My dog was just diagnosed with cancer. Now what should I do?

When you find out that your dog has cancer, it’s one of the most surreal experiences possible. You panic and grab a camera to
take a million pictures of your pup. You assume that your dog is going to die tomorrow.

That’s not always the case. Usually you have some time.

What should you do with this time? On this web page we discuss 10 things you can do: (Click on a selection to learn more)

1) Approach the cancer journey with hope.

Doctors can give you their best educated guesses on what will happen with cancer, but the truth is, they’re not in charge of life and death. There have been cases of dogs, as well as humans, outliving their prognoses.

An oncologist once told me that my mom, who had contracted a particularly nasty form of cancer, statistically was not going to live throughout the year. He then ordered me to take his words and throw them out the window because he wasn’t in charge! He implored us to live life with joy, laughter and hope instead of under a cloud of fear and doom.

Sure enough, he was right.
He wasn’t in charge.
7 years later, Mom
is still going strong!

Our own Research Director has a Golden who has been living with lymphoma for 5 years and counting: Lola (right)

2) Talk to other pet owners who have been down the canine cancer road.

Pet owners of dogs who have/had cancer are fountains of information. They can give you first hand information on what to expect. You can fill out our Mentor Request form or ask your oncologist if there is a support group in your area.

3) Always talk to an oncologist whenever possible.

Many vets will treat cancer but, similar to people, you wouldn’t go to your family doctor for cancer. Oncologists have access to the latest information & technology.

4) Do research.

We invited 3 professionals to answer our most frequently asked questions - See their videos on our site

There are many books written on canine cancer. One book that we particularly like is, “Help Your Dog Fight Cancer” by Laurie Kaplan. You can order her book at this location

Visit our Research & Resource Page for links to sites that might be helpful to you –

5) If you need financial assistance, there are places that will help you.

We are impressed by the list of 8 places you can try located on Laurie’s web site -

has some wonderful suggestions on what else you can do – Click on the image above, or here to get to their site

6) Find clinical trials.

The Veterinary Cancer Society has links to the most current clinical trials

You can also find a list of current clinical trials through the College of Veterinary Medicine

7) Don’t freak out if you can’t afford traditional treatments.

There is still a lot you can do to help your dog. In our Video Center you will see a Wellness Expert talk about these options -

8) Consider adding a Wellness Program to Traditional Treatments.

We have several dogs who have outlived their prognoses. The one thing that they all have in common is that the owners incorporated a health regime to increase their dogs’ immune systems. For example, they’ll change their pups’ diets to include more protein. They’ll add supplements to the food. If you go to a Wellness/Holistic Expert, a plan can be tailor made for your dog. For information on what can be done, please visit our Video Center

9) Don’t feel guilty about any decisions you make.

You will quickly learn that everyone has an opinion about what you should do with your dog. Some will tell you to go the distance while others will tell you to not spend money for treatment.

You need to go with your heart and do what is right for you. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about any decisions you make.


Don’t live under a cloud of doom and fear. Live life to the fullest! What a tragedy it would be to spend precious time mourning the living. We all live in the ‘Circle of Life’. Don’t waste the ‘Life’ part! There is plenty of time to shed tears later. Right now take it one day at a time and appreciate the life that is left in your pup.

And remember, there is always hope!

Here (left and right) are just two of our dogs who are still going strong... (as well as Lola, above)










Metropolitan Referral :
Our Practices : Internal Medicine/Oncology


Although it might be too late to buy insurance for your dog that has cancer, consider purchasing a policy for your other dogs that you have now or will have in the future.

Be sure to question the cancer policy. You know first hand how expensive treatments can be!

In my own case, we have a policy for my other dog, Calvin (Calvin Klein Tight Fit, son of Levi Strauss Loose Fit - that name cracks me up!) with Embrace Pet Insurance. We are very happy with them.

Embrace Pet Insurance Customizable Pet Insurance for
Cats and Dogs









Cancer: Mast Cell
4 year survivor





Lola (left)
Cancer: Lymphoma
5 year survivor



Brody's Story
By Monica Robins

























Cancer: Hemangiopericytoma
Cancer: Mast Cell
4 year survivor


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