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

Palliative Approach

pet insurance for dogs

Pet Insurance for Dogs with Cancer

Pet insurance for dogs didn’t used to cover cancer costs … but that has changed. Woo hoo!

Read Article

Chemotherapy for Osteosarcoma

In my last two posts about osteosarcoma (OSA), we discussed treatments that address the tumor affecting the bone. We discussed amputation, Stereotactic RadioSurgery (SRS) like Cyberknife, palliative radiation, and limb-spare surgery. While these treatments are important for the malignant tumor destroying the bone, metastasis (cancer spread) is inevitable.  So even if the primary tumor is…

Read Article

DogCancer.TV: Dog Cancer Surgery When is Surgery a Good Option

In this video, Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger discuss their perspectives on surgical treatment of dog cancer and the different types of surgery that maybe performed.

Read Article

Osteosarcoma: when amputation is not an option, part 2

In my last post, I went through some “alternatives-to-amputation,” including palliative radiation and limb-spare surgery. Now we will review stereotactic radiosurgery. Stereotactic RadioSurgery: radiation instead of surgery RadioSurgery is used INSTEAD of surgery, when traditional surgery with a scalpel blade is impossible or would cause unacceptable side effects to the patient (for example, in brain…

Read Article

Osteosarcoma: when amputation is not an option

In my most recent blog, we discussed amputation for limb osteosarcoma (OSA), the most common local treatment for the primary tumor in the bone. We discussed that amputation is not an easy decision for pet Guardians, even though most older dogs with average, moderate arthritis usually do well on three legs. If my clients are…

Read Article

Mast cell tumor treatment: chemotherapy

In my last blog, I discussed surgery and radiation for MCT. Today we will focus on chemotherapy. Which dogs need chemo? Your dog may not even need chemotherapy. In many dogs that I see with MCT, I do not recommend chemotherapy at all. This is because chemotherapy is not as effective as surgery and radiation…

Read Article

Mast cell tumor treatment: surgery and radiation

We’ve spent a number of recent blogs understanding how MCT behave, how to confirm the diagnosis, MCT grade, what staging tests to consider, and what the prognostic predictors are. Now let’s talk treatment. First, let’s think about the three main conventional tools oncologist use to treat tumors: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. In general, it is…

Read Article

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…

Read Article

A Dog With Bone Cancer

I couple of months back, I diagnosed a bone tumor in a wonderful dog named Dolly. Dolly is one of the world’s happiest dogs.  She is an elderly family member (she would not be happy if I told you her age).  She is a Boxer. As many are aware, Boxers are one of the breeds…

Read Article

My Dog Is Limping, But No Pain

Today’s column will look at the limp in your loved dog. First and foremost, we need to realize that sometimes what our mind tells us is not the most reliable information. What am I talking about here? Well, in times of stress, for example when  dealing with a dog cancer diagnosis or other pet-related trauma…

Read Article

Different Pain, Different Drugs

In some ways physicians have it easy.  An MD can ask a human patient, “Are you in pain?” It’s a bit tougher for us animal lovers. Interestingly, we are in the same boat as pediatricians in this way.  We have to go by signs, feelings, intuition in some cases.  And sometimes the truth is that…

Read Article

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…

Read Article

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…

Read Article

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…

Read Article

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…

Read Article