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

Help Metastasis with Flax Lignans

In the world of Full Spectrum care for dog cancer, we try to look for anything that gives us an edge.  This edge could be related to survival, life quality, decreasing treatment side effects, or finding something that just works better than the old way. This is a major goal of The Dog Cancer Survival…

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Dog Cancer: Does Acupuncture Make It Worse?

There are few up to speed clinicians these days that will argue acupuncture is hocus pocus in cancer medicine.  If they do, the rest of us will point to this paper, and this one, and this one..and those are just a few. Now, Western clinicians are accepting that acupuncture does good things for pain, nausea,…

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Making Time for Full Spectrum Dog Cancer Care

There is a big difference between coming up with an idea to do something, and doing it. We humans are very good at deciding that we should do.  The problem is that many times we sort of lose track of this focus, and don’t totally follow through. This is a very important issue when it…

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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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Is There Hope For Dog Cancer?

Hope. Even looking at the word on a computer screen can cause an odd mix of feelings.  This is especially true if you are coping with a canine cancer diagnosis. If there was ever a double-edged sword, hope is it.  On one hand, allowing yourself to feel hope can turbocharge your abilities and motivation. On…

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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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The Most Important Question in Dog Cancer Care

Many dog lovers arrive at The Dog Cancer Blog looking or information.  There is a problem though, and I would like to begin to spread the word about the most important question in dog cancer care. Here it is:  What type of person are you? To many, this may sound very bizarre, so give me…

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Hit The Bull’s Eye With Dog Cancer Drugs

One of the problems with chemotherapy, in addition to cost and trips in and out of the hospital is toxicity.  It can be especially difficult to handle a toxic event when the whole point of chemo in treating dog cancer is palliation. Palliation is defined as a reduction in the signs or symptoms of a…

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A Dog Cancer Wake Up Call

From time to time I receive comments from readers who express opinions about what they will consider in treating their dog’s cancer. These particular folks segregate themselves into a single group…the “anti” people. First, we have those who are very impressed with conventional veterinary care.  This is my background, so I see the appeal. Big…

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Carcinogenic Chemo Drugs

One of the biggest ironies I have encountered are carcinogenic chemotherapy drugs. Sound odd to you?  Well, I don’t blame you!  When I first found out about it I was shocked.    Medication used for fighting cancer actually increasing the odds for cancer later? Now, before everyone gets reactionary, we have to temper this topic…

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The Two Sides of Sunlight and Dog Cancer, part 2

In the last post, we examined those cases where a dog lover might want to protect dogs prone to certain skin cancers with sunscreen and indoor living. However, these are the minority.  The vast majority of dogs actually benefit, in a real way, from some direct sunlight.  Here’s my argument… Sunlight exposure in people is …

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The Cost of My Dog’s Life, part 2

In the last post, I blogged on what one can do to deal with the difficult financial issues attached to dog cancer care.  In this one, I would like to widen back, to help with some of the more personal issues about the subject. To be sure, the real-world money issue is a basic, real…

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Bone Cancer Pain: New Ideas

Many who love a dog with bone cancer need information to make sure pain is managed.  Bone cancers are often very painful.  Since life quality is so essential for us when making medical choices, we need to always control pain. Bone cancer is often first noticed as a limp.  Many times I have had a…

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Why is Canine Cancer Still Winning? Part 1

Those who have experienced the frustration and sadness in caring for a dog with cancer may have wondered, “Why is cancer still winning after all this time?” In the last forty years, successes in cancer treatment relative to effort have been pretty meager.  Even if one were to spend the average total price tag of…

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The Number One Way to Cure Canine Cancer

These days, there is so much information out there about cancer in dogs.  Some is good, and some is not that hot.   If you dig, you will find enough to make your head spin. You will get the basics from your vet or oncologist. These are what I call The Big Three, and consist of…

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What Is Over-Treatment of Dog Cancer?

Decision-making when faced with a dog cancer diagnosis can be tough.  Treatment outcome, age, cost, and side effects all can weigh heavily on the mind of a dog lover. During the first decision-making period, so much has to be weighed.  The difficult part in this process is that nothing seems to be for sure.  Objective…

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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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More Ideas For Bone Cancer Pain: Pamidronate

I have been getting questions about control of pain for bone cancer in dogs, so I thought this might be a useful post.  Life quality is central in any type of cancer treatment plan, and therefore pain control is critical. Osteosarcoma is the number one cancer affecting bone in dogs.  It usually affects large or…

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Why Would Anyone Choose Chemotherapy?

Very few people overall will opt for chemotherapy for their dogs with cancer. This is interesting, because in human medicine it is widespread. It would seem that fear of life quality loss, expense, side effects, and lack of cure in true malignancy are the main deterrents. However, there are some reasons why some do opt…

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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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Where Do I Begin?

“I am overwhelmed with all the information I am reading to help my dog with cancer.” Does this sound familiar to anyone out there? Most of the readers of this blog are searching for information. Once a true malignancy has developed, the realities can feel utterly unacceptable. This leads to information gathering.  Whenever we are…

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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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How Long Does My Dog Have?

It is very important to do what we can to avoid ongoing depression when trying to cope with cancer in our dogs.  Ongoing depression is exhausting, steals our reserves, and clouds judgment. It decreases your dog’s chances of good life quality during a life with cancer.  Yes, your ongoing depression. Please do not misunderstand me. …

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Can I give supplements with Chemotherapy?

In the world of dog cancer, we find ourselves in a war where we can be under-gunned. I must confess that when I look at this statement, I find myself wondering whether it is healthy. To think about dealing with malignancies as a war?  Perhaps this analogy is too violent, too antagonistic, too contrary. The…

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Chronic Morphine May Worsen Dog Cancer

Well, in this post I want to give the readers some cutting edge new developments in dog cancer pain control. For decades, morphine has been a good old standard in pain control, both in dog and human medicine.  Many oncologists and veterinarians involved in treating dogs afflicted with cancer use morphine to help these patients.…

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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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The Right Time for Chemotherapy Drugs for Dog Cancer?

I have been posting on what a huge issue timing can be when it comes to dog cancer treatments. In conventional cancer care, this area is utterly overlooked, except in Europe (especially France) and only a couple of spots in the US. Why does it matter? Well,  dogs (as well as people, other animals, plants,…

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Chemotherapy toxicity in dog cancer: Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC)

Chemotherapy agents are used to help slow the growth of tumors, improve life quality, and decrease tumor spread in dogs.  Although the doses used are less than in humans, toxicity of chemo drugs is still a concern. The big problem is that things that decrease toxicity of the chemo drugs often will decrease the effectiveness…

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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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