“There is no medicine like hope.” – Orison Swett Marden, doctor and author
You love your pet, and you want the best for him/her in every way. When a pet is diagnosed with cancer, the question we hear most often is, “Is there anything we can do?” We are always happy to say, “Yes.”
At VCC, we are continually inspired by the healing powers of our patients. Pets are fighters; they are not statistics. Our patients have shown us time and time again that in every situation, there is cause for hope.
However, cancer does not disappear without intervention. Your pet needs you to take charge of his/her care, and to learn all your options. As cancer specialists, we can help you understand all aspects of your pet’s illness, so you can decide the best way to provide support and help. Each case of cancer is unique, and we tailor each treatment plan to fit the individual needs of the patient and his/her family.
Cancer in Pets
Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of damaged cells. Cells are the basic building blocks of our bodies and normally grow, divide, and die. When a cell is damaged and becomes abnormal, our bodies will recognize the damaged cells and either destroy or control their growth. Sometimes our defenses do not work and the abnormal cells grow uncontrollably resulting in cancer. Luckily, our bodies have many defense strategies to protect us and prevent this from happening.
Cancer in pets often behaves the same way as it does in humans. As in humans, cancer can be caused by damage to DNA due to factors such as radiation, infections, chemicals, or hormones. Exposure to these factors to some extent is unavoidable, but due to age or breed, some pets are more susceptible to cancer than others.
We treat cancer in pets with many of the same therapies and drugs that prove successful in treating cancer in humans, such as: surgery, chemotherapy, cryosurgery, radiation, cancer vaccines, and newer modalities such as protein kinase inhibitors. Unlike humans, pets often do not experience the same negative side effects from cancer treatment, such as hair loss and nausea. Pets often remain happy and upbeat throughout the course of treatment.
Instead of (or in addition to) medical intervention, some pet parents opt for more natural treatments. Through supplements and diet, you may be able to slow the growth of many cancer tumors without drugs or surgeries.
Pets are family members and hearing a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. We are here to help you through this process.
First, know that in many cases, your pets can still live out their natural life expectancy even with a diagnosis of cancer. But your pet’s quality of life, not the quantity of their days, is our most important concern. Even with a diagnosis of cancer, and even through treatment, you can expect lots of play and belly scratches and tons of treats.
Second, we understand that information is power. We will give you plenty of detail about your pet’s diagnosis, treatment options, nutritional advice, and supportive supplements and herbs. Ask us all the questions that you have and we promise to do our best to answer them! Take a breath, we are here for you.