Cancer is a wasting disease. Weight loss and lack of appetite commonly accompany cancer. Chemotherapy doesn’t help, because as it destroys cancer cells, it also destroys healthy cells, and as cells in the mouth and digestive tract die, it changes a person’s sense of taste and desire to eat. Martini has had a tough time gaining and maintaining her weight through all this. Her issues are even more complicated by her food allergy, because we can’t just offer her any food, and we can’t offer her table scraps.
Before her cancer diagnosis, Martini had been eating a low allergen prescription food since her protein allergy was diagnosed in fall 2009. She happily ate Hill’s Prescription Diet Z/D Ultra Low-Allergen food and aggressively bullied her brothers away from first dibs at the food bowl. Cancer changed all that. She just wasn’t that hungry. We started giving her the Z/D canned food, and it seemed all was right again. She couldn’t get enough! In fact, when we first started feeding it, she ate too much and made herself sick. Yuck.
But the appetite was short-lived. Even with the daily prednisone to stimulate her appetite and the daily anti-nausea medicine, she lost interest in the canned Z/D. So back to the vet we went to find something else that she could eat… that she might eat. The vet sent me home with a sample to try. She loved it! It was like turkey on Thanksgiving! The first couple of days, whenever her bowl was empty, she begged for more. She wanted nothing to do with that old, crappy food. But again, she ate too much and made herself sick.
So now, she is being closely rationed on her new Royal Canin Hypoallergenic Hydrolyzed Protein (HP). Doesn’t that sound yummy – hydrolyzed protein!? I don’t even know what that is, but at least Tini seems to think it’s amazing! She can have unlimited Z/D food, but you would think when looking at her turned up nose that I was offering her Spam. On second thought, she would probably love Spam. It would be like offering her Brussels sprouts. Well, if hydrolyzed protein gets her to eat, that’s fine by me. Let’s hope she likes this one for awhile.