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Thread: Food for an elderly Cocker Spaniel with cancer.

  1. #1

    Default Food for an elderly Cocker Spaniel with cancer.


    My girl was diagnosed with cancer last week. She has secondary cancer in the lungs and the primary is likely somewhere in the abdominal area.

    Not bad. She had Chemo at 6 years of age and (so far) has lived another 10 years to be an old lady of 16. She is happy and still likes her short walks and still loves her food.

    Ok, I have been researching this a lot and apparently the best food option is high protein, high fat and low carbohydrate (as the cancer feeds off the carbohydrate).

    She doesn't like kibble but that is ok because all the online vets I could find say that canned is better than kibble for dogs with cancer.

    In terms of dry weight percentages I have found 3 that are at least 45% protein and at most 15% carbohydrate. The remainder being fat. Apparently the fairly high fat is for helping keep the weight on. Sasha is slightly underweight so that is fine. She has always liked fatty foods (sausages, schmackos - - - err even pizza in her younger days).

    I don't even cook food for myself so please don't go there :-)

    The canned foods all have a first ingredient of meat and include:

    Blue Wilderness 45%P 41%F 14%C
    Innova (Evo) 55%P 36%F 9%C
    Nature's Logic 45%P 40%F 15%C

    But I have been searching for the last couple of hours and can't find these for sale in Australia - I live in Perth.

    Does anyone else know where I can get these or similar nutritional amounts of other brands available in Australia?

    I will also be giving her sardines, salmon etc for the high levels of omega 3 which are also good for cancer (and protein of course).


    PS, she has started bleeding from the left nostril. It has happened 3 times in the last couple of months now and each time the vet gave antibiotics. An XRay could not determine the problem and I'm not sure what to do as it has happened again today. Mucus with varying amounts of blood in it. Possibly related to the cancer. The Vet wasn't sure.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    Hi Paul
    Sorry to hear you are in the final pathway with your girl. There will be people on the forum who know what you want I am sure. The tinned food is high in carbs as it is such a useful filler. There may be a recipe you can zap in the microwave for a weeks supply for her that is manageable for a non cook eg lamb and chicken mince balls.
    I also have read that low carb is best for the reason you gave. Best of luck
    Mine eats raw so not sure about tins.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Mid North Coast NSW


    Hi Paul - a sad thread but also lovely that your girl has you looking out for her right to the end. I was just wondering does it have to be canned, and does it have to be cooked? I know a lot of people on here feed raw very successfully - it would be easier to control carb content and the quality of protein would be much higher I would think. There may be a reason why she shouldn't have raw, but I just wondered as canned food is such crap as a rule, although I haven't even heard of the brands you mentioned sorry, they do sound better than anything I've seen.

    Hopefully those with the knowledge will drop in with some advice soon. All the best with your girl - I have a special place in my heart for old dogs, it gives me such joy to see someone giving back to their aged pooch after all the years of selfless giving the dog has given to their human....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Rural NSW


    It is a myth that cancer feeds off sugar and carbohydrate. Do your research on accredited sites.
    I have had cancer too. I would be feeding her what she likes to eat and what the vet advises.
    Any changes you make make sure you do it slowly.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  5. #5


    'Sashas Dad' - Sorry to read what you and your pup are going through ! I don't have any personal experience with dogs and cancer – mine is mainly with humans.

    Some links for you – I hope at least there may be a few below that you haven’t seen before:

    Dr Bruce Syme in the following link:

    A natural vet:

    All Natural Vet Care :: An Integrative Approach to Veterinary Care

    This is a search on diet for dogs with cancer – you will see that I have made the search for Australia only:

    A couple of groups you could look at joining – could be very helpful for you:

    Yahoo Groups

    Contact Us - Dog Cancer Treatment Australia

    Just another couple of links: Health: Cancer in Dogs

    Cancer Care | A Path With Paws

    As 'Di_dee1' - said in her post - always consult with your vet before you make any changes to your pup's diet.

    My heart goes out to you and your pup ! Sending you Heaps of Good Luck Wishes in your endeavours !

  6. #6

    Default Thank you

    Hi Everyone and thank you for your advice and thoughtfulness :-)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    se qld


    I would give her soft food that she enjoys.
    Every day is precious now, so make the most of it.
    In his last weeks, I gave my Chubb, scrambled eggs, milk, slow cooked chicken and chicken soup
    as well as his raw food meat/veg mix that I made for him each day.

    If you go to a good Butcher and explain your situation he will offer some nice meats
    (which is cheaper than Canned food).

    All the best for your girl, you are very lucky to have had her for 16 years.

  8. #8



    Just an update.

    I have just been to the Vet and basically she confirmed that I need to significantly reduce the Carbohydrate content of Sashas diet while increasing the protein and fats to keep her from losing anymore weight.

    She explained that this is to try and starve the cancer of glucose while allowing Sasha to get the nutrients she needs.

    She suggested I keep giving Sash tinned Salmon and Sardines in the mornings and give her the prescription canned food Hill's n/d Canine 360g - - - 485 Kcal

    Protein 38% Fat 34% and Carbohydrate (NFE) 19%

    This isn't the brand that her clinic sells but she said it is what she would give her dog.

    I'll keep looking for some of those other ones I mentioned in the original post, but hey at least I have something to start with :-)

    Sasha loves the seafood and any canned food so she is getting what she wants.



  9. #9


    'Sashas Dad' - Thank you for your update !

    This isn't the brand that her clinic sells but she said it is what she would give her dog.
    Definitely words ^^^^^^^^^ I like to hear from my vet – when dealing particularly with serious health problems with my pups. It is a question I always ask the vet – what would you do in this situation if it was your pup ?

    Some other foods that you could check with your vet about - just to vary her diet a bit:

    Canned tuna and canned mackerel, cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt and vegetables like broccoli, spinach, pumpkin and sweet potato.

    Heaps of Kudos to you for the way you are looking after your pup - especially after she was diagnosed with cancer at 6 years old.

    Like 'chubbsecurity' said - feed her what she likes and wants. 16 years old - WoW !

  10. #10

    Default If they are going to die - give them what they like!

    Hi Guys,

    Just an update.

    After all the research I did on trying to extend my 16 year old Cocker Spaniels life by feeding her high protein, high fat and low carbohydrate food I have learnt one thing.

    Screw all that. Feed your friend food she or he likes. It is better they live enjoying their food than tolerating food they don't really like.

    Sasha didn't like any of the types of food I got her. It is hardly surprising because all her life she has had dog sausage and kibble with the occasional tinned food or canned tuna.

    She hasn't long to go. She didn't eat for 2 days or drink for 1 day. Yesterday she just laid down and wouldn't get up.

    I went to the Vet and she put her on prednisolone Corticosteroid and that has perked her up. She is her normal self again. The side effects of this drug are increased thirst and appetite. She actually ran into the front yard when I opened the door today. I have a huge front yard and a 30m lead so she is safe there. She sniffs around and goes crazy when she sees the neighbors cat :-)

    If possible we are hoping she can make it to Christmas so she can say goodbye to all the family. We will be giving her sausages and steak and fish and prawns and everything she likes. It will be her day.

    But at some point the steroids will not be effective and if that happens before Christmas then so be it.

    But anyhow from this point on she will be getting what she likes (Tuna, Human Mince - err I mean human grade mince, scrambled eggs, milk - full bloody cream thanks very much) :-)

    Yes she might last another week or two with food designed for dogs with cancer but she won't enjoy it as much.

    I'm not trying to argue against anyone who has a younger dog with cancer and who wants to give them the best possible chance to beat the disease - go for it. They deserve the chance.

    But for an old girl like Sasha I think we should just give them yummy, tasty food that they salivate over.

    Hopefully I can give an update saying the worlds best 16 year old Cocker Spaniel has had an awesome Christmas Day!!!!

    Take care,


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