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


Better and Longer: End of Life Care

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine was just published that showed that human cancer patients lived both longer and better with hospice care. Patients with a type of lung cancer lived almost 2 months longer with hospice care than those who did not.  Similar trends have been seen with other terminal diseases…

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Cerenia. Dog with toy laying under covers on bed.

Cerenia: An Option for Dogs with Vomiting

Cerenia can really help with dogs who are vomiting or getting nauseous. Ask your vet!

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Life Quality: Is My Dog In Pain?

Physical comfort is very important for a dog’s life quality.  When it comes to canine cancer, life quality is a central topic that deserves much attention. Since the systemic cancers are so formidable and resist successful treatment, often increasing life span and maintaining a normal life quality are main goals. Life quality can be evaluated…

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Mirtazapine for Dog Cancer

Dear Dog Lovers, A newer drug is being used frequently lately, and I would like to make sure everyone dealing with a canine cancer diagnosis has heard of it.  This medication may help some dogs out there, so let’s keep everyone up to date. The drug is mirtazapine, also called Remeron. Now granted, many of…

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Signs of Dog Cancer and Decompensation

People are often stunned to find out their dog has cancer. Why? Because cancer seems to hit out of the blue. I often hear “but he’s been fine until the last couple days!” In this article, I’m going to take just a minute to explain why “cancer” seems to happen overnight. (Hint: it’s because of…

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Vitamin C and Dog Cancer Update

There is much talk on the use of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), in it’s various forms, for cancer treatment in the “alternative” medical community. It’s use in conventional cancer care is routinely ignored. In the spirit of full-spectrum care and rational analysis, let’s take a closer look. Due to some interesting observations, focus on vitamin…

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Diet for Dogs With Mast Cell Tumors

Friends, Today’s post will likely be met with some skepticism from those immersed (and confined) to our Western medical approach.  So if this is your framework, please keep an open mind.  You will be pleased to know that the information here is taken from little known, but still Western, data banks. I have recently been…

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Why use stomach medication for mast cell tumors?

Many dog lovers are coping with a diagnosis of canine mast cell tumor.  Just yesterday afternoon I was removing a very large one from the body wall of Big, a 10 year old, 105 pound, much-loved mixed breed. The day before his surgery, Big started to throw up.  He became quite sick, and would not…

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Important Issues in Chemotherapy

The problem with chemotherapy, at least traditional drugs, is that it does not always target just the cancer cells.  What I mean by that is the chemo drug may not care if it shuts down a dividing body cell or a dividing cancer cell. Chemotherapy drugs tend, with some exceptions, to go after cells that…

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Chemo side effects: What should I do?

Chemotherapy does have side effects that need to be considered.  About 5% of these will require your pet to be hospitalized, on the average, and there is a 1% chance of fatal reactions overall with chemotherapy. Although I have not seen any published data, unpublished estimates on overall risks of any side effect are roughly…

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How Do We Tell If A Loved Dog Is In Pain?

Pain.  The very word makes us wince. Same with the word cancer.  A friend recently brought up the fact that some of us  refer to cancer as “The C-word.” So when we put these together and talk about cancer pain, we have quite a loaded topic on our hands. Before I get into how to…

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Benadryl for mast cell tumors

Benadryl For Dogs With Mast Cell Tumors: How It Can Help

Vets often prescribe Benadryl for mast cell tumors. Why on earth do they do that? Dr. Dressler explains how this common allergy med can help.

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Manageable Challenges and Life Quality

Manageable challenges and life quality: your dog with cancer NEEDS to feel good about himself. Continue to challenge her, to boost her sense of self-esteem!

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End of Life Care in Dog Cancer

The end of life stage can be very hard on everyone. It often is gut-wrenching to see your dear companion start to say goodbye. Like any weighty decision, sometimes the emotions involved can paralyze our ability to choose. During these times it is so important to gain some clarity by seeking support in counselors, support…

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Do Numbers Matter?

A lover of a dog with cancer needs to come up with an plan that makes sense. The first step in any plan is arming oneself with answers, or data that relates to the situation. There are two basic areas that we need to focus on. The first is what can we do to maintain…

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What I Do in my Veterinary Hospital

Some have wondered what does this guy do, this Dr Dressler? Why does he do this blog anyway? Well, there is a shorter version of the long truth. Since this is a blog post, and I’m told mine are too long anyway, I’ll give you the short version. I spend many hours working as a…

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Things You Need To Know About Radiation for Dog Cancer

This is a continuation of the previous blog topic, radiation therapy in dog cancer. We looked at some benefits of radiation previously, both in terms of life quality and lifespan. This time, I would like to look at some of the downsides.  I am not interested in painting a darker picture than is necessary.  This…

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Predicting Chemotherapy Reactions in Dogs: MDR 1

Hi everyone! What about chemo safety in dogs, anyway? How do we know whether a given dog with cancer will tolerate chemotherapy? Well, for some drugs, there is a test that can give us info.  The test is for mutations in a gene called MDR 1, or ABCB delta 1. This gene make a protein…

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Mast Cell Tumors in Dogs: some advances in conventional care

Hi!  I have been getting feedback about mast cell tumors and I would like to get some info out there.  I will focus on some conventional medicine advances for the time being that should be thoroughly checked into by dog lovers interested in mast cell tumors. These are not general cancer recommendations, rather just a…

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Ginger to help dogs with cancer. Raw piece of ginger root.

Ginger to Help Dogs with Cancer

Ginger to help dogs with cancer? YES! This inexpensive, great-smelling, pungent root is great for your dog. Learn why and how to use it.

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Dog food and cancer: help fight this problem!

In the last post I wrote about one of the issues in most commercial dog foods contributing to dog cancer: omega 6 fatty acid excess. This is a group of fats that are found in large quantities in corn products, vegetable oils, and meat products like tallow and lard, to name a few sources. Dogs…

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Pain in Dog Cancer and Life Quality, Part 2

Many times people talk about life quality in pets and pain.  “Is my dog in any pain?” is a common question I get at my hospital.  To be sure, pain is an important consideration in life quality. Of all the factors that contribute to a bad life, pain may be the most potent.  BUT…it is…

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Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Many people ask me what to look for to tell if their dogs have cancer. I thought I should give you a little summary of some of the biggies.

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