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Dog Cancer

Dog cancers vary in their prognosis and in their treatment.
Cancer in dogs does not always present the same issues
as it does with cancer in people.

Post a message or ask a question on our new Dog Health Problems Advice Forums

Cancer in Dogs

Dogs get cancer like people do and respond to it in many of
the same ways but in some different ways as well. The first
thing you want to know when your dog is diagnosed with
cancer is what type of cancer is it. Many
cancers in dogs
are treatable with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery
or other types of therapies.

One of the most treatable cancers is dog lymphoma. There
is a very good treatment regimen that can extend your dog’
s life by months or even a full year. Remember, a year to a
dog is equal to seven human years.

With a cancer diagnosis, you want to weigh all of your
options. Dogs tend to handle chemotherapy very well and
don’t have the same psychological aspects regarding cancer
and chemotherapy that humans do. Dogs do not lose their
hair and if they have reactions to drugs then those drugs
can be changed somewhat.

If your dog has a tough time handling chemotherapy, then
you and your vet have to weigh if it is even worth it. Ask
yourself if you want to treat your dog for you or for them.
Sometimes it is a combination and there is no right answer.
If your dog handles the chemotherapy well and finances are
not an issue then it may be worth treating. The key is to
explore all of the treatment opportunities and put aside any
preconceived notions you may have about chemotherapy
and cancer treatment. Go to a referral center or even speak
with your vet as they may have chemotherapy options
available. Have an open mind and explore all options. Find
out what the financial aspect and treatment side effects are
and make a balanced decision. Many times, your dog will
handle things very well.

Ask your oncologist about the drug side affects and the
survival percentages. Oncologists talk in terms of survival
times as the number of months your dog will live after
treatment. Ask yourself whether your dog has the
temperament to be treated. Skittish, fearful, and aggressive
dogs have a traumatic experience with weekly and monthly
vet visits to have blood drawn, IV’s placed or be sedated for
radiation.

These are many new cancer therapies available and many
dogs have good survival rates. It is worth your time to
explore your options and consider all factors.

- Sam Meisler DVM


The statements or information on this website have not
been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.