Cancer is one of the most dreaded illnesses which humans can suffer from. However, it is not just humans who can be afflicted with this disease and many pet owners are surprised when they find out that their dog has cancer. Just as with people, there are oncologists that specialize in treating animals with this disease. It is not uncommon to discover that an ailing canine or feline has a cancerous tumor. To many pet owners, dealing with a pet that has cancer is emotionally disturbing. It is often difficult to know exactly what type of cancer care is needed for dogs. Dogs with cancer are not always treated for the disease in the same way as are human patients.
As in humans, cancer can affect the organs, the bones and the skin of dogs. Dogs may have cancer isolated in one area of the body or have tumors which have spread to numerous locations. There are several different signs that indicate and animal may be struggling with cancer. However, the cancer may exist for some time before symptoms begin to show. Tests and treatments for cancer in canines can be very expensive.
If your dog has cancer, one of your primary concerns should be to prevent the animal from experiencing pain. It is always better to try to take pain prevention measures rather than pain treatment measures. The dog may be treated with local anesthesia, oral medications, pain relieving patches or other forms of pain relieving injections. In addition to medications, the pet should also be handled with care and given bedding conditions which are comfortable and will not cause further pain by promoting bedsores.
Unlike humans, dogs undergoing chemotherapy for cancer do not normally vomit. If the animal begins to vomit, it needs attention immediately to prevent dehydration. Sick animals tend to refuse to eat. It is very important to make sure that your dog maintains an appetite or at least receives some type of nourishment.
Encourage your dog to eat by serving soft foods that are appealing to them. Give your pet a stress free environment for dining where they won’t have to compete with other animals. The best foods for your dog are low in simple carbohydrates and high in digestible protein and omega-3 fatty acids. If the animal still refuses to eat, a feeding tube may be necessary.
In extreme cases, the dog may become weak, in pain and not in control of its bladder or bowels. It is to be expected that the vet may discuss options of putting the pet to rest in order to stop it from suffering. In these cases, it is important to make decisions based on the quality of life for the dog.
Cancer is never an easy topic. Whether you are dealing with cancer in the life of a four legged friend or a two legged friend, it can be a very trying experience. The best thing that you can do for your dog is to spend time with it. Soothe your pet with gentle words and love.