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Dog Palliative Cancer Care

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Dog Palliative Cancer Care

In most homes, dogs are a major part of the family. Therefore, finding out they have Dog Cancer can be a devastating experience. More specifically, finding out they have a serious form of cancer or tumor can leave you with many questions and future decisions on what you should do. Palliative care helps to reduce the amount of symptoms and pain that your beloved dog may be feeling, which is usually one of the most important things you can do.

Treating the Canine Cancer Patient

Today, advancements in technology now allow palliative treatments for dogs with cancer. Euthanasia should only be a thought of as a very last resort and after all treatment options have been exhaustively explored. Treatments usually consist of palliative or curative and depend on the type of cancer that a dog has.

In most cases, all efforts should consist of ridding the dog of the cancer cells within their body. By doing this, there is always a chance that the dog could go from palliative treatments to receiving curative treatments. In any case, it is never a good idea to wait before treating. Doing so, could decrease the chances of obtaining a cure. Two types of treatments considered palliative are chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

Deciding on whether to Use Palliative Treatments or Not

Usually, a diagnosis of things such as Dog Lymphoma Cancer or a metastatic tumor in a dog gives them very little chance of a cure. However, the use of palliative treatments can potentially increase the animal's life, considerably. Mainly, the goals of palliative treatments consist of giving the dog a good quality of life in addition to reducing the tumor mass (remission).

Palliative Treatment Options

Immunotherapy - This type of treatment works by increasing the immune system of the dog or dog in order to help their body fight against the cancer. This tends to give them the positive benefit of making the animal healthier and able to withstand more treatments. Often, this type of treatment is used in combination with chemotherapy or another type of treatment seen fit by the Veterinarian.

Chemotherapy - Generally a series of drugs are given to the animal in order to help them fend off the cancer. In addition, this works by reducing the size of tumors present. Usually, this type of option is utilized when the cancer has spread throughout the animal's body. Some of the common adverse Dog Chemotherapy Drug Side Effects or complications with this type of treatment are perivascular tissue necrosis, gastrointestinal issues and myelosuppression, in addition to other complications.


Some of the various types of medications sometimes used are opioids, steroids, gabapentin, and tramadol, in addition to other types of non-steroidal medications for anti-inflammation. Most medications are used to reduce the amount of pain the animal experiences.

Alternative Treatments

In some cases, people turn to alternative treatments for their dog. Usually, the type of treatment will depend on the clinical signs and diagnosis. Some of the different options consist of:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Herbal therapy
  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture

Overall, the quality of life should be the most important thing to consider for palliative cancer treatments of a dog. Therefore, it is essential to set goals from the start of treatment in order to ensure the treatment options remain within the best interest of your dog. If things come to a point where the quality of your dog’s life can no longer be properly maintained, it is always better to relieve them of the pain than allow them to continue living and suffering.

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