Cancer is the most dreaded word every heard by a human. This single word brings so much pain and is enough to make us helpless, more so for a pet parent. Once cancer is diagnosed in your loveable pet you cannot help imagining the excruciating sessions of chemotherapy, surgeries and even a small glimpse of hope through remission. The worst thing you can ever think about is what to do if you lose the battle with the big C!
The first question you will probable ask your vet is Why? You may have given the right food and exercise to your pet. Yet, your poor pet succumbs to cancer. The fact is that there is no particular reason that leads to the probability of cancer. Anyone can get it. Some cancers are breed specific and in other cases are closely linked to specific genes or presence of toxins. So, in plain terms we can say that luck plays a major role in determining whether or not your pet gets afflicted with cancer.
Signs of cancer in dogs
The first signs of cancer can be easily noticed at home itself. Symptoms like decreased mobility, lethargy, changes in appetite, sudden collapse or inability to urinate can be indicative of cancer.
A proper diagnosis of cancer can only be seen after further testing that is usually done when you take them for a check-up. They will usually do a biopsy, ultrasound or a cytology to get a clear-cut picture of the disease.
Treating cancer in dogs
The recommended treatment for dogs with cancer is chemotherapy, radiation and surgery that is done individually or in combination, depending on the type and its severity. A surgery is usually performed to remove as much of the cancer as possible and is usually done before or after chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy is a broad term for drugs that are used to treat the disease. It can be administered orally, intravenously, topically, intramuscularly, directly to the tumour or into the body cavity.
Dogs do not suffer much from the side effects of chemotherapy. Some dogs do not lose their fur during the chemo sessions. Yet, some breeds with fast growing haircoats like the Poodles and the Old English Sheepdogs may experience thinning of their fur. Your dog may also suffer form temporary diarrhea, vomiting or a loss of appetite.
Diet for dogs with cancer
One thing that a concerned pet parent should realise is that commercial dog food is not an ideal meal for your pet. Your dog will definitely benefit from a whole food diet. Did you know that commercial dog food contains ‘feed grade’ products that are easily fed to animals but is unsuitable for human consumption. So, an ideal food diet for your pet must have whole and human grade foods.
Human grade foods contain substances that are not carcinogenic. So, feeding your pet with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and natural fats go a long way in ensuring your pet stays strong and fights the disease.