Learning that your dog has cancer can be a devastating experience. But after letting the news sink in, the best course of action is to learn as much as you can about the illness and what you can do to fight it. Here are some tips on coping with cancer in your dog.
- Take time to grieve.
Often, trying to deny our feelings and our emotions only makes things worse. There is nothing wrong with feeling sad and grieving about your pet. It sometimes helps to write about your feelings and talk to others about what you are experiencing.
But at the same time, you want to maintain good spirits around your pet because he or she can read your emotions, and if you are acting depressed, it will affect your dog and make him anxious or out of sorts as well.
- Learn all you can.
If you are going to fight the disease, you need to learn as much as you can about it. You are probably familiar with some cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, but it will help to learn more about them. We know how cancer is generally treated with humans, but the treatment for dogs is not exactly the same. For example, chemotherapy for dogs is used just to slow the growth of the cancer or reduce the size of a tumor. It is not intended as a cure, as with humans.
The most common types of cancer in dogs are osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that usually afflicts older animals; mast cell tumors, which are nodular skin tumors; lymphoma, cancer of lymph nodes; hemangiosarcoma, cancer of blood vessels, and breast, mouth and throat cancer.
It is especially important to learn all you can so that you can make informed, rational decisions about treatment, rather than relying on emotions and hearsay.
There are many good books on canine cancer, how the disease grows and spreads and the varieties of treatment available. Another good source of information is PetMD.
- Talk about it.
When making decisions about treatment, you want to get everyone involved. Talk to your spouse, your family, your vet, a veterinary oncologist, or any other specialist who has been recommended to you.
Try to have a forthright and wide ranging discussion about all of the options that are accessible before making a decision regarding treatment.
When you need to leave town for vacation or business, board your dog here with us at
Barney’s Ranch. Give us a call at (469) 273-1661 to learn more about our day- and night-boarding services.