Category Archives: Recovery and Treatment

Homemade Food – The Process

Jerry suggested doing a post on cooking, so here it is! It’s the recipe from the Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr. Dressler, hope you enjoy and it maybe shows you a thing or two that will help, and that it isn’t too hard to do!

The first time I made this, I did a single batch to make sure my dog liked it and that she tolerated it well. After both were confirmed I now make double batches and am contemplating doing triple or quadruple so I only have to do it once a month.

I will note that when I started my dog on the new food I did a 50/50 mixture of the new and her old food (dry kibble). She normally received 1 cup in the am & pm (she is roughly 78-80#’s), so I give her 1/2 cup of the old and 1/2 cup of the new with a little water and a sprinkle of digestive enzymes. I still do a 50/50 mixture and have had her on this plan for the last 2 months and she LOVES the food, and she seems to being doing better and better despite still going through her chemo treatments. She is also now on Apocaps – her weight designates 3 capsules, 3 times per day. I don’t give her that much – shame on me! ๐Ÿ™‚ Some days I do and some days I don’t, 60% of the time she gets one dose per day, 30% of the time she gets 2 doses, and 10% 3 times a day.

***IMHO: I think they are really helping her, if you’re worrying about not being able to give your pet the full recommended dose every day, (especially if it’s 3 pills 3x per day and the cost is worrying you as it was for me a bit) don’t be. I really think that any amount will be beneficial (just maybe not over what the dose is supposed to be). Again this is my opinion and I am not a vet so please take it with a grain of salt ๐Ÿ™‚

The BASE mixture calls for the following:

  • 2-1/2 to 3 pounds of lean meat; beef, chicken, fish, turkey, venison, duck, pork, goat or lamb.
  • 1-1/2 cups oatmeal, or 1-1/4 cups brown rice
  • 1/2-3/4 pounds of any combination: shiitake mushrooms, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, mung beans, red or yellow bell peppers.
  • 1/2 – 2/3 pounds beef, chicken or pork liver
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups cottage cheese
  • 8 skinless chicken or turkey necks, or calcium citrate tablets (Citracal Max use 12 tablets)
  • 16,000-18,000 mg of fatty acids in the form of krill or fish oil

I use ground turkey, broccoli, chicken livers, cottage cheese, brown rice, krill oil & fish oil (alternate between the two oils every month), and I use Citracal tablets instead of the turkey necks.

I start with cooking the rice, this takes the longest of any of the ingredients to cook (about 45 minutes to an hour). It will just simmer on the back of the stove without having to mess with it so I can start that and do everything else while it cooks.

With the risk of cooking at too high of a temperature and ADDING carcinogens, I simmer the ground turkey and the chicken livers in water.ย I also like this way it because I don’t have to babysit the pot, I know it won’t burn if leave it for 5-10 minutes at a time. I use a large pot, add some water and once that starts getting hot I add the ground turkey. I cook it on medium/low just to get it cooking nice and slow so I can leave it simmering while I prep the chicken livers and other ingredients. Just stir a bit every so often and add more water if you need to.

I trim off the excess fat and the stringy connective tissue from the chicken livers, chop it up into small bits and toss it in the pot with the ground turkey.

I use ziplock steamer bags to cook the broccoli, I just re-use the same bag as the amount of broccoli is too much to fit in at one time. The bags can be re-used quite a few times and are very handy. I empty them out onto a cutting board and let them cool off while I start on the Citracal tablets and fish/krill oilย  capsules.

Check on the turkey/livers and give it a stir! Add a bit of water if you need to

I add the cottage cheese to a large mixing bowl and set aside for now.

A coffee/spice grinder is your friend for the Citracal tablets! Or a nice mortar and pestle…. I toss them in a ziplock bag, cover with a dish towel and give each tablet an initial smack with a mallet ย to break them at least in half, then toss them into the grinder to finish them off into a rough powder consistency. I break them in half first, otherwise they’ll spend an hour in the spice grinder. I add the powder to the bowl with the cottage cheese and set aside to start on the fish/krill oil capsules.

I purchased capsules of the oil and should have bought it in straight liquid form. It can get tedious, and every time I am making this I find myself trying a different method to make it easier/faster. I STRONGLY suggest finding fish and krill oil in liquid form and not in capsules. Once I run through what I have I will buy the liquid. If you’re in the same boat as I am and have capsules right now here is how I’ve been doing it: I count out how many I need and use a needle to poke a hole in the end of the capsule and squeeze it out directly into the bowl with the cottage cheese and Citracal powder. Be careful of krill oil, it’s stinky and bright orange and will stain your favorite dish towel ๐Ÿ™ Mix together well and set aside.

By now the turkey and livers should be done. Strain out the water and accumulated fat and set aside to cool. I chop up the cooled broccoli and add that to the bowl with the cottage cheese, etc. and mix well. By this time the rice is usually done and I add that to bowl and mix. Once that is well mixed I start adding in the turkey in batches until all is combined.

You can keep the mixture in the fridge for about 4 days or so, so I usually keep enough out at a time to last me those 4 days and the rest goes in the freezer. You can keep it in a container all together or my favorite option is making portionedย  “hockey pucks” so I don’t have to measure every time I feed my dog. I use a metal measuring cup (1/2 cup for me so use whatever size your giving at every meal) and pack the mixture into it then turn it over and smack it down on a cookie sheet so the mixture pops out into a nice disc. Once the sheet is full I throw it in the freezer for about an hour or two (sometimes overnight) and then portion out a few days worth of “pucks” into gallon ziplock bags. I put one in the fridge and the rest of the bags in the freezer and when I have only a days worth left I pull a new bag out of the freezer so they have a day to start thawing out a bit in the fridge.

At meal time I put her portion of her old food and new into her dish, add a little bit of water, add the digestive enzymes and mix it all together.

Well I hope this helps someone, I know I actually do enjoy making it for my dog and it makes me feel better about what she is eating and I really do believe it has improved her health tremendously!

Good Luck!

Getting closer….

It’s been a while since my last update, been busy hanging out with Doxie! ๐Ÿ™‚

She had her 3rd round of chemo on 5/12, 4th on 6/2 and we are awaiting her 5th round on the 23rd of June and the last round on July 14th! Every time she goes through chemo she seems to bounce back faster and faster. I also purchased the Dog Cancer Survival Guide and read through that and started her on apocaps and the homemade dog food. I have been doing a 50/50 mix with her old food and she LOVES it. I honestly feel that either the food or the apocaps or both are a factor in her bouncing back from the chemo better and she seems to just have more and more energy as the days go by. One happy mom right here! I thought making the food would be a pain but I just do a double batch and freeze it. I use a baking sheet and a measuring cup and make little “cakes” and freeze them and then put them in a ziplock bag. Works great to just keep a few in the fridge and have a perfect portion all ready to go.

It’s funny, but as we get closer to being done with the chemo, I find I am getting a little scared. I thought I would be happy but it’s making me realize time is going by and once the chemo stops, then it’s all up in the air again and nothing aggressively keeping the cancer at bay. It’s like the chemo has been a safety net in a sense, so weird to say and think that but really it can be. So I guess I’m just scared for the next chapter and need to keep focusing on having time with my baby and enjoy seeing how happy, healthy, and pain free she is right now – cause that’s what it’s all about ๐Ÿ™‚

<3 Amy & Doxie

Here is a video of her playing fetch:

IMG_8666

Sores on Paw Pads….

Since she’s hopping around more and more I just noticed she seems to be developing sores on the pads of her feet on remaining rear leg. When I noticed them 2 days ago I rinsed her feet off with water and put some neosporin on the sores and coconut oil on the other areas and other feet pads.

We still have snow up here right now and a lot of puddles with icemelt so I’m sure that was drying out her pads really quickly and they already look better today, before they were pink and red ๐Ÿ™

Anyone else run into this happening on a regular basis and any advice on how to prevent it? I’m not looking forward to trying booties, I don’t think she will take well to them. I have heard people using balloons to cover the feet (and mostly give traction on slippery floors) so I might give that a shot before investing in some booties and see if she will tolerate that at all first.

Here is what they look like today, healing somewhat well:

Sores on her rear paw

More Blood Work

Had more blood work done today, and WBC & platelets are up to normal levels so we are on for the 2nd chemo treatment for Monday the 24th! Doxie had been doing great and running around like crazy, we can’t wait for all the snow to finally be gone from the yard so we can really see what she can do!

Only issue is she has a few spots on her foot pads on her remaining rear leg that look like abrasions of some kind. I started rinsing off her feet (lot of icemelt in the puddles everywhere up here so they can really get dried out) and rubbing a little coconut oil on the other pads and a little neosporin on the pads with the sores. Hoping we won’t have to go to booties of some kind because that will be a whole other adventure in itself!

On the way to get blood work done! 4/18/17

Blood work

Doxie had her first blood work today 1 week post her first chemo treatment. Her white blood cell counts are lower than what they were the morning she started chemo, and so are her platelets but that was to be expected. She will have her blood work done every week while on chemo to monitor everything so we can adjust (if necessary) when her next chemo session will be but we are still on track for a treatment every 3 weeks, 6 treatments total. 5 more to go! She’s in great spirits and we are enjoying happy pain free time together ๐Ÿ™‚

Amy & Doxie <3

Making sure the naps get done at work 4/7/2017