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Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma

by Sandra S.

My 10 year old terrier mix, Mac, was diagnosed with insulinoma in September 2012. I was just devastated. It's like living with an ax hanging over our heads.


I researched the surgery option but decided not to put him through that as he is an excitable little guy with a great deal of separation anxiety when I'm not with him.

Our vet is great and he is being treated now with prednisone 5 mg 1/2 in the am and 1/2 in the PM. I was told to feed him Science Diet LD, but he wouldn't go near it. They suggested then Science Diet ID which he tolerates.

I boil organic chicken and mix some of it in the ID so he'll eat it. We still can't get his blood sugar past 39 and I KNOW this is not good. I understand the vet's reason for suggesting Science Diet and thinks its best. We've been with him for 25 years and I have total faith in him, but not the food.

I am afraid to do the wrong thing if I choose an organic dog food by trying to read the label. His little treats I bake like 'cookies' with science diet DD.

I really need a recommendation from a knowledgeable source as to what organic food I can try to help get his blood sugar up and perhaps what organic treats would be safe. I just read that I can give him a little Ensure to help with this that won't spike his sugar too high.

I can see he has had one or two slight seizures (he suddenly sits and looks around the ceiling as if something was flying up there. When I call his name he doesn't answer... but in 30 seconds or so he turns around when I call his name, showing no further symptom of the episode.

I know this disease won't end well, but I'm just desperate to find something that will help with the blood sugar. He can't stay at 39 for long without going downhill.

Anything you can tell me that might help my little Mac would be of great help. Is organic a good way to go? I could stay on the Science Diet, but it's not doing the job.

I have set up automatic feeding dishes that open every two hours when I'm at work, but I notice he's not eating from them if I put his normal Science Diet food and chicken in them. In addition to food, is there anything else at all I can do for him? Feed him? Do you think the Ensure is okay? This is my first venture into organic, but after reading the label on Science Diet, it can't be worse.

I would very much appreciate any advice you can give me. This little guy has seen me through many dark days including widowhood. I owe him whatever I can do to make him comfortable, yet keep him with me as long as possible.

Thanks very much.

Sandra

Comments for Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma

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Jan 30, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sandra,

I am so sorry to hear about the diagnosis of insulinoma in your 10 year old Terrier Mix, Miss Purdie. I am happy that you found our site and will do my best to advise you on what is best for Purdie. My answer needs to be a long one, with details on diet, supplements, liver support, and homeopathic remedies.

I wanted to let you know that I received your question and will respond in more detail tonight.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.







Jan 31, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sandra,
Insulinoma is an uncommon malignant tumor in dogs. It is located in the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. In holistic medicine, tumors, cancers, warts, etc. are considered to be caused by vaccinations, creating a syndrome called 'vaccinosis'. Therefore, under NO circumstances should you give Mac any vaccinations. In Dr Richard Pitcairn's book, Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, in the section under 'Ill Effects of Vaccinations', he states that "Giving a vaccination to a dog with cancer, is like throwing gasoline on a fire."

There are numerous homeopathic remedies used to treat vaccinosis. I suggest you start with Thuya 12c. You can give Mac one pellet by mouth two times daily. Or you can dissolve one pellet in a 2 oz glass dropper bottle with Spring Water, and give Mac 1/2 dropperful by mouth two times daily. Shake the bottle, (called succussing the remedy), by hitting it against the palm of your hand 20 times BEFORE each dose is given. Store the bottle in the door of the refrigerator.

Regarding feeding organic, that would be nice, but the MAIN goal would be to avoid preservatives, artificial colors, and by-products. Feeding a RAW diet would be ideal, and of course, organic would be best, but not mandatory. Ensure is a good way to make sure he is getting enough calories, but 'homemade' foods, might be a bit healthier.

DIET: Frequent feeding is very important to prevent the blood sugar from dropping. Your automatic feeders are a great idea! Feed Mac a diet that is high in protein, and high in complex carbohydrates, (vegetables/fruits/grains) and low in fats.

If you were to create a homemade diet, you would make a meal that would be 1/3 part meat, (RAW meat would be ok. But, NO RAW PORK or RAW FISH), 1/3 part cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, yams, carrots, green beans, or zucchini. And 1/3 part cooked grains, such as rice, wheat, quinoa, or barley. For treats you can give him pieces of banana, apple, cantaloupe, or melon. Follow link to learn more about feeding a raw diet: Raw diet. Follow this link to learn more about healthy canned food options: 10 Best Dog Food Options

Dr. Richard Pitcairn's book, that I mentioned earlier, called, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, contains some good recipes. (Especially ones that are good for the Liver.)

The amount of calories needed depends on his weight. If he weighs 20lbs he will need 400 calories per day. If he weighs 40 lbs he should be fed 700 calories per day. 60 lbs 900 calories/day.

In the literature regarding insulinomas, it is recommended to avoid 'simple sugars' such as honey, molasses, syrup, etc. But if he is having a seizure due to low blood sugar, I would advise giving him some honey or rub some Karo syrup on his gums to absorb into his blood stream to stop or shorten the seizure!

TO BE CONTINUED IN PART TWO

Jan 31, 2013
My Online Vet Response For: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Sandra,
Here is the rest of my response.

SUPPLEMENTS:

*LIVER SUPPORT*
The prednisone, (cortisone) that you are giving him, is an attempt to 'encourage' his liver to produce MORE glucose for his body. As the liver is already working at top capacity, it is best to provide liver support with supplements.

1. Milk thistle-(available from health food stores), Give 8mg per pound TWO times daily. Best to buy it in a capsule form, so you can open the capsule and sprinkle it into the food.

2. Livaplex from Standard Process, open and sprinkle one capsule into food two times daily.

*PANCREAS SUPPORT*
3. Pancreatrophin by Standard Process, give 1/2 to 1 tablet in food two times daily.

*IMMUNE SUPPORT*

To Boost the immune system and balance the diet with the correct vitamins and minerals,

4. OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder

You might also seek the help of a holistic veterinarian, for more detailed follow-up regarding homeopathic remedies, diet and supplements.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

Related Pages:
- Canine Tumors (Dog Cancer)
- Dog Warts
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Canine Tumors/Dog Cancer Section

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



Jun 18, 2013
Yorkie with insulinoma
by: Sandy K

Just wanted to say thank you for posting about Insulinomas...we just got word that the blood tests for our little Yorkie, Miss Purdie, show that Insulinoma is a high probability. We started seeing her loose strength in her legs and act strangely about a week ago...then we took her to the vet to find her blood sugar levels were way too low. We were given a nutrient paste to give her and given the option for sugery, but have opted out of the surgery.

I want me little Purdie to be comfy and as healthy as possible while we have her. She is 7 yrs old and has been with us since she was a puppy. I'm going to look at some of the info given to help with her diet right now.

Thanks again!

Aug 01, 2013
13 yr old yorkie dx with insulinoma
by: Anonymous

My little guy was dx in March of this year and it has been a rough road. I am doing a part raw diet, mostly lean beef. I also give him chicken and turkey. I have been adding quinoa or barley, about a table spoon to each meal, as well as spinach or kale and sweet potatoes. I have been giving him boiled eggs too. I have him on 1mg of pred, half in morn, half in evening. He is also on a probiotic and some herbal supplements. I need to get him on something to support his liver. Do you have suggestions other than Milk thistle? I have heard flaxseed oil is good for a dog with insulinoma. Is this true? I just want to do whatever i can to keep my pup's life at quality level. Any input you have is great.

Thanks so much,
Kiya and Titan.

Aug 02, 2013
My Online Vet Response for: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

August 2, 2013

Hi Kiya and Titan,

Thanks for your question.

I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.

Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Jun 13, 2014
Diet that seems to be working for my dog with insulinoma
by: Susi

Hi, I have an 8yr old female dog diagnosed with insulinoma nearly 2months ago. I was told she needed surgery or get on prednisone in order to relieve her symptoms and there was no cure. Her insulin level was off the charts and blood glucose in the low 20s; I experienced a grand mal seizure last month and thought for sure it was the end. I thought I would just go full on holistic and did ALOT of research online and I discovered Johanna Budwig's Oil Protein diet(I use Barlean's Organic Flax Oil, organic cottage cheese and Bob's red mill flax seeds, ground fresh as I need them), along with Dr Belfield's Orthomolecular Vitamin C Plus. I also included tumeric, ginger, IP6 Inositol, COQ10 and Wobenzym for her weak rear legs. It's been 2 months and she's been averaging 58 on the glucose level - which is actually pretty good for her. most evenings and mornings have been 60s to 80s; while during the day, it's been 40s-60's; I feed and test her every 2 hours* unless she's resting peacefully, I leave her alone. The 40s typically are tests in the mid morning hours - the rest she's 50s-80s. Lately, I see much improvement-she's fed at noon, tested 61, tested at 2pm and 4pm, tested 62 so no drop in blood glucose level over 4 hours without food. I am not a vet, this research is all online and I've kept a spreadsheet with all the testing using alpha trak 2. I don't claim to have cured my dog, I will get a thorough blood test done perhaps next month. Anyways, just sharing my own experience in case it might help others.

Jun 13, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

June 13, 2014

Hi Susi,
Thank you for the info on what you are doing with your dog. I highly recommend Dr Belfield's Orthomolecular Vitamin C Plus. And all of the other supplements that you are giving, are very good.

It is due to your diligence and monitoring her blood glucose levels so closely, that has really helped your dog do well.

Good work and thank you for sharing!

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



Aug 26, 2014
Insulinoma in Cocker Spaniel
by: Donna Smith

I just read a request for help from a different reader's own dog in which you said you would respond in more detail back to her and am requesting some help of my own. Our 14 year old cocker spaniel was just diagnosed with the disease after a full blown seizure a few evenings ago. (She had random low intensity tremors previously but we had no diagnosis then). We are trying to feed her small meals also of Science Diet Puppy per our vet. She ate a small amount yesterday, not interested today. The vet also said to try some broiled chicken or hamburger. She just ate a small amount of chicken, about 1/8 cup, the first thing she has eaten today. I would appreciate any help you could give me as well. Thank you in advance.
Donna

Aug 26, 2014
Insulinoma in Cocker Spaniel
by: Donna Smith

I just read a request for help from a different reader's own dog in which you said you would respond in more detail back to her and am requesting some help of my own. Our 14 year old cocker spaniel was just diagnosed with the disease after a full blown seizure a few evenings ago. (She had random low intensity tremors previously but we had no diagnosis then). We are trying to feed her small meals also of Science Diet Puppy per our vet. She ate a small amount yesterday, not interested today. The vet also said to try some broiled chicken or hamburger. She just ate a small amount of chicken, about 1/8 cup, the first thing she has eaten today. I would appreciate any help you could give me as well. Thank you in advance.
Donna

Aug 26, 2014
My Online Vet Response for: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

August 26, 2014

Hi Donna,

Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Nov 05, 2014
Diet
by: Kristin

My 8yo pit bull was diagnosed with an insulinoma in late June of this year. She was presenting with seizure type activity and when I took her into the vet, her glucose was 38 (no symptoms at this level). We did the surgery and it was successful. However, we started noticing the small seizures about a month later. She had a very large seizure towards the end of August and we did blood work to find that the cancer had returned. I feed her a very simple diet of Solid Gold Hundenflocken, which is what I've fed her since we got her. She was in the low 20s without symptoms at the vet and was put on a low dose of prednisone. A recheck showed a glucose of 140. Our oncologist has recommended coming back next month (December) for a recheck, but she's currently on the lowest dose of pred she can be on and eating 4 times a day. We will be able to raise the dose of pred when needed.

I think obsessively testing can just drive you nuts. I don't test her glucose at all. I monitor her behavior and appetite. I know this disease will not end well for her, but just want to make her comfortable.

Nov 05, 2014
My Online Vet Response For: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

November 5, 2014

Hi Kristin,
Thank you for sharing your experiences with your own dog having an insulinoma.

If you have a question, I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dec 15, 2014
12/15/14 Medical Management & High protein
by: Anonymous

We inherited an obese 8 yo Boston Terrier from in Jan 2014 after a dear relative developed dementia. I then instituted 3 months of walking & limiting of snacks. She was slimmer and in good health, but then she developed seizures and a pancreatic insulinoma within 3 months. We had a great vet who made the difficult dx & helped us w medical management-prednisone and small frequent feedings to keep her glucose higher. Within 2 mo, she was stronger with short daily walks again that she loved. We were able to wean her prednisone to a lower dose and then from every 4 hr feeds to every 6-8 hour with a higher protein dog food. I had just weaned her off low dose Prednisone 2 wks ago. Now, 2 episodes of confusion/stumbling-splaying of legs and running into furniture episodes within the last few days. This morning was the second. Our girl had stable disease, but now it has returned and the seizures will come next. Wee r saying our final goodbyes this afternoon and I am so thankful for the extended quality time. My family, including our little terrier, will be losing a dear friend & feisty playmate. I would recommend medical management, but know it does come at a high price. It worked 9 months b/c we had team approach due to our work lives: My mom feed her lunch and afternoons, my husband & I through-out the night. I managed her meds with the help of Vet and her exercise/play. I think we succeeded at giving her at a good life, and she gave us a lot of joy & happiness in return.

Dec 15, 2014
My Onlline Vet Response for: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

December 15, 2014

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with a dog with insulinoma. Also, you show that you are a true animal lover to go above and beyond the call of duty for the extensive medical care that is involved with this illness.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.


Apr 04, 2015
Oreo
by: Lauren

Hi. My dog oreo had been diagnosed with insulinoma in in December of 2013 (9 years old). we decided to go the route of surgrey after sonograms/ x-Rays depicted a large tumor in her pancreas. Her sugar levels were very low (20s - 30s) and she was lethargic, having seizures etc. Post sugrey, the doctor informed us that she would live 6 months to a year. 1 year and 4 months later (now) we started to notice that Oreos symptoms have started to return. We took her back for the X-ray and sonogram and the doctor has noticed abnormalities in her spleen, liver and pancreas and diagnoses Oreo with pretezone (steroids). Unfortunately, Oreos case of insulinoma is so very bad, that we have to manage her VERY closely. for the past 3 weeks, we have been waking her up and ourselves up EVERY HOUR to feed her 3 tsp. of Sweet Potato baby food. Additionally, we must FORCE feed oreo 6 times a day including one meal at 3AM. We feed her (Sweet potato, brown rice, chicken & dog food). She is so picky. Shw doesn't like any of this. It is very hard to feed her. (At one point we were giving her molasses and ensure but the doctor informed us that this is no good for a long term solution as it is only causing spikes in her sugar level). Oreos blood sugar level has been ranging in the low/ high 40s. She is a very healthy dog otherwise. The oncologist recommended we do a biopsy but we don't want to put oreo through another sugrey. Does anyone have any recommendations for us? She has a lot of good days left in her every hour waking her up in the middle of the night is really sad. Please provide me with direction thank you so much.

Apr 04, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Best Food Diet for Insuliinoma
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

April 4, 2015

Hi Laren,
Thanks for your question. I'm happy to help, but we only accept new questions from subscribers (the original question above was from a subscriber).
Please click here to sign up and submit your question and photos. I'll then get back to you right away at the bottom of your newly created web page.

Although, I feel that you should contact a local holistic veterinarian for Oreo, as she is a very 'critical' case, and not something that should be handled via the internet.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.


Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Apr 04, 2015
Oreo
by: Lauren

I already paid for this and was charged twice on my paypal account.. Please email me back.. Laurensemi@me.com thank u

Apr 05, 2015
My Online Vet Response: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

April 5, 2015

Hi Lauren
My apologies! If you subscribed and paid, your entry should have started a new 'thread'. I will request to the webmaster to return your money. I feel that your case is too critical to manage via the Internet.

Here is a link to find a local holistic veterinarian.

Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Apr 06, 2015
Refund Confirmation
by: Jeff (Administrator)_

Hi Lauren,

Your refund has been processed.

Warm regards,
Jeff
Organic Pet Digest

Apr 30, 2015
A year since insulinoma diagnosis
by: Susi

Just adding an update (my last post was June last year) - a year since my 8 year old Leonberger girl was diagnosed with insulinoma; she's now 9 and still getting my version of the Budwig diet and doing well. I noticed you ruled out molasses - I'd like to share that organic unsulphered blackstrap molasses has been very good for my girl - she's about 100lbs and I add a tsp of blackstrap with her meals and before each meal, I crush up 3 wobenzyme tablets and mix with 1tsp apple cider vinegar and 1tsp blackstrap to give her 30min before each meal - which I give every 2.5-3 hours. Recent months, I stopped using the tumeric and that caused a noticeable difference in her hind leg weakness - I ordered some again to add back into her diet. I also learned to make dog biscuits using almond flour, brown rice flour, fresh ground flax and blackstrap - she loves to crunch on those since her food is mushy =)

May 06, 2015
My Online Vet Response for: Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

May 5, 2015

Dear Susi,
Thank you so much for the update on your big girl, and the great tips for a healthy diet for such a difficult disease.

You are doing a wonderful job and congratulations are in order for your success helping her reach 9 years of age!

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.



Sep 18, 2015
Confused
by: Anonymous

Hi. Thank you all for such wonderful insight. My dog who turns 12 next month was diagnosed with Insulinoma 4 weeks ago. Ive been wanting to add turmeric to his food until I read that turmeric can cause low blood sugar (which is disappointing due to knowing how great turmeric is for shrinking tumors). :( has anyone used turmeric for Insulinoma without any problems with their dogs blood sugar going too low? We feed him every few hours and monitor his glucose with the alphatrak 2 pet glucose meter every hour. But im really wanting to start him on termeric if only i didnt read that it can cause blood sugar to drop...any advice or positive experience with this?

Sep 18, 2015
Best Dog Food Diet for Insulinoma
by: Dr Carol Jean Tillman

September 18, 2015

Dear Anonymous,

No, I am not familiar with adding turmeric to food for cancer. There are many other alternative homeopathic remedies, Chinese herbs, and supplements that can be used, though.

At this time, I am no longer answering questions online. It would be best to take your dog to a veterinarian or, better yet, find a local holistic veterinarian to help.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
Click here to find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgeable in homeopathy is AVH.org.

Take care
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Sep 25, 2015
Re NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you. Actually you do not have to answer back. However, about termuric curing cancer: there is planty of research and studies showing is shrinks tumors. However, its not termuric alone but adding freshly ground pepper to make the termuric much more powerful. Theres a "golden paste" recipe that many know about and giving their pets about 1/8- 2 tsp twice a day has been known to shrink tumors (even pancreatic cancer). The recipe is: 1 cup of water, 1/3 cup of organic unrefined extra virgin coconut oil, 1/2 cup of organic pure freshly ground termuric powder (simmer the water, termuric, and coconut oil until it mixes and melts). After it had cooled down, mix 1.5 tsp of FRESHLY GROUND black pepper (organic is best) and stir once the paste has cooled down. Then store in fridge and give about 1/8 th tsp (working up to 1 or 2 tsp a day depending on needs) ontop or mixed with food. Also MUSH mushrooms are great for immunity.

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