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Cancer: Supporting Your Pet’s Immune System

Updated: May 1


Supporting your cat's immune system - an elderly cat lays on it's back looking at the camera

The immune system stands as the first line of defence for pets against illnesses. When facing a cancer diagnosis, your pet’s immune system is going to be incredibly stressed. 


Ensuring the immune system operates efficiently and effectively is crucial in aiding your pets recovery. Our latest blog provides a guide to supporting your pet’s immune system. 


In This Blog:

Comprehensive Veterinary Care and Preventive Health Measures

Regular veterinary care is incredibly important for maintaining your pet’s immune system and managing their cancer, offering a blend of specialised treatment and preventive measures to protect against other health issues. Customised health plans and open communication with your vet allow for more precise, adaptable treatment strategies. For more information on treatment options for your pet, read our article.


It’s also really important to continue adhering to a flea/tick management schedule to safeguard your pet's health further and keep their immune system at full strength. Consult with your vet for their advice on vaccination schedules for your pet.


Regular check-ups are crucial. They help in adjusting treatments based on your pet’s response and in managing side effects effectively, and this individualised care can make a huge difference. Maintain open lines of communication with your vet. Ask questions, report new symptoms, and discuss your concerns openly.


Optimised Nutrition and Immunonutrition for Immune Health

Regularly monitor and adjust your pet's food intake and weight to ensure optimal health. Both weight loss and obesity can exacerbate health issues, making cancer harder to fight. You could consider consulting a veterinary nutritionist. A nutritionist can develop a diet plan that meets your pet's specific needs, taking into account the type of cancer and treatment plan.


Focus on high-quality, nutrient-rich food supports the immune system and provides the energy your pet needs to maintain their immune system and fight cancer. 


Strategic Use of Supplements and Medications

Supplements can strengthen your pet's diet by providing additional nutrients that support immune function and reduce inflammation. 


Some supplements that can help boost your pet’s immune system:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fish oil, these fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and can help modulate the immune system.

  • Antioxidants: Vitamins E and C, selenium, and beta-carotene can help protect the body from oxidative stress and support immune function.

  • Probiotics: Beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut microbiome, which is crucial for a strong immune system, as a significant part of the immune system is located in the gut.


Always consult your vet before starting your pet on any supplements.


Medications play a crucial role in managing pain and other symptoms, making your pet more comfortable and effective pain management in particular is paramount. This might include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, or other medications tailored to your pet’s symptoms. Additionally, medications to control nausea, improve appetite, and address specific symptoms can make a significant difference in quality of life.


Physical and Emotional Well-being

A stress-free environment and gentle exercise can enhance your pet's quality of life. Stress affects immune function, and maintaining physical condition can help your pet better cope with the effects of cancer and its treatment.


Consult with your vet about a suitable exercise plan. Gentle walks or play sessions that match your pet’s energy levels can stimulate their mind and body, maintaining muscle mass and promoting well-being.


Keep your pet’s living area calm and comfortable. Include their favourite bedding, toys, and anything else that helps them feel secure. Importantly, spend quality time with your pet. Affection and companionship are invaluable for their emotional health, and this can’t be overlooked.


Regular Monitoring and Adjustments

Continuous evaluation of your pet's health and treatment response allows for timely adjustments to their care plan, optimising their quality of life and well-being throughout their cancer journey.


Keep a close eye on your pet's condition, diet, exercise routine, and emotional state. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for adjusting treatments and managing any emerging health issues promptly.


By focussing on these key areas, you provide an environment that helps your pet face the challenges of cancer at full strength.


Is your pet struggling with cancer and requiring end-of-life care? Do you believe their quality of life is suffering and want to book an in-home euthanasia appointment to say goodbye properly? Contact our team via 0800 049 5500 or request an appointment.

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