Food Suggestions for Dog with Stomach Mass…

(Facebook Question) Hi Kelly!   My friends have a 13 yr old Lab. They found he has a mass on his stomach. The poor guy can’t keep any whole food in his belly with out it coming back up. He has been to the vet and they said they can do surgery but my friends don’t want to put him through that. He is starting to lose weight because he can’t hold the food in. Do you have any suggestions for getting him nutrition?  He drinks plenty of water.    -Mario-

Hey Mario… I’m going to assume that your friend’s dog has been getting dry kibble (“whole food”).  Not sure what his overall condition is, but as you mentioned he is losing weight because he can’t keep any food down, therefore he isn’t getting any nutrition.  And, not sure what type or how fast growing the mass is, but let’s just focus on nutrition for the dog.

I would not be giving the dog any dry kibble at this point.  Dry kibble is the least digestible type of food, particularly for an older dog or one who has a mass in his stomach.  Also, it would be a really good idea to provide many smaller meals throughout the day instead of one or two larger meals.  Depending on the location of the mass, it may be impacting the intestines too.

  • I would suggest giving the dog some naturally preserved and meat based canned food.  Grain free varieties are even better.  The Natures Variety Instinct Cans (Chicken flavor) would be my first choice and they are also a balanced diet.  Depending on the size of the dog it can get a little expensive, so you can add things to the canned food like canned puree pumpkin, additional cooked meat,  cooked green beans, eggs, and cheese.
  • Other food choices that are grain free, include more meat and are moisture based, are the Honest Kitchen lines or the Grandma Lucy’s foods… You just have to add water to them and they are complete meals.  These alternatives are similar to a canned food and are more digestible.  Additionally I would suggest adding canned puree pumpkin to avoid any stomach upsets due to diet changes.
  • Include Answers Raw Goats Milk as it is very palatable, extremely nutritious and highly digestible.  According to the Journal of American Medicine, “Goats milk is the most complete food known.”   It contains vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, trace elements, enzymes, protein, and fatty acids all utilized by the body with ease.  In fact the body can digest goat’s milk in 20 minutes.  Having fat molecules one-fifth the size of those in cow’s milk makes it easily digestible and tolerable to those with compromised digestive systems.   Here’s a link for more information:
  • Definitely add an Enzyme/Probiotic supplement like Prozyme or Animal Essentials to the dog’s food as they will help to digest, metabolize and assimilate all the nutrients for this senior and immuno compromised dog.  And he can surely use all the help he can get.

Further…if your dog becomes finicky, you can also try:

  • Meat based Baby Foods (I’ve used baby food for my cats through several illnesses), Plain Yogurt, and Kefir.

NOTE:  One last thing you may want to do is give the dog some clear Pedialyte occasionally to prevent dehydration.  If the dog starts to decline and begins vomiting and isn’t drinking as much water, Pedialyte can be given.  I’ve used Pedialyte for several cats and my dog in times of illness or crisis.  Pedialyte is therapeutic hydration for child dehydration by replenishing vital minerals and nutrients lost during diarrhea and vomiting.

Not sure if your friend is looking to treat the mass holistically, but I recently posted on Canine Cancer if he is interested in incorporating some additional supplements, herbs or homeopathic remedies to try to fight the tumor… It’s always worth trying.  Check out this post:  Above all, don’t give up hope and Just do your best.  Hugs & Slobbers from Gus & Me!

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3 Responses to Food Suggestions for Dog with Stomach Mass…

  1. avatar dj says:

    I want to thank you for the suggested foods. I bought baby food, goat milk the Nature’s Variety can food and pedialyte for my dog after reading this post and they worked. He stopped throwing up and was able to keep food down. I suspect that my dog may have cancer and rather than spend money on tests, exams, etc i want to make whatever time he has left comfortable before taking matters into my own hands.

    As of today, he is not eating or drinking and I am not sure what to do.

    Thank you so much.


  2. avatar Brookelyn Christopher says:

    Hi Kelly, I am “the friend” Mario was referring to. First of, I want to thank you for all ofyour helpful information and suggestions. Your information really helped me to understand cancer in my dog.
    I want to let you know where we are and perhaps you will have more suggestions for me. Kozmo (our 13 year old yellow lab) is doing quite well actually. He definelty has his tough moments (random diarrhea, random throwing up ad random refusal to eat) BUT if my intuitions are right I think things are getting better because the few days his appetite hs increased and he is eating more things than before.
    So this is what I have been doing. After a trip to Animal Kingdom, I give him Co-enzyme Q-10, Holistic Animal Care Mega Vitamin, and Plant enzymes & Priobiotics. I give these to him after he eats in the morning. It has been one week tomorrow that he has been on all of these. Last week when he wouldnt eat barely anything I was giving him raw goats milk through a syringe and then a few days after that I was also giving him plain yogurt like that as well to get something in his stomach. His vomitting has really improved except when he gets something he shouldnt from the kids (like bread), something that doesnt break down and cant pass through his stomach. The last few days he has more tolerable to more food BUT will not eat any kind of dog food at all. We have tried it all including the kinds you suggested. For a few days he wouldnt eat anything but a veggie burger (thank god for those). He is drinking plenty of water. The last few days he will now eat deli turkey meat (organic), mashed potatoes, veggie hot dogs, real chicken nuggets, veggie burgers, and eggs. This is such an improvement. My Vet advised me weeks ago that the most important thing right now is getting him to keep food down but your food breakdown helped me tremendously. Everything is cut up super small, but he will no longer eat pureed food either. I sneak his plant enzymes and pros in this way through those foods. He doesnt seem to be putting on much weight yet but if his appetite stays like this I am optimistic that he will begin to put on some weight. He did wake up this morning and had an accident in the house (very loose diarrhea that smelled terrible). I am curious as to why this happened. I have been careful with carbs because of digestion and because of the sugar breakdowns but at this point I am running out of things to feed him. I have a list of things he wont eat or things that come back up too.
    Can you think of something else I should be or not doing? Also, is regular goats milk safe for him? I ran out o the raw from animal kingdom and picked up regular at wegmans not realizing that they are different. Should I just be giving him the raw? Should I still be giving him plain yogurt even if he is eating and keeping it down?
    I hope I have not left anything important.
    Thank you so much Kelly!!!

    • avatar KellyB says:

      Hey Brookelyn… It sounds like you are doing all of the right things for your dog’s nutrition in light of his situation. I would continue to do all of the supplements which will support the digestion of his food and his immune system in general. The yogurt is fine as long as he is keeping it down. As far as the difference in Goats Milk vs. Ras Goats Milk…I did forward the link (via Facebook) to Answers Raw Goats Milk as the raw form is NOT pasteurized and actually better for your dog. Interestingly, I had two sick kitties this past weekend that I was syringing the RGM so they would get nutrition and not dehydrate as they were vomiting blood tinged bile…not good! THe RGM worked wonders and if that’s all your dog would eat, it could help sustain him though you’d need to feed a fairly large amount. I was syringing 3 Tablespoons for 10 lb kitties… My dog, Gus, became very disinterested in raw diet or “mushy” type foods about seven months ago, so I started making him a cooked meatloaf with the Honest Kitchen premix…he LOVES it. Check out my post for more information: Good luck and keep us posted.

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