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Cancer Diet

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My dear Maxwell has been diagnosed with squamus-cell cancer under his tongue. I've been having a hard time getting him to eat very much since his biopsy which I'm sure was very painful. All he really is interested in is lamb baby food. Sometimes I can sneak other things in, sometimes not. It's really important to build him up now because as this horrible disease progresses it will make him unable to eat, at which point it will be time to say goodbye, if not before. I need to know about some things to tempt him to eat and that will be easy for him to eat. He's fussy though-always has been.Hopefully the prednisone he's on will make him a bit hungrier and ease his mouth pain.

Also at this point he hasn't had a bowel movement for a week. I know that the sedatives can do that but this is worrisome. I gave him some lactulose but no results so far. I'm going to start adding metamucil to his lamb but I don't know if he will take it.
He did accept some of my leftover chicken from dinner.

Any help would be much appreciated by Max and me. I would like him to enjoy his food as long as possible.
Thank you all for being here and helping out. This is such uncharted territory for me. Thanks also to the list owner-I'm grateful to this list for being here!!

Ann D.
post #2 of 17
Sorry to hear about Max Is there a way maybe to mix some water or canned food into his food so it is nice & soft for him?
post #3 of 17
I will be sending good thoughts your way! It warms my heart to read and know how very much you love Maxwell.
You can try the kitten glop recipe at the top of the health forum. It is used alot with young kittens who need some extra nutrition. You can also ask your vet about a homemade diet. Sometimes with the fresh meat it is more pleasing to them. You would want to make sure you are getting all the essential vitamins and suppliments in there as well.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Tigger and Sandie-
Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I stumbled on this site looking for nutrition info for Max and already I feel like I've found friends!
I do mix water, about half and half, into the baby food. It's just that I don't think it's enough calories for him. I've given up on the cat food;I really think that there is something in it that stings his mouth,which is ulcerated.
So tonight I've experimented with cooked chicken and cooked egg, well blended and thinned w/ water. I like the idea of the glop, but he's got trouble with anything slimy. I think I'll try a mixture of some of these ingredients. I'd forgotten how much he loves blueberry yogurt, which he&I often share.

So I've already gotten some ideas and encouragement-thank you so very much. I think when I'm upset, I stop thinking.
post #5 of 17
Did the vet say the can treat his cancer?
As for vitamins & nutrients, I think they have liquid vitamins for cats/kittens... Maybe you could squirt some into his food?
How is Max so far?
post #6 of 17
is nuke his food just a few seconds in the microwave so that it warm not hot, that will sometimes tempt them to eat when they really don't want to. Have you tried adding a bit of cod liver oil to his food? Just a drop or two to start, usually they dive into the fishy flavor, but to much will make them withdraw. Good luck
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
No, it's pretty much untreatable. It's right on that area where the tongue connects to the bottom of the mouth. There's some lesions and necrotic tissue there now.It must be pretty uncomfortable. I first noticed it because he was really drooling, and then he started pawing at his cheek. i had assumed it was probably an absessed tooth or an ulcer on his cheek. I had no idea it would be the nightmare of cancer. I'm still in shock over it. The only thing to be done is to give him Prednisone for the inflamation and to keep him eating as long as possible. It will eventually grow to the point where he won't be able to eat or use his tongue.As it is now, he can't keep his tongue all the way inside his mouth and he constantly drools-he's got one of those elegant ruffs and it's always soaked.
But cats don't really complain, do they? At least not about being sick.He still sleeps with me and still comes running when I rattle his catnip container and likes to look out at the traffic.So I am comforted.
Ann D.
post #8 of 17
I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. How old is he?

You can get Hill's Science Diet, Prescription Diet A/D from your vet. This food has the consistency of baby food, and if need be, can be fed with a syringe.
post #9 of 17
I don't really have any advice to add, but I just wanted to agree with Sandie and say that it is very heartwarming that you love Max so very much. If all people were as caring as you, the world would be a better place You mentioned that you came searching for info, but found friends. That is so very true. This forum is full of comapssionate people who will be there for you in a second for advice or just moral support. You and Max are in my thoughts
post #10 of 17
Have you visited this site yet? They actually have a pet nutritionist you can email with questions and she will get back with you and give you ideas, or diets or recipes you can use to comfort and ease your pet.

Purely Pets
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi all-
Thanks so much for all the encouragement. Max goes back to the vet for his bowels so I'll ask about the food.
Hissy-Thanks so much for the hint about the codliver oil. He's never much liked fish but i'll try anything at this point. Where do you buy it? I'll visit the recommended site later today.
Mellisa-Thanks for the kind words but kitties are so often easier to love than people. Not to be too weird but there are times when I'd rather have my husband put down. Not really but max is so uncritical and so forgiving that it's easier to love him sometimes. I'll post a shot of my guy later today when time permits.
love to all,
Ann D.

P.S. Max is only 10-which make it so hard.
post #12 of 17
Go to a really good health food store. Just drip a few drops on his food at first- some cats can't get enough of it, and some cats hate it, so I hope Max is the one who loves the taste!
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for your super advice. We went to the vets yesterday. He gave me some of that Science Diet a/d. He also gave Max a shot of valium-said it sometimes sparkd their appetites. The reason for no bowel movement was that there wasn't anything in him.(there-didn't you want all the details?) So he really dove in to the food at first and then turned his nose up at it. But I got some little squeze bottles from the craft store and fill them with the food and some water or broth, and dribble it onto his tongue. Then he really goes for it and will finish it up. These bottles are great. Much easier than a syringe and you can store the lftovers in them. You can even nuke them at low power.
You have all been such a comfort. I think that I'm over the initial shock and even though it still hurts I'm finding some comfort in doing something to make Max more comfortable and even a little happier. I even got him a couple of birdfeeders for christmas because he still likes to lie on the warm radiator covers and look out. Someone said that he could not have had a better life and that comforts me too. There is a picture of Max on the crossing the bridge forum under My dear guy is very sick with cancer.
God bless you all.
post #14 of 17
Someone said that he could not have had a better life and that comforts me too.
I've been reading your thread and it's so obvious that you love Max very much, and that you are doing everything you possibly can for him. I have been in your situation, but the cat had a different type of problem. Max does realize that you are trying to help him, and the excellent quality of life he has had with you is what matters the most to him. I saw Max's picture in the other forum too, and he is sooo sweet looking!
post #15 of 17
There is a book you may be interested in, The Older Cat Recognizing Decline and Extending Life, by Dan Poynter. It can be order online from http://www.orders@ParaPublishing.com

The man who wrote the book is not a vet, he is someone who knows what it is like to lose a pet. The book gives good information and is a good supplement to other sources. In the Appendix section he gives the URLs of a large number of helpful websites. I will give you one of these links now http://www.petloss.com/ this site is also for people who have ill pets and it includes a special needs list.

Here are just a few of the topics covered in the book:
Signs of Decline
Medical Disorders
Making an Educated Decision
Memorialize your cat
The Last Days
Cancer... and many more
He also uses many true life examples.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much. Can the book be obtained from bookstores or petstores?
I'm afraid I love Max a little too much but I can't keep from loving my kitties! That's just me.
Ann D.
post #17 of 17
The book can also be obtained through Amazon.com. I don't really know of any stores that sell it. You could check with Barnes and Noble, if they have a store in your area.
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