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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Heart-warming Lessons Learned from the Dog Cancer Journey

Updated: September 27th, 2018

Did a dog cancer diagnosis bring you and your dog closer together?

For many of us, hearing that our dog has cancer changes our lives in an instant.

Questions arise such as:
How many more walks we will enjoy?
How much time will I have to cuddle with my pooch?
Is there something I could have done differently?

Beyond the questions, however, many dog lovers experience a heart-warming journey that brings them and their dogs closer together.

Valuable life lessons and opportunities are gained from the experience of caring for a sick dog.

Perhaps you discovered something new about yourself.
Perhaps you gained a new insight into the human-canine bond.
Perhaps you experienced deeper levels of fear or love than you ever would have expected.

We would like to hear your stories. Please share them on our Facebook page  so that other dog lovers can gain from your experience and we can all benefit from celebrating the life lessons of the dog cancer journey.

Post your stories on our Facebook page (or comment below) —and please share with other dog lovers.

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  1. Melissa Zaluski on April 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    My 12-year-old border collie mix, Jesse, was diagnosed with stage II oral melanoma last year. We did palliative radiation therapy as well as the canine melanoma vaccine. We also read Dr. Dressler’s book and changed him to a home-cooked diet with lots of healthy supplements. Luckily everything we did worked and the tumor in his mouth is now completely gone and he is considered to be in remission. It has been over 5 months now since his diagnosis. Although we spent a fortune on treatments, we say it’s the best thing that ever happened to him. We’re now making the most of every day with him- lots of long walks, snuggle time, and telling him how much we love him. He loves his new food, and it’s inspired us to make big changes in the way we eat, as well. He has so much more energy and vigor now than he did when he was eating processed dog food, and people that know him have even commented that he looks like he’s aging in reverse. We took him hiking the other day with a neighbor’s dog who is also 12. The other dog was lumbering behind us, and Jesse was running and bouncing around like a puppy. I think the diet change and supplements have had a huge impact on his health and quality of life. I work at an animal shelter and I recommend the “Dog Cancer Survival Guide” to anybody who mentions that their dog has been diagnosed with cancer.

    • Dr. Demian Dressler on April 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm


  2. Jeannette Botza on March 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    My 12 year old poodle was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma Wand treated with
    4 sessions of adriamyacin and metronomic therapy between after session 3 for
    21 days which made her ill,so we stopped and finished her final 4th adriamyacin.
    We staged her every month for 5 months and nothing showed, The cardiologist
    was amazed that her tumor had disappered in her right atrium. One month after
    her 5th staging tumors were in her spleen and liver. She lived for 2 more months
    but why the return. What could have been done. The return was so fast.

  3. Roxanne Marek on March 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Our wonderful dog Shilo was diagnosed with Lymphoma in Oct. 2011. We were devastated as she is our baby. We changed her diet to a grain free and a high protein,low carb. She is on 1 prednisone pill a day and she takes an oral chemo pill every 3 weeks. So far she is a very happy girl and we are praying she stays healthy and happy. I just heard about a tea that is good for cancer and i am looking into next.

  4. Jeannette Botza on March 26, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Way would a dog diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma should nothing on an
    unltrasound in Nov. 21, and be full of tumors on 12/15;’ She had 4 sessions
    of Adriamyacin. I am just heartbroken. She just recently passed after being
    diagnosed 5 months ago..She was diagnosed in the right atrium and it totally
    disappeared after 2 sessions.

  5. Mary Emmons on March 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

    First of all finding out your dog has cancer is a devastating blow. They can’t talk to you, so they can’t tell you how much pain or how miserable they are. I lost my boxer Baron to Pancreatic cancer many years ago. It was awful and I felt so helpless. I had to let him go to the rainbow bridge before his 7th birthday. I now have a 6year old American Bulldog Dozer and he has had tumors removed since he was 1 year old. They are skin tumors and he did not get another one until he was around 3 or 4. I had those 2 removed as well. Last year he ended up with 4 new bumps and we had them tested. The vet said that they got all the cancer cells when they removed all of them and that he does not need chemo. He has an immune system that does not work correctly and seems to have a lot of allergies. I am not standing back and playing the waiting game this time. I have him on Benadryl for the allergies, I give him Turmeric to keep his immune system in check and help with his arthritis, I bought the Cancer book and have him on a really good diet, and I give him additional supplements with lots of minerals in them. He is doing so well and a very happy active boy. If a bump shows up, no matter how small, I rub aloe vera on it and they disappear. I hope he will continue to live out the rest of his days happy and carefree. He is my buddy and best friend and teaches me that every day is a blessing!

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