Should I Treat My Dog’s Cancer?

Cancer is a common condition for dogs, especially as dogs are living longer. The smaller your dog, the more likely that he or she will develop cancer. Dogs who are 10 or older are the most likely to contract cancer. If your dog has contracted cancer, you may be able to treat the condition. Chemotherapy treatment can allow your dog to live for an additional year with certain forms of cancer and some dogs that have received chemotherapy may even live longer. However, you may question whether it is right for your dog to undergo a cancer treatment both financially and ethically.

Where Has The Cancer Spread?

The most important consideration is the form of cancer that your dog is suffering from. There are some forms of cancer that may be beatable with a surgery. Cancer treatment for a dog can cost thousands of dollars. If the only way to treat the cancer is through chemotherapy, such as if the cancer has advanced to your dog's lymph node, it is understandable if you are reluctant to treat your dog. If your dog were to fully recover and have the normal life expectancy for a dog, you may believe that the treatment would be worthwhile. But since most cancer treatments will simply delay the inevitable, you may find that the sticker shock is too much. 

What Emotions Do You Feel?

Consider the emotions you might feel. You may feel guilt that you did not do enough to prolong the life of your dog. But at the same time, you may also not wish to spend a year knowing that you would lose your companion soon. It is difficult to predict how you will feel, but it is still important to consider this. 

What Treatments Are Currently Available?

Depending on the nature of the cancer, there may be inexpensive treatments that can delay your companion's death and may also reduce the suffering that he or she might experience. For instance, you may be able to make changes to your pet's diet. There are also new treatments that are being developed everyday. There may be a new vaccine that is able to cure the specific form of cancer your dog has. Therefore, it is important to consult with a veterinarian about the condition your dog is in, how much it will cost to treat your dog and how long you may be able to prolong your dog's life.