Finding out your beloved furry best friend has cancer is never easy. Cancer is among the top causes of death for geriatric animals. Options for treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. Surgery is often used for cancers that are localized to one specific part of the body such as tumors. Radiation and chemo can be used in conjunction with surgery or alone. These types of treatments are commonly used on spreading cancers. Immunotherapy is relatively new to vet oncology and limited.
Regardless of treatment, the prognosis or expected outcome depends on the type of cancer and your dog. As well as how they deal with any such treatment. The major goal of cancer care is quality of life which can include pain management and palliative (end of life) care.
So what can you do? Well, your regular veterinarian may refer you to an oncology specialist if they don't have the necessary tools and means to diagnose and/or treat your pooch. A specialist can be more expensive but if you've decided to treat your dog, you want the best. Often, fighting cancer is a team effort with the help of your regular veterinarian and various specialists. In the Seattle area, there are three specialist options for your animal.
Animal Cancer Specialists (www.animalcancerspecialists.com), now part of ACCES.
Located at 11536 Lake City Way NE
Seattle, WA 98125
Veterinary Oncology Center (www.helpingpetswithcancer.com)
636 Shattuck Ave South
Renton, WA 98057
And the Animal Medical Center (www.animalmedicalspecialists.com) of Seattle has an oncology department.
14810 15th Ave NE
Shoreline, WA 98155
No matter what, hold onto hope and take strength from your courageous canine. Greet each new day together with a wag. Take a look at some of these success stories on The National Canine Cancer Foundation: http://www.wearethecure.org/survivor-stories!