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A canned dietetic dogfood for cancerous dogs has recently been lauched on the pefood market (Hill’s Prescription Diet: Canine n/d).

Such a food mainly aims at making up for the negative effects of aggressive treatments that are used in cancerous diseases. Surgery, radiotherapy, chemiotherapy may cause well-known digestive side-effects: loss of appetite, vomiting, impaired intestinal absorption…

Here, dietetics role is to propose a very palatable food, highly energetic, that helps the dog to fight against the fatal disease.

Caracteristics of Canine n/d formulation % on energy Recommandations * Canine n/d Energy Size Canistar S2 Proteins 25 – 40 28,4 27 27,1 Fats 35 - 50 55,1 45 à 56 40,7 Carbohydrates < 10 - 30 16,4 17 à 28 25,3

High fat content
Goals :

  • to make up for energy loss that the organism has to suffer because of the tumor growth,
  • to avoid weight loss that often goes with cancerous diseases. Moreover, tumorous cells would not use properly fats as a source of energy.

Observation: Canistar S2 and Energy Size analysis correspond to the analytic range recommanded by Hill’s. Medium Energy5 fat content is even higher compared to Hill’s n/d.

High protein content
Goal : to fight against the muscular loss and the protein deficiency that develop during the evolution of the disease, inducing problematic healing, lack of immunitary defenses and impaired digestive function.
Observation: Canistar S2 and Energy Size have about the same protido-caloric ratio compared to Hill’s n/d.

Low carbohydrate content
Goal : to deprive the tumorous cells of their main source of energy, carbohydrates. By preferring fats to carbohydrates, the lactid acid production is limited, and the prediabetic state that tends to develop in cancerous diseases is prevented.

Observation: Canistar S2 and Energy Size analysis correspond to the analytic range recommanded by Hill’s. Starch contenta ofMedium energy is very close to Hill’s n/d.

Arginine supplementation
Goal : to strengthen the immunitary system, always weakened by the anticacerous treatments that are used.

% on dry matter Recommandation* Canine n/d Energy Size Canistar S2 Arginine > 2 3,1 2,0 à 2,2 1,97

Energy Size and Canistar S2 contain much more arginine that what is required for adult dogs. Actually, AAFCO recommends only 0,51 % arginine on dry matter.

Omega 3 fatty acids supplementation
Some rather old studies (from the 70s - 80s), would show that omega 3 fatty acids slow down the development of cancer. They would also have a positive influence upon skin reactions in case of radiotherapy.

% on dry matter Recommandation * Canine n/d Size Energy Canistar S2 Omega 3 fatty acids > 5 7,3 0,7 à 0,8 0,64

If we want to reach such a high level of omega 3 fatty acids using Energy Size or Canistar S2, a dietary supplementation of fish oils is necessary. This solution is way cheaper compared to using dietetic canned food during all the rest of the dog’s life expectancy.

We can wonder however, whether such a high level of omega 3 fatty acids is not risky. Usually, it is advised to keep the ratio between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids between 4/1 and 10 /1.Omega 3 in excess could cause coagulation troubles and disturb the immunitary mechanisms.

In addition, fish oils are very sensitive to oxidation. And once oxidized, fatty acids become potential carcinogenic agents!


Canine n/d is told to improve the quality of life of dogs during the time they have left, and to improve their life expectation. However, we can wonder whether this last assertion is really valuable, as the data presented show that the average remission got (in comparison to the control group), is lower than 4 months… Is the game worth the candle?

For such an indication, Canistar S2 or Energy Size can be usefully advised, and let’s point out that those products are really much cheaper than the solution recommended by Hill’s.

Donated by the Borg Cardona and Co. Ltd. visit Borg Cardona website

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