5 Ways to Cope When a Pet Has Cancer

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Pet owners love their dogs and cats. When a furry member of the family becomes ill or has a medical issue, owners seek whatever choices they have to make their pets feel better. However, cancer is a scary diagnosis for pets, and it produces several feelings in the hearts of owners. Owners have some options as to what to do when a veterinarian says a dog or cat has cancer.

Financial Aid

Cancer treatments for dogs and cats can get expensive. A few nonprofits, such as the Magic Bullet Fund or the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund, can provide financial assistance for chemotherapy or tumor removal surgery. These are just two types of treatments for pets with cancer.


Treatment Options
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Vets start by running a battery of tests to determine the best course of treatment. A pet’s doctor may take blood samples, X-rays, biopsies and CT scans to get an entire picture of what’s going on inside. Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy. Some tumors may just need surgery, but a pet may need a combination of these four therapies for treatment. Physical health is just one aspect of this diagnosis.


Emotional Health
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Processing a flood of emotions during this difficult time means owners need to rely on a support network for guidance. Humans have family, friends and loved ones to talk to for opinions. A support network listens to feelings of anger, frustration, regret and helplessness without making any judgments. Owners should make their pets as comfortable as possible, too. Dogs and cats have feelings, and they can sense when the humans are upset. A caring support network, including its furry members, loves someone no matter what, and they can offer a way to get emotions out in the open.


Second Opinions
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Dr. Phil Zeltzman suggests every pet owner get a second opinion. One veterinarian diagnosed a 6-year-old dog with ACL problems in a leg, when it reality it was bone cancer. Even if one vet has done his best, an oncologist, a medical expert who specializes in cancer, has a better handle on cancer-related issues.


Making Decisions
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Pet owners should not make quick decisions when it comes to a cancer diagnosis. A vet can help weigh the options, discuss costs and give a pet a timeline for healing. Owners should make decisions after processing all of their feelings and emotions. Cancer is never a word pet owners want to hear, but there are several things owners can do to weigh their options before making a huge decision. Read how this pet owner coped with her four-legged child’s diagnosis.

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