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Dogs and Cancer

One of the scariest things a dog owner can hear is, “Your dog has cancer”. After all, your dog is a member of the family.

One of the best ways to overcome the fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis is to increase your understanding of the disease and treatment options. This section provides you with information that will help you discuss your pet’s cancer with your veterinarian.

How to empower yourself with knowledge.

  • Write things down – before, during and after visits with your veterinarian.
  • Seek support – take a friend or spouse with you when you talk to your veterinarian. That person may hear something that you miss.
  • Involve the whole family, including children – everyone who loves the dog should participate in as many open discussions as possible.
  • Ask for printed materials or information – to better understand your dog's cancer and treatment options.
  • Remember: Early diagnosis and treatment provide your dog with the best chance for a longer life.

Questions to ask your veterinarian.1

  • What is the name of my dog’s tumor?
  • Is the tumor benign or malignant?
  • What is the chance of the cancer metastasizing (spreading to other parts of the body)?
  • If left untreated, what is the cancer likely to do to my dog?
  • What diagnostic tests are needed to determine the location and stage of the cancer?
  • What are the treatment options? What is their effectiveness? Side effects?