Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs. Almost 50 percent of all dogs older than ten years get cancer. However, many of these cases can be successfully treated with the help of modern veterinary medicine: In addition to the surgical removal of tumors, chemotherapy is now increasingly being used, which can significantly extend the survival time with certain types of tumors.
One of the main problems in treating cancer patients, however, is diet: the tumor uses up nutrients and forces the body to use its own reserves. There is a breakdown of muscle protein, the burning of fat and significant emaciation. The function of the immune system also suffers due to the resulting lack of nutrients. Cancer patients therefore need special food that on the one hand supplies the body with sufficient energy, but at the same time keeps the tumor as short as possible. A new diet, for example, which is available from the veterinarian (Hill’s Prescription Diet Canine n / d) and was developed for the nutrition of cancer patients, especially those undergoing chemotherapy, is specially tailored to this need.
The food contains a reduced proportion of carbohydrates in order not to provide the tumor with additional energy, while the fat and protein content is increased so that the body’s reserves can be replenished. By adding omega-3 fatty acids and the amino acid arginine, the immune function should be increased and the emaciation counteracted. The food is only available as canned food and only for dogs and can be given for the entire life of a dog with cancer. However, it has no preventive function, so it is not suitable for healthy dogs that should be fed as usual.
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