Frequently, a cancer diagnosis makes everyone in the family feel helpless. After we decide on a treatment plan, owners want to know what they can do to keep their pet comfortable during treatment. Here are a few things to consider:
First, let’s talk about nutrition. A nutritious diet will help your pet have the energy he needs to fight cancer. Prescription diets are available that are specially-designed for cancer patients. These diets are high in protein to help prevent muscle loss and supplemented with fatty acids to help reduce chemotherapy side effects. Best of all, they are formulated to be pretty tasty for animals who may have a poor appetite. Many animals are able to stay on their current food, provided it is of good quality. If there is a day when your pet’s appetite is decreased, sometimes tempting them with chicken and rice or scrambled eggs will encourage them to eat while still being bland enough for a sensitive tummy. There are also medications available to help control nausea.
We encourage regular — but not strenuous — activity. Many pets are able to continue their current level of exercise, but bear in mind they may tire faster. Walks may need to be shortened, and playtime may need to be decreased.
Exposure to other animals
Cancer patients may continue to be around other dogs that you know are vaccinated and not ill. Visits to dog parks and other places where large numbers of dogs congregate should be discouraged since our pet’s immune systems are not as able to fight off infections while they have cancer.
Most importantly, enjoy them, love them. Some cancers are curable, but many are not. While your pet is being treated hug them a little longer, bring them their favorite treat, let them get on the bed. Remember: The time we have with them is precious!