Pets have made our lives more bearable and more enjoyable for centuries. If you ask any pet owner, you will likely be told that pets are not just like family, they are family. When we think of family, we usually think of people who are closest to us. People who we would care for in sickness as well as in health. For so many pet owners, this is the way they think about their pets.
When a member of your family gets sick, you want to do whatever it takes to make them well again. You take them to as competent a doctor as you can find, follow the instructions on how to care for them when they come home and do your best to make them as comfortable as possible. The sane is true for pets.
Right now, there are roughly 46 million dogs who are owned by a household and almost 39 million cats. There is much to do in terms of vaccinations and checkups when they are young but after a dog or cat has gotten older, they can go in for checkups around twice per year, just to make sure they are up to date with shots and other concerns.
One of the realities of having a dog or a cat, or any other pet actually, is the same as having a spouse, a child, or any loved one–they might develop some variety of cancer. Cancer treatment for pets has become much more advanced than it used to be. Veterinary services have expanded to treat cancer in animals and this has brought at least some comfort to pet owners who might be hit with this devastating diagnosis.
If your dog or cat is diagnosed with cancer, the obvious question almost every pet owner understandably has is, why? It is difficult to determine why certain breeds might develop cancer more readily than others, but there have been some genes linked to the disease. By and large, it is a matter of terrible, dumb luck why your little buddy is stricken and others might not be.
When the diagnosis of cancer is first made at an animal hospital or a veterinary specialty center, the first things that often comes to mind are the standard procedures for cancer treatment for pets. We think of chemotherapy, radiation, and the hopes of remission. A diagnosis of cancer in animals used to be a death sentence. It wouldn’t be long before the animal was suffering too much to endure life any further. Putting your animal to sleep would be the most likely option.
Now, there are more options available and more hope is being had when we think about cancer treatment for pets. When it comes to cancer treatment for dogs, for example, chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are courses of action that are typically recommended. These can be done together in combination or alone.
The course of treatment will depend on the type of cancer your dog has and will be determined by your veterinary oncologist. Often, surgery to remove whatever bits of cancer your pet might have is part of the treatment early on. If things go well in surgery, that might be the only type of therapy that is needed. Whether surgery is performed before or after the chemotherapy and the radiation therapy will be determined after your pet has been fully assessed and diagnosed.
Our pets are very close to us. For many, the idea of a pet not being a part of the family doesn’t even make sense. We love how our pets keep us company, love us unconditionally, and even teach us so much about life itself. If your beloved pet comes down with a diagnosis of cancer, it might seem like the end. But, the good news is that cancer treatment for pets has come a very long way in the last couple of decades.
Love your pets while you have them and treat them as well as you would any other member of your family. You wouldn’t expect yourself to do any less.