No one knows exactly what causes the cancerous cells in a dog’s body to go out of control and form tumors or spread rapidly to other parts of the body. There are always some amounts of cancerous cells in the body, which the body’s own defense mechanism is fully capable of handling. It is suspected that genetics and a weak immune system are probably the primary reasons behind dog cancer. Inadequate nutrition, combined with stress, pollution, preservatives, additives and artificial colorings added to commercial foods, can further compromise your dog’s immune system.
The liver is involved in numerous bodily functions, including those that help in filtering toxins from the body. As such, liver cancer in dogs is the most common outcome of metastatic cancer that initially attacks other parts of the body and spreads to the liver.
A characteristic of liver cancer in dogs is refusal of food or a decrease in appetite, resulting in weight loss and muscle wasting. The fact that cancer therapy has an impact on the gastrointestinal tract does not help, either.
Although the daily nutritional needs of calories, proteins, minerals and vitamins for dogs are well understood, the specific nutritional requirement to prevent or improve a cancer condition in pets is not known. The fact that cancer may accompany a loss of sense of smell may make matters worse. A responsible pet owner should aim to meet the basic nutritional needs of the dog, however challenging it may appear.
Nausea, vomiting and general indisposition often accompanies cancer and cancer therapies. It is not a good idea to coax your dog to eat when he shows symptoms like gulping, drooling, turning his head away at the sight of food, or spitting it out when placed in the mouth. Instead, it is better to try new food items, choosing mealtimes when the pet is comfortable and stress-free, and in new settings. However, the possibility remains that the dog develops an aversion to new food items if he is still unwell.
A situation may arise that the dog may develop an aversion to commercial foods and accepts only table food. Table foods do not provide necessary nutrition and you should think about shifting to home-cooked dog food. While preparing the food, remember that moist, fatty and protein-rich foods are more palatable for the dogs. Warm foods that are just below body temperature are believed to increase the aroma of the food and should be tried.
Even mild illnesses have an impact on metabolism. Cancer is a serious disease that results in an even more dramatic change. These changes are survival-oriented and adaptations are made to prioritize the use of available nutrients. Less food intake aggravates the problem due to the scarcity of available nutrients. If your dog’s basic nutritional requirements are met, he is likely to respond better to whatever treatment he is getting.