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

How Did This Happen?

Updated: January 4th, 2019

I came across an article today that caught my attention.

In Edinburgh, a 9 year old Rottweiler was found abandoned by it’s owner.  He was quite ill, very thin, painful and weak.  This Rott had been tied with a leash and left.

As if this were not enough, the dog had end-stage cancer.  The cancer was found in a lung, which had collapsed. His paws were also riddled with tumors.

He was taken to a vet, who proclaimed it was the worst case of animal neglect he had seen.

To make matters even more difficult to comprehend, no-cost veterinary care is available in the United Kingdom.  There is a charitable organization, the PDSA, that sees tens of thousands of sick animals in each of its several locations.

These are hospitals are quite nice, as the PDSA is one of the most well-funded charities in the UK.

Then again, perhaps the owner of the dog would not have qualified for PDSA care, due to a healthy income. On the leash was the word “Harrah’s”.  Harrah’s is a casino.

This particular constellation of events is mind-numbing when seen from a compassionate viewpoint.

My first reaction was to pray that the person who did this suffers an immediate and painful death.

My second reaction was to pray that he or she gets cancer and then is abandoned to starve and dehydrate in the street.

Some time passed.  I recalled Martin Luther King, Jr. saying, “An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.”  I cooled down.

I started thinking about the way we treat animals after I could  think again.

How could this utterly incomprehensible event have ever happened? None of us would ever do something like that. Ever.


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I wondered….would some practices I accept as normal elicit the rage in another like this dog’s treatment did in me?

One of my regular readers is Anu, one of my clients. Hello Anu. Anu is from India.

Most of us have heard of the cows that roam the streets in India, and the belief that the cow is sacred. Pretty different, pretty weird.

Here in the US, many of us happily recall, “Beef…it is what’s for dinner.”  Yes, of course beef cattle are for food.

However, citizens of an entire country would be horrified to consume an animal that they consider sacred. They would never, ever eat a cow.  It would be horrific.

But many of us have no problem with it.

Perhaps the “guardian” of that poor Rottweiler, the person who I still feel should be shot for walking away, also had no problem with it.

Maybe that’s how that incomprehensible, gut-wrenching event in Scotland transpired.

Let us, and I include myself in this, be careful in our anger.

Sending each of you my best,

Dr D

Leave a Comment

  1. Julie Hoffman on June 21, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Dr. Dressler,

    My doberman boy Sam was diagnosed with pulmonary adenocarcinoma. They are not giving me any advice on treatment. Can you please help us? Any suggestions

  2. Gabrielle on July 14, 2009 at 2:46 am

    My dog has had skin cancer for a while. I am trying to find a cure that is relativly cheap. I have read that diet is crucial in cancer. I’m planing on buying food and watching her diet. Any advice on places to buy the food or other treatments. Thanx

    • Dr. Dressler on July 26, 2009 at 9:22 am


      consider topical neoplasine.
      I will address this more in the upcoming webinar:

      Dr D

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