Feeding After Surgery & During Chemo

Hi everyone! I’ve been thinking about doing this post for quite some time now, and hope this will help those of you who worry about getting your pet to eat after surgery and during chemo. One thing I want to say is – DON’T PANIC. It’s ok if they don’t eat very much sometimes, and it’s ok if their favorite thing in the world does not even appeal to them.

When we brought Ranger home after surgery, we were sent with a can of Royal Canin intestinal food (prescription only) and a jar of Beechnut turkey baby food. Ranger LOVED the Royal Canin (since he was on dry Science Diet, this probably seemed like living like a king!) I could get him to at least take his pills by putting them in a “meatball” of this stuff. The baby food was helpful because a couple of spoonfuls of that smell in his dish helped that nasty old dry stuff go down pretty smoothly. I also think the baby food was helpful in getting his bowels moving in the right direction, so keep that in mind, too.

During the course of chemo, I used Royal Canin and/or a canned Science Diet along with baby food or Fresh Pet when he was not eating as much as he should be. I also cooked some plain chicken and rice at one point which he happily lapped up. He didn’t like everything I tried, but his sister Libby was very happy to woof up whatever he didn’t like.

On his last night, he was not eating anything. I was concerned because we had been told a couple of days prior that we would only have 2 or 3 months more with him. I knew that a lack of eating would be my first signal of the end, so I was desperate. I think I tried everything that could possibly appeal to a dog, and at last I decided to scramble an egg for him. He ate that and part of another one, so I’m happy to have provided a “hot” meal that night. Looking back, I wish I would have thought of scrambled eggs earlier – might have saved me some stress.

I hope your journey lasts longer than ours, and if you have any questions or other helpful hints, please let me know. Our Libby (Ranger’s sister) is now battling her own cancer, but I gotta say I have a lot of hope because that girl will still eat anything that she thinks is even remotely edible. Except lettuce.

OK, fluff is not food, but oh so fun to pull out!
In the early days, the puppies would eat one bite our of their bowls and then switch. This is Ranger getting to his bowl after his sister moved in on his.
Daddy’s socks are not food, Ranger, but I know they were easy to carry around!
Ah, making sure the Science Diet bag is good and clean!
No Ranger, frogs are not food!

One thought on “Feeding After Surgery & During Chemo”

  1. Oh my dog! Ranger! You would put anything in your mouth wouldn’t you? This made me smile ear to ear, I’m so happy you shared these photos!

    And your advice about not eating: SPOT ON! Yes, try anything but don’t flip out if your animal won’t eat. We as humans equate food with love and it feels like rejection when they turn down food, but it’s really not. They just feel crappy and it’s one way they show it. Thank you for taking time to share your experience, we look forward to more nuggets of wisdom from your journey with Ranger. And we hope that sweet Libby continues to fight on and kick cancer’s butt. Please keep us posted on her OK?

    P.S. I fixed the layout on your blog, sorry it got funky. If you ever notice that it’s weird don’t hesitate to let us know.

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