Do you feel alone?
You are not alone!
My dog has cancer... Now what?
Find out what the possible treatments are for your dog. Please find out all of the options, not just the first one your vet recommends. Ask about the survival rate for the recommended treatment, and ask what other treatments are available.
You might decide on the best treatment plan based on statistical success rates of the various treatments. But also consider the age and health of your dog; your financial situation; what you know about your dog’s ability to tolerate treatments and recovery; your ability to take your dog to treatments and care for your dog after treatments.
Decide on a plan and then “believe” that it was the right choice no matter what the outcome is! There is nothing to gain by second-guessing your decision. After you choose a course of action, you will never know what the result would have been if you had chosen the other.
You might be wondering
Some testing is necessary. A vet cannot give a dog cancer treatment without confirming that it is cancer, and without knowing what type of cancer it is. But there are a thousand tests that can be done! Not all of them are needed. You don’t want to put your dog (or your wallet) through tests that are not necessary.
Ask your vet to help you rule out the tests that are not necessary. Tests that are not necessary are the ones that will not have any effect on the treatment plan. Ones that don’t render any information that is needed to diagnose and treat your dog.
Yes! Your vet’s job is to inform you about ALL of the treatments that can help your dog fight cancer. Then, it is your job to decide which treatment plan is best for you and your dog.
There is almost always more than one way to treat a dog’s cancer. A vet might tell you only the most aggressive treatment, or only the least expensive treatment. You should know all of the possible treatment plans, and then you can decide.
A vet’s job is to inform, not to choose. Your vet is not aware of your financial situation, your personal, philosophical, religious, or spiritual feelings about cancer treatment. And he doesn’t know your dog as well as you do. If your vet tells you about only one way to treat your dog’s cancer, get a 2nd opinion and do some research.
Learn what the side effects are to cancer and to the treatment. Find out what side effects might be caused by the treatment, and be prepared to manage them.
Keep your dog strong and healthy through treatment. Consider acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, etc. Set up a home care regimen including a cancer-fighting diet and supplement plan.
Feed your dog an anti-cancer diet with low carbohydrates and high Omega-3 fatty acids. O-3 fatty acids provide your dog with nourishment and may also protect your dog from cancer cachexia. If you want to prepare your dog’s meals yourself, you’ll find a complete illustrated guide to Bullet’s Cancer Diet in my book.
You may find that your friends and family, who usually provide moral and emotional support, cannot help you now. They don’t understand or relate to your efforts to help your dog fight cancer. That’s okay! Do not lose any friends because they don’t understand!
Online support gorups for canine cancer are populated by many people helping their dogs fight cancer and helping each other by sharing support and information.