2 Dogs 2,000 Miles – Helping Dogs With Cancer

Lisa left a comment after one of my dog cancer articles to tell me about the 2,000 mile hike Luke Robinson is going to start in January this year with his two Great Pyrenees dogs Hudson and Murphy. The walk, which is from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts will take about six months to complete.

The hike is to raise awareness and money for cancer research for companion animals. Luke lost his Great Pyrenees Malcolm to cancer in 2006, and this walk is in his memory.

Here’s a short trailer describing the walk (running time 1min54s):

If you’ve lost a pet to cancer, or have a cancer survivor, please consider adding their name to the memorial wall set up on the site 2dogs2000miles.

Good luck to Luke, Hudson and Murphy – you can follow their progress on their blog.

How to Lower the Risk of Dog Cancer

golden-retriever-on-beach

The causes of cancer are not known with any certainty, but just as with human cancer there is evidence that certain factors increase the risk of your dog suffering from the disease.

In the last few years, dog cancer research has focused on improving cancer management through developing better diagnosis, tumor imaging and tumor grading and staging techniques.

Now, the focus has turned to how we can prevent cancer in the first place – early diagnosis and prevention can do far more to reduce the impact cancer has on our dogs than continually improving treatment plans will ever have.

From what we already know about dog cancer, genetics, exposure to certain carcinogens and a weakening of the immune system can all contribute to the development of cancer.

Here is a list of 10 factors (in no particular order) that could increase the chances that your dog will suffer from cancer:

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Dog Cancer Treatment – what are the options for your dog?

dog-relaxing

Dog cancer treatments are developing all the time, and usually follow human treatments but with one important difference.

Cancer treatments tend to be less aggressive – lower doses and fewer combinations of drugs/treatments – in animals than in humans. The reason for this is that dog cancer treatment is more about alleviating pain, extending life and maintaining quality of life, than going for a cure at the expense of potentially severe complications and unnecessary suffering for your dog.

Before a treatment plan can be drawn up for your dog, his oncologist will need a thorough understanding of:

  • the type(s) of tumor your dog has;
  • the grade or stage of the tumor – basically this means how quickly is the cancer growing and is it spreading through the body;
  • the location of the tumor(s); and
  • the general health of your dog, such as is there any heart, disease, diabetes, are the liver and kidneys functioning healthy.

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10 Tips for Dealing With a Cancer Diagnosis

couple-with-dogA diagnosis of cancer brings with it a roller coaster of emotions, and one of the strongest is the feeling of hopelessness.

Your dog will now be dependent upon you more than ever to make the right decisions for him, so here are 10 tips for dealing with your dog being diagnosed with cancer.

1. Take Charge of the Situation

A cancer diagnosis does not mean a death sentence for your dog. Many cancers are curable and for those that aren’t there are treatment options that can give your dog many months, sometimes years, of good quality life.

Don’t deny your emotions, but resolve to take charge of your dog’s care and do whatever you can to give him the best chance of recovery with the minimum amount of pain and suffering.

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5 Common Cancers in Dogs

boy-with-dog

In this article I shall describe five common cancers found in dogs. I’ve included some of the symptoms of these cancers and you will see that many of them are also included in the 10 common signs of cancer in small animals that I listed in the last article.

The prognosis for the cancers I mention is not particularly good; the figures are broad generalizations, but they do highlight how important it is to to detect and treat cancer as early as possible to give your dog every chance of a successful recovery or good remission prospects.

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