
carbonate and vitamin/mineral tablets. Mix the vegetable oil, fish oil (break open
and supplements with the rice and then add the cooked ground beef and liver. Mix
cover and refrigerate. Feed approximately one-third of this mixture each day to a 25-
pound dog. Palatability will be increased if the daily portion is heated to approximately
body temperature (Caution: when using microwave, avoid “hot spots,” which can burn
Nutrient Profile (% dry matter basis):
Energy 1,989 kcal/kg as fed
Why shouldn't you give your dog
commercial dog food? Read what is really
in dog food from the Animal Protection
|The Budwig Diet Plan for Dogs
by Barbara Bouyet
related to nutrition and
diet for the canine cancer
|Information and Inspiration when you need it most