10 Steps to Take When Your Pet Has Cancer

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    About 6 million pets are diagnosed with cancer each year. Do you know someone whose pet is undergoing cancer treatment? Or, you might have a pet who is suffering from cancer.  

    It can be highly upsetting to hear the news, but you should understand that it does not always mean that your pet is going to die. People may advise you to put down a dog with torn ACL, but you know how hard it really is.

    In the past few decades, veterinary cancer research has achieved significant advances. Pet cancer sufferers are enjoying longer, more fulfilled lives because of the new medication choices. You can follow a few tips to ensure your pet’s ease and recovery, and that is what we shall talk about here.

    Here are the ten steps that you must consider when your pet has cancer:

    1. Take Time to Process the Diagnosis

    When a healthy pet is diagnosed with cancer, owners are baffled. As the news sinks in, your first question to yourself is often:

     “How did I miss this?” and “They didn’t appear sick.” 

    If you discover yourself in your veterinarian’s office with such distressing news, do not be hesitant to request some time to process the news. 

    2. Make a Treatment Strategy

    After dealing with the news, you should start thinking about a strategy. Start by conducting some research on the type of cancer that your pet has. 

    You should also get familiar with all the treatment possibilities for your pet. This is a crucial choice for you and your pet. You should understand your pet’s condition before making a treatment strategy.

    3. Understand the Costs Involved

    The cancer diagnosis will come with high costs. The initial diagnosis will likely involve a biopsy or X-rays, which can cost between $500 and $1,500. Then there are the costs of treatment, which can range from $4,000 to $8,000 for chemotherapy to as much as $15,000 for radiation therapy.

    If your pet needs surgery, that will add even more to the bill. All of this can be very overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are many organizations and resources available to help you through this difficult time. Ask your vet for references. 

    4. Seek A Second Opinion from A Cancer Specialist

    If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, you should take a second opinion. Get independent advice from a veterinary oncologist to be certain about the diagnosis. 

    This may confirm a before-decided course of therapy or bring up new possibilities for your pet.

    The Veterinarian Cancer Society features an informative website with tools and information for pet owners. It will also help you locate an oncology specialist in your area.”

    5. Ask Questions & Research Your Options

    To determine which solutions are best for treating your pet’s cancer; you should answer the following questions:

    • What form of cancer is my pet suffering from?
    • What is its severity?
    • What health variables in my pet may affect the expected result or the medications?

    The medical team may advise you to take some added tests and treatments. Do not forget to ask about the expenses along with the benefits and disadvantages of each treatment options to make an informed decision. 

    6. Understand How Cancer Is Tested By Veterinarians

    The veterinarian may prescribe many tests to collect information to test the degree of cancer. It may include blood test results (e.g., blood count, chemical profile), urinary, radiography, tissues aspirate, biopsy, and more.

    Due to the evolution of your pet’s disease, tests performed by the local veterinarian may need to be redone at a cancer specialty clinic.

    Ultrasound, specialized radiologic studies, endoscopy (direct evaluation of the abdomen, colon, and immune-mediated studies are some assessments that may be used. You should be mentally prepared for all these tests and assessments when your pet has cancer. 

    7. Become Familiar with the Terms

    The veterinary oncologist will explain what is happening to your pet’s body. Learning the terminology will help you understand your pet’s condition in a better way.

    Prior to your appointment, do some reading to know the medical terms. Bring a notepad to your appointment and make a list of treatment choices and future actions. Do not be scared to inquire the vet if you need to.

    8. Stay Both Optimistic And Practical

    It’s important to remain optimistic and practical when your pet has cancer. There are many success stories of pets beating cancer, so never give up hope. 

    At the same time, be realistic about your pet’s prognosis and treatment options. Discuss all of your options with your veterinarian and make sure you understand the risks and benefits of each one.

    In some cases, a prognosis can be overturned when a better treatment option becomes available. Therefore, keep hope alive, and even if you have been suggested to put down dogs with a torn ACL, or cancer,’ it does not mean that your pet’s life is gone. Your attention to your pet and the doctor’s devotion can work together to make your pet healthy. 

    However, learn when to stop. If there are no more options available, you should have the strength to stop treatment and take the hard decision.

    9. Maintain a Positive Mindset

    Cancer treatment may be traumatic for your pet. You should try to make the time as enjoyable as possible. When your pet is getting quite well, try to engage him in things he likes. 

    Ask the veterinarian about things that are proper for your pet’s present health. Get time to arrange special trips or tasty rewards for your pet. If you sit and cry in front of your pet, he will pick up on it and become even more depressed. So maintaining a positive mindset is essential for you and your pet.

    10. Find a Support Group

    You may face many problems after receiving the news about your pet’s cancer. It can be quite daunting; therefore, you should try to find a support group to help you in such a difficult situation.

    Websites like Pet Cancer Support Group can provide you with the information and support that you need. 

    In Conclusion

    Hearing the news about your pet’s diagnosis of cancer is hard. However, dealing with the situation can be harder if you do not have a strategy. Finding a good oncology specialist and conducting thorough research will help you more than you can imagine.

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