You probably remember the moment your Vet called in to tell you, your dog had cancer. With your heart sinking further and further you think to yourself; “What Do I Do Now?”. For many of us our dogs are our best friends and a part of the family. When one member of the family is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family has cancer too. But dogs are different than humans and react in different ways than we do to this life-threatening disease.
We have compiled a list of three things you can do, that are essential in caring for your dog with caner.
1. Don’t Let Them Be In Pain: Comprehensive pain management is critical to the quality and longevity of life for cancer patients. The goal then is to prevent pain, not try to alleviate it once it occurs. Local anesthesia may be helpful in those animals that have localized pain. Pain-relieving medications can be used, including fentanyl patches, which are applied to the skin and slowly release the active ingredient. Proper care of the animal also helps in pain management. The animal should be handled gently.
2. Vomiting Is Not Allowed: Nausea and vomiting are actually uncommon problems for animals undergoing chemotherapy. Vomiting animals can quickly become dehydrated and develop electrolyte imbalances. Nauseated and vomiting animals will generally not eat, which brings us to number 3.
3. Don’t Let Them Starve: This is probably the most important of the three. The first step is to increase the appetite. This may be accomplished by warming the food: serving palatable, aromatic foods; and feeding in a stress-free environment. If the animal will not eat on his own, a “stomach tube” may be used. The diet of the animal will need to be tailored individually.
When your dog is already going through so much, it’s important to make sure that they are as healthy and pain-free during this difficult time.