No pet owner ever wants to receive the diagnosis of cancer for their pet, but sometimes it happens. As a human it is understandable that you want to know what is going to happen next so today at Leesville Animal Hospital we want to talk a little bit about what you can do now that your dog or cat has been diagnosed with cancer.
The most important thing that you should do once your dog or cat received a diagnosis of cancer is to make yourself familiar with your pet’s type of cancer. Just as with humans, there are many different types of cancer in pets and each comes with their own treatment approaches, overall prognosis and symptoms.
When your pet first receives a cancer diagnosis, the chances are that you will not hear anything your vet tells you after the words “cancer,” this is a common occurrence with any significant diagnosis and your veterinarian will understand – an encourage you – to make a follow up appointment or to call back with questions you may have about your pets diagnosis. Doing this allows you to accept your pets diagnosis and let the initial shock wear off so that you can then dedicate your attention towards your pet’s treatment plan.
Choosing a treatment plan for your dog or cat may be difficult, but remember that your vet is there to help you to make that decision based on their experience and your pet’s health history. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions about your vet’s treatment recommendations or even to disagree with them, but always remember that your vet cannot make your decisions for you, only help to steer you to the best options for your pet.
Educating yourself is another important part of having a pet with cancer. We don’t recommend spending day and night scouring the internet for cures for cancer, but we do recommend making yourself familiar with your pet’s condition, possible symptoms, side effects of the treatment solution you have chosen and what to expect throughout the disease process.
Maintain Hope. The word “cancer” has a tendency to eliminate all hope, but there are a good many pets and people who have beaten cancer so it is important that you maintain hope both for your own mental well being and for your pet. If you need a little help in maintaining hope we recommend finding a support group or even just a fellow pet owner who is facing the same challenges as you and your pet – everything is easier when you have the support and companionship of someone else besides you.
NEVER be afraid to ask questions, educate yourself and maintain hope