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J Small Anim Pract. 2016 Sep;57(9):484-90. doi: 10.1111/jsap.12526. Epub 2016 Jun 30.

Owners' attitudes and practices regarding nutrition of dogs diagnosed with cancer presenting at a referral oncology service in Ontario, Canada.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G4V2, Canada.
2
Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer, Ontario Veterinary College, Health Sciences Centre, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G4V2, Canada.
3
Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G4V2, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate owner attitudes and dietary practices following cancer diagnosis in a dog.

METHODS:

A retrospective cross-sectional survey of 75 dog owners presenting with their dogs to a tertiary referral oncology service through a demographic questionnaire and in-person or telephone interviews regarding the dog's nutrition.

RESULTS:

Conventional diets (71%) were most commonly fed as a single diet to canine cancer patients followed by homemade cooked (7%) and homemade raw (4%). Several owners (18%) provided combinations of these diets. Owners reported some distrust towards conventional diets (51%). Appetite loss occurred in 35% of dogs and diet changes reported for 25% of dogs in the study involved exclusion of a conventional (63%) and/or inclusion of a homemade (54%) component. 90% of owners noted the diet change was associated with the cancer diagnosis. Supplements were given by 39% of owners. 85% of owners highly valued veterinary nutritional advice.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Following a cancer diagnosis, dog owners appear to change their approach to managing their dog's nutrition. Given the value owners place on veterinary nutritional advice, veterinarians have a key role in guiding nutritional management of the canine cancer patient.

PMID:
27357412
DOI:
10.1111/jsap.12526
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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