When faced with a dog cancer diagnosis, many guardians experience an immediate sense of overwhelm. Of course, there is profound anger, sadness, numbness, grief, and the whole array of different responses to crises news.
After a time, treatment options arise. And the facts are that modern medicine in many cases does not provide options that are satisfactory. There must be something else! Often these events land a person who loves a dog with cancer right here on this blog.
As the journey for a solution continues, many options start arising that were not explored in the examination room with the vet or the conventional oncologist. The search for information is on and many things pop up on the radar. Perhaps something from a friend is heard. Maybe a breeder talks about the right diet. Could be information is picked up on the internet.
Over time, the information can be so much that the concerned guardian, who has many times lost much ability to focus due to profound grief and pain, finds themselves paralyzed. Too many options, not enough clarity, and the result can be utter and total exhaustion without forward movement.
This is what I call “Analysis Paralysis” and it is common in coping with dog cancer.
What is the cure for analysis paralysis?
- Clear you mind. Use the emotional releasing exercises provided for you in the Guide. See a counselor, friend, mentor or find spiritual support. Experience the emotion, release, and move forward.
- Develop a support network of people who have dealt with dog cancer. This blog, TriPawds, and Yahoo Canine Cancer Group are good online sources for peer support.
- Find an information source you trust. Examples include your vet or oncologist, integrative vet, or someone who has been through this. The Guide was written for this exact purpose.
- Make a list of the questions you have. Write them all down. Go to the information source and answer each and every question you have to the best of your ability. Record the answers.
- Decide on the best plan for your dog. This is the end result of treatment plan analysis.
- Write down your plan. Focus on emotional releasing activities (guard the guardian) diet, chemotherapy, surgery, apoptogens, other supplements, deliberate life quality increases, finances, nursing care, and logistics.
- Make a dog care calendar with each and every step for each item. Find or make time in your daily calendar for these different steps. Don’t forget to include preparation and follow up times.
- Keep focused on whatever is positive. Do this actively, even if it is difficult. It will help.
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.