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

How Can I Help My Dog with Cancer? Read Chapter 1: Your Role in Dog Cancer

How can I help my dog with cancer? It’s the first question dog lovers ask. Dr. Demian Dressler answers it. Warning: his answer might not be what you expect.

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Dog Cancer Caregiver Stress: Taking Care of Yourself So You Can Take Care of Your Dog

How to know when you are experiencing dog cancer caregiver stress … and how to care for yourself, so you can care for your dog.

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Reducing Anxiety in Dogs with Cancer

A worried dog has a harder time healing — and dogs mostly worry in response to OUR worry. When it comes to reducing anxiety in dogs with cancer, what’s a dog lover to do?

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There’s No Expiration Date … But Here are Some Warning Signs That a Dog Is Dying

What are the warning signs that my dog is dying?? Learn what signs to look for, and how to handle them.

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Improving Life Quality with Hospice for Dogs

Hospice for dogs is not about giving up: it’s about focusing on comfort and closeness.

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Was There Anything Else I Could Have Done?

Was there anything else I could have done? This is an inevitable question we all face. And the answer is always the same.

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Is My Dog Still Happy?

When your dog has cancer, one of the biggest questions weighing down your mind might be, ‘is my dog still happy?’ When we humans have cancer, we’re not happy … so of course, we wonder if our dogs are happy when they get sick. Here’s what we think at this point in the field of…

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Memories of Paws: My Dog with Cancer

My dog, Paws, was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi I adopted when I was only twelve years old, and she was only eight weeks old. She was my first dog, and I still remember holding her in my lap on the car ride home, beyond excited to have her in my family. We literally did everything…

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Prepare for Emergencies with Senior or Ill Dogs

The Call We Don’t Want to Make This is a tough one to write, and it will probably be a tough one to read.  But part of being my dog’s champion, guardian, friend, and ‘parent’ means I have to be prepared to help. We all do, like it or not. It’s been over three years…

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Facing Dog Cancer? This Is Your First Priority

When we first read The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, we were astonished to find out what our number one priority should be when it comes to helping our dogs with cancer. According to author Dr. Demian Dressler, our priority has nothing to do with our dog’s illness. “Right out of veterinary school, I would have…

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Winter Dangers for Dogs with Cancer

It’s Always Something Even as I begin writing this post I sigh at the title “Winter Dangers”.  It just seems that everywhere we turn there is a threat! And constantly being on guard can be exhausting! So I offer this to you both from the perspective of caring for your dog with cancer, who may…

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Are You a Dog Lover, or a Dog Guardian?

Who’s in charge of your decisions when it comes to your dog’s cancer? You are.

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What Is Full Spectrum Cancer Care?

How does Full Spectrum Cancer Care differ from conventional, holistic, or alternative care? It drops the bias and embraces tools from any system of medicine that have been shown to help fight cancer.

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Is There A Reason For All This Dog Cancer, part 2

In my last post, we looked at some of the connections between the environment, diet, and cancer development. We also examined how similar cancer is to the body’s reaction to an injury, as if it were healing a damaged or wounded organ in a deranged way. Today, I’ll continue some of my thoughts about why…

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Is There A Reason for All This Dog Cancer?

“Why did my dog get cancer? This is a tough question to answer, but I’d like to provide a bit of information about how I think about cancer to help answer this question. First, a bit about the disease itself, and what we know right now.  Cancer cells look and behave like young body cells. …

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Is Optimism Appropriate in Dog Cancer?

I recently received a post from a guardian who felt that perhaps the approach in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide leaned towards “pushing the positive”.  And her feeling was that when one’s own dog does not live to published median life expectancy, taking an optimistic approach was not that useful. Her dog lived 6 months.…

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On Blame

For those coping with dog cancer, there is usually a very large amount of pain. First is the shock of the diagnosis, which is common. After this comes a flood of emotions of various kinds. For some it is confusion, trying to make sense of what it actually means to have a dog with cancer.…

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Reflections Four Days After Departure

This post will be a little different. I put my own dear Ginsu down four nights ago due to cancer.  Ginsu was a loved cat, not the usual subject of the Dog Cancer Blog. Yet loss is loss, and as a provider of information that sometimes involves coping with loss, I would like to give…

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Attitude Adjustment in Coping With Canine Cancer

One of the most shocking discoveries for some guardians starting their dog cancer journey is there seem to be few options. These guardians go to the vet or oncologist, and many times return from the visit with a very heavy burden that seems to have little relief. And strangely, it happens to those who ask…

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Mourning for Dogs and Their People

Whether or not a loved dog has cancer, time is limited. And one of the easiest things to forget is this fact of being a Guardian…we usually outlive our four legged family members.  But we are not the only ones who mourn for the loss of loved ones. A recent article in Health Day described…

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Is It Wrong To Treat Dogs for Cancer?

There has been a lot of press and debate lately about the high costs of veterinary medicine. Being in New York, I’m thinking of several NY Times articles. On the front page on April 5th, there was the article “New Treatments to Save a Pet, but Questions About the Costs.” This article highlighted the advances…

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My Dog is Young…and Has Cancer??

These days cancers in young dogs do not seem to be that rare.  And they are especially difficult since it is such a shock.  Often we have the perception that things like this do not happen, or should not happen. Yet we are faced with this brutal reality that seems impossible to accept and even…

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Analysis Paralysis With Dog Cancer

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…

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Thanksgiving and Coping With Dog Cancer

Thanksgiving and dog cancer….a horrific pair. Coping with canine cancer is heart-wrenching any time, and during the holidays can be almost unbearable.  Here are some tips that can help a guardian cope with dog cancer during this season. During holidays, there are expectations that people will act or feel certain ways.  If we see family,…

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Can a Dog Cancer Diagnosis Be Wrong?

The news that a loved dog has cancer turns the world upside-down. Shock, dismay, disorientation, anger, and profound feelings of loss or sadness are common.  Another common response is questioning the diagnosis. “My dog seems fine.  The lump does not seem to bother her.  His appetite is good.  She still plays.  How can he have…

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disruptive stress and dog cancer

Disruptive Stress and Dog Cancer

Coping with dog cancer is extremely stressful. Certain life events, like coping with dog cancer in your loved family member, create such stress that it actually disrupts normal thinking.  This is called “disruptive stress.” This is very natural and common. However, disruptive stress has been shown to have a real negative effect. Disruptive stress creates…

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Guardian Versus Dog Lover in Dog Cancer

There is a big difference between loving a dog and being a dog guardian. Guardianship implies being a protector.  There is vigilance, resourcefulness, and problem solving mixed with love.  Being a dog lover is just enjoying your relationship with your dog. Guardianship is required for dealing with canine cancer.  Being a dog lover is not…

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How Was This Not Found Earlier?

For Helen, Hunter, Guardians coping with dog cancer, and their dogs. Cancer seems to sneak up on us often. Many times, Guardians will wonder how it is possible that such a horrible disease could have been brewing while the dog was acting completely normal.  And, how is it possible that the vet missed it during…

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A Big Picture Viewpoint

The recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan can teach us a lot. I live on Maui.  We had a little tsunami damage here from the same quake that has created the horror show in Japan.  Now we face the potential of radiation exposure, depending on how the nuclear leak turns out. This is nothing compared…

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Grief: Not A Four Letter Word

Let’s face it.  In the world of dog cancer, grief is part of the deal. But, the truth is that it is often ignored.  Honestly, when many of us hear the word “grief”, we kind of turn away and try not to think about it.  “Let’s deal with this.”  “Let’s get the job done.”  “How…

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