Preventative Care

Dietary Advice for Dogs undergoing Palliative Care and Chemotherapy.

Older Dog

Are there any good home-made diets for cancer patients?

I have used a variety of home-prepared and commercial diets for my cancer patients. Based on Ogilvie’s work using low carbohydrate, moderate fat and moderate protein diets for lymphoma patients, we have used homemade diets that reduce carbohydrates while providing quality protein, presumably appropriate fat and fatty acid profiles, and high levels of nutrient rich vegetables.

Photo by Michael on Unsplash

Rule number one is to KEEP THEM EATING, so we don’t stand on principle if our patients dislike our cooking. On the other hand, the majority of canine and feline patients appear to improve in general condition after becoming acclimated to the diet below, and we assume that their general improvement bodes well for the course of their disease, at least to optimize survival times.

Guidelines for cooking for canine cancer patients:

 50% fish or poultry (organic preferred but not necessary)

 50% mixed frozen or fresh vegetables

 Flax or olive oil as a source of fat calories – about 1 teaspoon per 10kg of body weight

A HUMAN daily vitamin-mineral supplement (one dose for animals over 10kg, ½ dose for animals under10 kg)  Alternatively consider Vetlicious

A calcium carbonate source – about 250 mg per 7.5kg of body weight ( many simple acid reflux treatments are plain Calcium Carbonate)

Many people use a crock-pot to stew all ingredients together. Some prefer to steam the vegetables, add the cooked meat, and throw everything into a food mill so that it looks like commercial canned food. Raw meat is never recommended for animals undergoing chemotherapy or who are immune suppressed in any wayThis recipe is NOT balanced – the patient and the recipe should be re-evaluated frequently in order to adjust the recipe according to the animal’s weight, disease progression, and other changes in condition.

Fish oil

Fish Oil (salmon or menhaden body oil) appears to have antiproliferative activity in some tumor cell lines, antimetastatic activity in laboratory animals, and anti-cachectic activity in human patients.11,12 The benefits for patients with cancer are linked with the ability to attenuate systemic inflammation.13 It is frequently recommended for canine and feline cancer patients at a rate of 1 extra strength capsule (500-600 mg of DHA and EPA) per 5-10kg of body weight.  Preliminary findings suggest fish oil supplementation increases chemotherapy efficacy, improves survival, and helps to maintain weight and muscle mass in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).7,8 An EPA-enriched oral supplement improved tolerability of chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer and when combined with chemotherapy, fish oil supplementation may delay tumor progression in patients with colorectal cancer.9 Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to have anticoagulant effects, however, results from clinical studies are mixed.

Kalinga Park has a Omega supplement available.


Turmeric has been shown to be anti- angiogenic, induces apoptosis and is anti-inflammatory. The dose
for dogs is one teaspoon per 25kg daily. The dose for cats when they will accept it is 1⁄4 teaspoon twice
daily. It is has been shown to be of more benefit when combined with black pepper and oil (golden
paste). (Credit Steve Denley – Balanced Veterinary Care)

1 cup water, ½ cup organic turmeric powder, ¼ cup coconut oil or bone broth, ½ tablespoon organic ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon. Simmer turmeric and water over low heat, stirring for 7 to 8 minutes until it forms a paste. Remove from heat and add oil or bone broth, pepper, and cinnamon. Feed 1 teaspoon/20 lb twice daily.

Green Tea

The green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been shown to have anti-angiogenic and antiproliferative properties in addition to preventing cancers. One recent in vitro study even suggested that EGCG reversed p-glycoprotein mediated multiple drug resistance.16 In human clinical trials, 200mg daily of EGCG led to benefits, while up to 800mg daily was tolerated. I would suggest scaling the dose down by weight, and using the extract instead of dried green tea leaves, as the dose of the dried herb may affect patient appetite if provided in food.  So aim for the low end using a powder.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a plant originally native to Southern Europe to Asia, but now found throughout the world. Silymarin, which is derived from the seed, pod, or fruit of the milk thistle plant, is primarily used to manage liver disease, but additional studies suggest antioxidant and anticancer effects. Found in veterinary products such as Denamarin and Denosyl (Nutramax Laboratorites), this synthetic formulation has been shown to delay to onset of chemotherapy-induced hepatotoxicity in patients receiving lomustine chemotherapy.3

Silibinin, one of the flavonoids, demonstrated antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting release of hydrogen peroxide and production of tumor necrosis factor alpha.4 Other studies indicate the flavonoids in milk thistle exert anticancer effects by arresting G1 and S phases of the cell cycle.5 Generally well tolerated and considered safe in combination with most medications, there are limited concerns for combination with chemo-radiation therapy.  We have a product called Denosyl that would help here.



The flowers, leaves and stems of the Cannabis sativa plant have been used in herbal remedies for centuries as well as in more modern culture recreationally and therapeutically. Scientists have identified many biologically active components in cannabis, with the two best-studied components being delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (often referred to as THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). Other cannabinoids are being studied for their medicinal and therapeutic effects.

At this time, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) lists cannabis and its cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances. This means that they cannot legally be prescribed, possessed, or sold under federal law. The use of cannabis to treat some medical conditions is legal under state laws in many states for licensed physicians, however, veterinarians are not included in these regulations. Dronabinol, a pharmaceutical form of THC, and a man-made cannabinoid drugs are approved by the FDA to treat cancer treatment-related conditions.

Studies conducted in the 1970s found that dogs have the highest number of THC receptors in their brains, more than any other animal studied, including humans. For this reason, dogs are very sensitive to cannabis products that contain THC, and pet guardians need to be very careful about giving THC to their dogs, so as to not create this adverse neurologic reaction. Very low THC cannabis, also known as “hemp” does not contain enough THC to create these adverse reactions. They are a better bet for pets, due to their increased safety. Some experts believe that THC is important to give along with CBD to address certain difficult to treat conditions such as cancer. With further research we will learn more about whether this is true. Hemp-based CBD extracts have been anecdotally reported to help dogs with epilepsy. For treating cancer, it is still unknown whether CBDs can work effectively as a single therapy without THC or other anti-cancer drugs. At this time, there are no published reports utilizing cannabis for pets with cancer.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol D3) has been examined for its benefits as a preventive agent and as a treatment for many types of cancer. In animal models, dietary vitamin D3 demonstrates chemopreventive effects against breast cancer equivalent to those elicited by calcitriol without causing hypercalcemia.19 The anticancer effect of vitamin D is thought to be due to induction of cell differentiation and antiproliferation. A positive feedback signaling loop between the serine-protein kinase ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated) and the VDR was identified as critical for cancer chemoprevention by vitamin D.

In a 2016 veterinary study, low serum vitamin D3 levels were shown to be associated with an increased risk of developing cancer in canine patients.20 The optimal serum vitamin D3 level was determined to be 100–120 ng/mL based on iPTH and c-CRP variations plateauing at this level. In the author’s practice, serum vitamin D3 levels are routinely monitored and supplementation with oral vitamin D3 initiated with a target range of 100–120 ng/mL, although higher serum concentrations have been maintained in individual patients with no accompanying hypercalcemia to date. A current clinical trial is underway investigating oral Vitamin D supplementation as part of a muti-herb treatment regimen for dogs with hemangiosarcoma.


Melatonin can kill directly many different types of human tumour cells. It is a naturally produced cytotoxin, which can induce tumour cell death.  Reports of therapeutic doses have been variable.  Pets recently diagnosed with slow-growing or early-stage cancer may wish to consider supplementing  with 2mg melatonin nightly. Late stage patients may benefit with higher doses. Dose for large dogs is 10mg twice daily but could go up to 1mg/kg twice daily. High dose melatonin is contraindicated in diabetes patients. Studies have been
quite promising for mammary cancer. Credit Steve Denley – Balanced Vet Care

I recommend NOW brand melatonin from (

Canine Energy Requirements

WT (kg) RER (kcal) MER(kcal)
2.27 129 207
4.54 218 348
6.80 295 472
9.07 366 585
11.34 433 692
13.61 496 794
18.14 615 985
22.68 727 1,164
27.22 834 1,335
31.75 936 1,498
36.29 1,035 1,656
40.82 1,131 1,809
45.36 1,223 1,958
49.90 1,314 2,103
54.43 1,403 2,244
58.97 1,490 2,383
63.50 1,575 2,520
68.04 1,658 2,653
72.58 1,741 2,785
77.11 1,822 2,914
81.65 1,901 3,042

Protein kcalorie Contents (Source FDA)

Protein Source kcal / 100gm
Salmon 127
Chicken Raw 111
Fish Flake(Shark) 130
Fish Mullet 117
Fish Cod 82

Tick Paralysis is here now!!

Spring is here and with it comes an unwanted pest for dogs and cats – the [wiki title=”Ixodes_holocyclus”]Paralysis Tick.[/wiki]
A tick attached

New ticks hatch at this time of the year and are particularly toxic to dogs and cats. Many native animals have developed a resistance to the ticks poison, including their natural host the bandicoot, but unfortunately, most dogs and cats are badly affected if a tick attaches to them.  The paralysis tick injects a poison into the system which progressively paralyses the host animal. Early signs of tick paralysis include vomiting, a change of bark and faster breathing. This quickly progresses to hind and forelimb paralysis and finally death.

Traditionally we have very few ticks in the Kalinga / Wooloowin and Wavell Heights areas but this year seems to be a bit different. There seem to be a lot more ticks around. It is early spring we are finding ticks on dogs on a regular basis and have had several cases of paralysis. Perhaps all the rain we had last summer has created more favourable conditions. Similarly, you don’t have to travel too far from this area for ticks to be seen – notably the Sunshine Coast, a popular weekend and holiday destination.  Every spring and summer we have animals in the hospital with tick paralysis – the result of dogs picking up ticks further afield and bringing them home.

If you are taking your dog into tick areas we recommend the following precautions:

Best Practice for tick prevention

Daily Searching – Ticks are usually found from the shoulders forward in areas including the head, neck, face and forelimbs.

If found:-

  • Remove the tick using a firm pull. Grip the tick at the base of the head using tweezers or tick remover.
  • You can treat the tick with an insecticide (use a flea or tick rinse labelled for your pet) prior to removal if you’re unsure.
  • Do not delay in removal – proceed to the vet to have the tick removed if you cannot do it yourself.
  • Clean the site well using fresh water and possibly some correctly labelled disinfectant.

Bravecto – is the newest preventative control available.  It comes in the form of an oral chew.  Bravecto will last 3mths against Paralysis tick.

Coming Soon!!! Bravecto Spot On – this form of control will last up to 6mths – please contact us to find out more…

Alternative Preventatives

Advantix Spot On for dogs – Advantix needs to be applied fortnightly to prevent ticks

Frontline Top Spot and Spray – will also kill ticks for up to 2 weeks.  Should be applied at least 2 days before entering an infested area.  This is a popular and easy treatment.

Tick Collars – (similar to flea collars, but with a different active ingredient) are increasing in popularity and will kill ticks for up to a 3 month.  Certain tick collars have different requirements and must be used correctly to work.  Please contact us on 3357 1588 to discuss which collars would be most effective and how they need to be used.

Bathing – using an insecticidal rinse that kills ticks is a popular additional treatment.

Health Checks and Age

dogs-thunderPets, on average, age five to eight times faster than humans. By age two, most pets have already reached adulthood. At age four,  many are entering middle age, and beginning around age seven, your pet enters his or her senior years.

Because pets age so rapidly, major health changes can occur in a short amount of time. The risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and other serious conditions all increase with age.

Annual health checks can help us diagnose, treat or even prevent problems before they become life-threatening. They’re also a great opportunity to ask us about nutrition, behaviour or any other issues.

Identify your pets real age using the charts below then call us today to book a health check for your pet.

How old is your pet in people years?




All Weights

1 7
2 13
3 20
4 26
5 33
6 40
7 44
8 56
9 60
10 64
11 68
12 72
13 76
14 80
15 84
16 84
17 84
18 84
19 84
20 84





1 7 7 8
2 14 14 16
3 20 21 24
4 26 28 31
5 33 35 38
6 40 42 45
7 44 47 50
8 48 51 55
9 52 56 61
10 56 60 66
11 60 65 72
12 64 69 77
13 68 74 82
14 72 78 88
15 76 83 93
16 80 87 99
17 84 92 104
18 88 96 109
19 92 101 115
20 96 108 120

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm disease is a [wiki base=”EN”]mosquito[/wiki]-transmitted disease that affects thousands of dogs each year. Heartworm disease in dogs is quite common in most Australian states but the further north you travel the more prevalent the disease becomes. It is usual for dogs not on preventative treatments to become infected by heartworm during their lifespan.

After injection by a mosquito, adult worms eventually start to grow inside a dogs heart and lungs, causing very serious damage. Due to their large size, they become a major barrier to the free passage of blood through the heart and eventually this causes the heart to enlarge and weaken.

Most dog owners do not realise their pet has a problem until the disease is well advanced. It is only in the later stages, when the disease is difficult to treat, that the animals manifest the typical signs of advanced heartworm disease, such as a deep cough, weight loss, listlessness and weakness. Other symptoms may include a lack of appetite, shortness of breath and blood in the urine.

While heartworm is an extremely difficult disease to treat, it is very simple to prevent.


There are several choices:

  • Monthly heartworm medications are very popular and come in the form of either a tablet (chewable or regular) or a spot on preparation that is absorbed through the skin. Some monthly heartworm medications will include other active ingredients that also control worms and fleas. All monthly preparations are 100% effective providing the correct dose is given for the dogs’ weight and that it is given monthly without missing any treatments for the dog’s entire life. Remember there can be mosquitos all year round.
  • An attractive alternative to monthly heartworm medications has been the advent of the yearly heartworm injection. This eases the burden of remembering monthly medications and is now extremely popular, safe and also 100% effective. It is best staged with your dogs annual vaccinations and can be started as early as 3 months of age although due to the rapid growth of puppies an extra injection is given at 6 months of age.

Pet Dental Health – critically Important Stuff!!!

Pet Dentistry

Pet Dentistry

For most of us, caring for our teeth and gums has been part of our daily routine for as long as we can remember. If we don’t we risk not only having bad breath but also plaque build-up and gum disease. Just like you, your pet needs dental care too.
Teeth and gum problems are some of the most common conditions we see in dogs and cats with over 80% of animals over 4 years of age affected to some degree. The severity of gum disease is dependent not only on age but also on diet and breed with small dogs and cats being more commonly affected.

Just as importantly it has been shown that poor dental health can increase the incidence of heart, liver, and kidney disease, and that good dental health can add up to 4 years of life to your pet.

At Kalinga Park Vet Surgery we provide the highest standard of dental care available for your pet. Under general anaesthetic, your pet’s teeth and gums will be examined and the tartar removed using an ultrasonic scaler similar to what your dentist uses. All teeth are individually assessed for health and longevity and finally polished to have them looking their sparkling best.

After your pet’s procedure will discuss a preventative home dental care program for your pet. We stock a number of convenient prescription diets aimed at preventing tartar re-occurrence as well as other dental care products such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, specialised chew treats and mouth sprays.

So if you would like to say goodbye to bad breath for your pet and have their teeth bright and white again call the clinic for a dental check-up for your pet.

Microchip and Register your Pet

A Dog with a microchip at Home

Thousands of pets are destroyed each year simply because they lack identification. This is why we recommend microchipping as part of our preventative healthcare campaign for all pets… and word is spreading fast.

Under Queensland laws microchipping is compulsory.   Puppies are required to be microchipped prior to sale, however, pets can be microchipped at any age.

A Microchip is a tiny identity chip about the size of a grain of rice.  A 15 digit unique number is encoded on the microchips. It is injected under the skin of your pet and stays there for life as a permanent form of identification.  Good quality microchips are constructed with medical grade glass usually with an anti-migration coating.  The microchip can be read by passing a scanner over the skin and once it is placed cannot be lost, removed or altered for the life of your pet.

It is also possible to implant chips that have other functions such as measuring your pet’s body temperature.    As we get smaller technology the range of functions available will increase! If you have your pet implanted you should ensure the chip comes from a quality manufacturer, not a cheap import.

The staff will microchip your pet and register it on a national database called the Global Micro Database. Staff at the RSPCA and pounds will scan all lost pets.  When we find an  existing chip we cross-check it on the database ensuring a quick call and a happy reunion.


Dog being vaccinatedCaring for the family pet involves a lot more than just fresh food and water each day. Remember the adage“Prevention is better than cure?” ….. well, that especially applies to animals in the form of vaccinations.

Vaccinations protect our pets against a number of incurable and often fatal diseases such as Parvovirus and Distemper in dogs and Feline Enteritis and Cat Flu in cats. These viral diseases don’t respond well to medications and treatment is difficult, expensive and often unsuccessful.

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