Hearing that your pet has cancer can hit just as hard as hearing that same sad news from one
of our two-legged friends. Today’s post from Pacific Pups Rescue covers some of the basics of
what to do if your pet has cancer. Keep in mind that no single article on the internet can help
you fully prepare, so it is always best to talk to your veterinarian if you have additional
Understand the Issue
First and foremost, your responsibility lies with yourself and accepting that cancer is a common
occurrence in pets. There was likely nothing you could have done to have prevented your
beloved pet’s illness. Cancer in animals is so common, in fact, that there is an entire
organization – the Veterinary Cancer Society – dedicated to its research and elimination.
Let the Learning Begin
There are many different types of cancer that affect animals. A few are more common than
others, however, with mast cell tumors, melanoma, lymphoma, bone cancer, and
hemangiosarcoma being more prevalent than others. Once you find out which form of cancer
you are dealing with, you will be in a better position to help your animal through the process.
Get to Know the Treatment Options
Treating a pet with cancer is similar to helping a human recover or receive palliative care. Often,
surgery is the first line of attack, and this may be coupled with chemo or radiation therapy. Pet Care Oncology also explains that immunotherapy cryotherapy and radioactive iodine may be
possible treatments in some animals. For animals in the advanced stages of their disease,
comfort treatment may be all you can provide. Full-spectrum CBD oil, anti-inflammatories,
sedatives, and other medicines and homeopathic treatments prescribed by your veterinarian
can all assist with pain management.
Keep the Love Coming
Many people are afraid to show physical affection to their animals for fear that it will exacerbate
pain. Fortunately, as more and more pet owners are becoming aware of the issue, there is a
greater understanding of how, exactly, to interact with a sick pet. Do not forgo quality time
together. Instead, look for activities that enhance your pet’s life without causing them any undue
stress or strain. One example is to go for a short walk in lieu of playing catch. Similarly, you may
purchase them comfort items, such as a pet ramp to go in and out of the house or an orthopedic dog bed to reduce discomfort on aching bones and joints.
Create a Healthier Environment
Another great thing you can do for your pet is maintain the yard and remove allergens from the
home. You might also want to add a fence (if you don’t already have one) to keep your dog in
your yard – and prevent other animals from bothering them. This gives them somewhere to play
and feel safe. This also has an added benefit for the owner since certain upgrades to your home
can even raise your home’s value.
Watch Their Diet
Just like humans, discomfort during cancer or its related treatment may be heightened by a poor
diet. While it may be necessary to make some adjustments so that your animal’s weight stays in
check, most experts believe that quickly and unexpectedly switching foods – even if it is a
healthier option – may cause more harm than good. Changing your animal’s; food without a
transitional period can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances, which are already painfully common
during cancer treatment.
Your pet is a part of your family. And just because they are sick does not mean that you cannot
continue to give them all the love you have in your heart. But it’s a good idea to get to know the
type of cancer they have, provide care when they need it, and avoid the temptation to blame
yourself. Remember, there is no replacing man’s best friend. One final piece of advice is to seek
out a pet loss support group nearby so that you will have a network in place to help you through
the hardest part of your pet’s diagnosis, particularly if it is incurable.
by Aurora James of dogetiquette.info
Image via Pexels