7 Things You Should Do If You Find Out Your Dog Has Cancer

Health, last updated 30th, Mar 2017, Prekshita Patwa

This is the worst news you will ever hear: Your dog has cancer. 

Your heart breaks into a thousand pieces. It's an emotional breakdown from there. You have no clue how to take control of your emotions or actions anymore. But we're here to help out with that.


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While not all cancers can be prevented, certain steps pet owners can take to help their dogs have a lower risk of developing it. For example, having your dog spayed or neutered at a young age can help prevent reproductive cancers. Some veterinary experts encourage giving your dog antioxidants in supplement form like vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene, lycopene, and the mineral selenium to help ward off cancer. Healthy nutrition and exercise are also believed to help prevent cancer from developing.

The bottom line: Awareness of cancer symptoms and quick action are key to giving your dog the best chance for survival.

If you hear this news, don't panic. The best way to help yourself is by staying calm and following these steps:


1. Ask your vet a lot of questions about the type of cancer

This is the most important start to the road for recovery. Ask questions about the prognosis, treatment, and costs. Get all the answers you’re looking for, and if something seems off, don’t be afraid to speak up and question it. A truly understanding doctor will patiently explain every detail to you until you’re comfortably crystal-clear. Make sure you check out all types of canine cancer and their treatments.


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2. Get a second opinion for your safety

It doesn't usually happen but its better to be safe than following a wrong treatment. Whether from another vet or veterinary oncologist, making sure that multiple vet’s opinions match up will ensure that the original diagnosis was accurate. See symptoms here or read these warning signs:

  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  • Offensive odor
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating.

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3. Follow the treatment plan religiously without missing any medication

Once you have a clear idea of the situation and you’re working with a vet that you trust, make sure to follow the plan that you’re given. Some treatment plans may include timely medications, vet visits, even some healthy diet changes.


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4. Make your dog regular with exercise like walking and jogging

Dogs will easily support you in making his routine. This includes the continuation or addition of daily exercise if they’re able. Just because your pet got a diagnosis doesn’t mean that all healthy habits should go out the window. In fact, quite the opposite.


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5. Keep watching your dog for signs of improvement

Don't forget to keep a close check on his health. See if something is spoiling his condition further and also observe what is improving his condition.


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6. Stay positive all the time

Of course, this isn’t easy. Remember, your furry family member doesn’t know what’s going on, but she will notice if you become depressed. When he senses that something is terribly wrong, he’ll start to harbor feelings of anxiety and sadness, which aren’t good for his health.


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7. Cherish your time together

There is a huge need for this. Even you know this. Don't avoid getting closer to your dog than before. It is what will make you both strong and fight the cancer. Then when the day comes for your furry best friend to cross the Rainbow Bridge, you’ll know that you made the most out of every moment you had together.


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It is not easy. This particular time will silently kill you. And your pain will grow as your dog's pain grows. The best way to handle this time is by being there for your dog. It will help you both more. Share any story you saw around you or in your family with us about cancer, in the comments section below.