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No matter what you’ve heard, there are always steps you can take to help your dog fight (and even beat) cancer. This comprehensive guide is your complete reference for practical, evidence-based strategies that can optimize the life quality and longevity for your dog.
No matter what diagnosis or stage of cancer your dog has, this book is packed with precious advice that can help now.
The Dog Cancer Survival Guide is a collaboration between two highly respected veterinarians.
The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, he studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.
Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics.
Dr. Dressler is the co-founder of Functional Nutriments, LLC, a nutraceutical company, and is the inventor of Apocaps, the first clinical apoptogen formula.
He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE. He is an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary. He and his wife, Allison, live on Maui, Hawaii, with their dog, Bjorn, and their cat, Ginsu.
Dr. Ettinger is a staff medical oncologist at Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, New York, and board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology).
After earning a BS in biology at Tufts University, she received a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.
She completed her small animal medicine and surgery internship before joining the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, as a research associate and investigator in a five-year NIH program project grant.
Dr. Ettinger was also an instructor in the Department of Molecular Medicine and an oncology associate with the Comparative Cancer Program at Cornell.
After relocating to New York, she became a staff oncologist at Long Island Veterinary Specialists before rejoining Animal Specialty Center. She is well-known for compassionate, comprehensive cancer management with a focus on quality of life and palliative care. She and her husband, Kerry, who is also a veterinarian, live with their two sons, their dog, Matilda, and two cats, Jeter and Raziel, in New York.
With this book, canine cancer—the number one killer of dogs—loses some of its sting. The message that the dreaded diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence will reassure many readers. Dressler, a general practice veterinarian, and Ettinger, a veterinary oncologist, advocate the “full spectrum” approach to treatment, in which conventional tools (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation) and alternative remedies (supplements, botanical nutraceuticals, mind-body medicine) are considered. Their counsel, in short: “Try everything.” The book’s divided structure is somewhat unusual (but nonetheless effective), as Dressler uses the first two-thirds to give a comprehensive overview, while in the last third, Ettinger details 12 common cancers and their conventional treatments. Clever use of sidebars (part of the book’s “Dummies”-style packaging) allows the authors to comment on each other’s ideas, so the reader gets a practical demonstration of the value of second opinions. Anecdotes from appreciative readers of the first (ebook) edition have been sprinkled throughout the text, providing further advice and support.
Verdict: Faced with a bewildering set of circumstances, owners of dogs with cancer will welcome this guide, which will help them calm down, think clearly, consider the options, and, ultimately, make more confident decisions.
-Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont.
"The Dog Cancer Survival Guide is indispensable reading for any dog owner dealing with cancer… this book guides, supports and educates you!"
Book Buyer, Costco, Book Columnist, Costco Connection
"The future is upon us and this ground-breaking book is a vital cornerstone. In dealing with cancer, our worst illness, this Survival Guide is educational, logical, expansive, embracing, honest and so needed."
Dr. Marty Goldstein, DVM
Holistic veterinarian and Host, Ask Martha Stewart’s Vet on Sirius Radio
"The Dog Cancer Survival Guide is an admirable book. It is so readable that it is more like a novel than an instructive text. Any serious book that is 470 pages long could be a daunting prospect. However this guide flows effortlessly and it is difficult to put it down, so packed is it with practical information. The canine patient, your beloved pet, must always be the main focus of attention. All caring or treatment for him/her needs to be a team effort which involves you the owner, your vet, the laboratory for diagnostic tests etc. and any specialist veterinary surgeon that might be asked to give a second opinion. The information in this book helps you navigate these relationships for your dog’s best care. The Dog Cancer Diet is an all-important section which should be studied and followed in great detail. I am delighted to find, that like me, Dr. Dressler is more convinced by practical evidence, rather than worshipping at the shrine of the ‘placebo embracing double blind crossover trial’ that most ‘scientists’ seem to dote on. I fully recommend this lovely book and it should be in the library and read by all people who are trying to cope with cancer in both animals and humans.”
Francis Hunter, MRCVS, VetFFHom
Author of “Everyday Homeopathy for Animals“, “People are Pets“, and “Before the Vet Calls“
"The message of this book jumps off the written page and into the heart of every reader, and will become the at home bible for cancer care of dogs. The authors have given you a sensible and systematic approach that practicing veterinarians will cherish. I found the book inspiring and, clearly, it will become part of my daily approach to cancer therapy for my own patients."
Dr. Robert B. Cohen, VMD
Bay Street Animal Hospital, New York
"A comprehensive guide that distills both alternative and allopathic cancer treatments in dogs...With the overwhelming amount of conflicting information about cancer prevention and treatment, this book provides a pet owner with an easy to follow approach to one of the most serious diseases in animals."
Dr. Barbara Royal, DVM
The Royal Treatment Veterinary Center, Oprah Winfrey’s Chicago veterinarian
"Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger have succeeded at the incredible task of writing a book that really helps pet parents who are struggling with the many decisions faced when their beloved animal has been diagnosed with cancer. Presenting and explaining both complementary and conventional medical options for the treatment of cancer in ‘one book’ is a giant step in the direction of ‘one medicine’ offering integrative medical choices to pet parents for the betterment of their animal’s health."
Dr. Bob Goldstein
Holistic veterinarian, Westport, CT
"The Dog Cancer Survival Guide is a great resource for pet parents whose dogs have been diagnosed with cancer. This easy-to-read book provides important information about canine cancers and discusses both conventional and holistic treatment options. Besides being informative, the book helps guide people as they navigate through a difficult and emotional path.”
Dr. Ruth MacPete
The Pet Vet, Florida
"I wish that I had had The Dog Cancer Survival Guide when my dearly beloved Flat-coated Retriever, Odin, contracted cancer. It would have provided me alternative courses of action, as well as some well needed "reality checks" which were not available from conversations with my veterinarian. It should be on every dog owner’s book shelf--just in case..."
Dr. Stanley Coren, PhD, FRSC
author of many books, including Born to Bark
"The Dog Cancer Survival Guide is like a crash course in canine cancer for the layperson. It takes a bit of the mystery out of the dreaded disease by teaching some of the what, why, and how regarding cancer and cancer treatment. After reading it, you will be better equipped to help your best friend live life to the fullest, regardless of the prognosis."
Blogger, The Pet Connection
"Picking up The Dog Cancer Survival Guide is anything but a downer: it's an 'empowerer.' It will make you feel like the best medical advocate for your dog. It covers canine cancer topics to an unprecedented depth and breadth from emotional coping strategies to prevention-in plain English. Read this book, and you will understand cancer stages, treatment options, and types, and much more. If you have just had the dreaded news, pick up a copy and it will guide the decisions your dog trusts you to make."
Dog behavior specialist and technical dog writer, CanisBonus.com
"As a holistic dog care author, I knew exactly which experts to consult when my sweet Maltese Jiggy developed a large liver tumor. But even with advice from a top cancer specialist and help from a half dozen veterinary friends, I still had numerous questions. Exactly how should I adjust Jiggy’s diet? What supplements should I add? What else could I do to help him? I found the answers I sought and more in Dr. Dressler’s book. I was particularly impressed by the thoroughness of the information. The book is easy to read, but wonderfully complete. If your dog has cancer, I urge you to get two things: a second opinion … and this book."
Author, Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care
When we decided to publish the second edition of this book, readers of the first edition were asked “What would you tell a dog lover who is dealing with dog cancer, knowing what you know now?” These are just a few of the many “True Tails” that were contributed. If you’re thinking about getting a copy of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, this is what readers of the first edition have to say to you:
“Caesar was diagnosed with a Mast Cell Tumor Grade/Stage III when he was just over a year old. We had a clean removal of the tumor from his inner rear thigh, and began chemo very shortly after. It was a very scary time, but we were fortunate to have a great vet who made some fantastic recommendations to a local pet store. The pet store owner made a recommendation to a lady who specifically deals with Boxers, and she recommended the Dog Cancer Survival Guide. We have recommended the guide to our vet and anyone we know who is going through this horrible process. Caesar has six month checkups and he is now approaching four years old. He has smashed most of the statistics out there and I directly attribute that to Dr. Dressler’s book, our support group and the diet he is now on.”– Matt Cantine, White House, Tennessee
“Dr. Dressler’s book was the only comprehensive research I was able to find on this subject. I found it to be thorough when dealing with all aspects of cancer in dogs with a personal touch that made me feel that he was addressing me personally.” – Mike Bertuleit, Bowling Green, Kentucky
“We learned a significant amount from the book, and we continue to use it as a reference. Our standard poodle has had a tremendous boost out of chemo (there has been only one round of the 19 week protocol), and we are now at over nineteen months since the end of chemo and we are approaching two years since diagnosis. Apocaps is central to her regimen still, and we use and have used many other recommendations from the book as well. She has lived, and more importantly she has thrived, well beyond the statistical norm, and we credit the book and Apocaps for much of that success. Dr. Dressler is honest and realistic about prognosis, and yet he offers hope and evidence-based advice, and the learned and professional integration of conventional and alternative approaches is something that we did not find anywhere else.” – Bob Andersen, Broadway, Virginia
“The radiation oncologist that we saw after the tumor was removed suggested five weeks of radiation, for five days a week, all for the “small price” of $10,000! They only did the treatments between 8am and noon, making it virtually impossible for anyone who holds a job, but you could leave your dog there for the day for an additional charge of $35per day!! I was beside myself, but I also just wanted it all to go away, so initially, I was willing to pay. However, the more I thought about what that would be like for Yoda, I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I thought, if his days are indeed numbered, I don’t want to burn his little leg so that he can’t run and chase bunnies and squirrels and deer. It was about the quality of his life. I had to find an alternative, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The radiation oncologist and his vet told me that if I didn’t have the treatment done, his tumor would grow back in three to six months. Well it has been one year and six months and the growth hasn’t come back! Certainly, he is aging and isn’t as agile and playful as he was when he was a puppy, but his 10th birthday is April 30th and I couldn’t be more happy! Ever since I adopted him (three days prior to his first birthday!) he has had a steak for his birthday. This year I may make it a filet mignon! THANK YOU for your book, because it gave me the support, strength and encouragement I needed to turn this entire situation from doom-and-gloom to complete possibility for something different.” – Lori, Bethesda, Maryland
“I read the Dog Cancer Survivor guide fervently. It has become my “bible” in taking care of my dog. This book has helped not only my dog feel better, but me, too!!! Any dog lover who is facing cancer in a beloved dog truly needs to read and devour the information in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide. This amazing book “took me by the hand” and has given me avenues that I never would have known about otherwise. I cannot recommend this amazing book enough or sing it’s praises loud enough!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Dr. Dressler!!” – Cynthia McKinnon, Sanford, Florida
“This book was extremely helpful to me. Even if it had not helped extend Apollo’s life – which I am convinced it did as we were given maybe 6 months and we got 18 months – it explains things that you didn’t hear at your appointment or were too overwhelmed to absorb. It helped me understand how canine cancer works and what to expect. This also prepared me for Apollo’s appointments because I was able to ask educated questions and feel that I was a part of his healthcare team and not just his advocate. This book helped me make better decisions for Apollo so that we could preserve his quality of life for as long as possible. There are a lot of sad truths in this book that as a dog owner suffering from cancer, you don’t really want to read … but they are helpful. This book was worth every penny and I would (and have) recommended it to anyone who has a dog diagnosed with cancer.” – Sandy Miller, Palo, Iowa
“My dog is a beagle named Gordon. We rescued him in 2000; we don’t know how old he was at the time. In September of 2009 he suddenly got very sick. “Critically ill” my vet said. He ended up having a splenectomy. Lab results of the biopsy: hemangiosarcoma. Median life expectancy: 3-6 months. I asked the vet every question I could hoping there was a sliver of hope. Could the lab results be wrong? Could the splenectomy have removed all the cancer cells? Has a dog ever beat it? Our family agreed we didn’t want to put him through any chemo or radiation. Well, a few weeks later I had Dr. Dressler’s book in my hand and was following his Full Spectrum cancer care. I was cautiously optimistic. It’s been 18 months since his surgery and he’s doing great. The vet has even said that he “thinks we beat this.” I’ve made some adjustments accordingly, but I still make Gordon’s food and use the supplements according to Dr. Dressler’s recommendation. I credit Dr. Dressler and his research and his book every bit as much as my vet and his surgery for saving Gordon’s life.” – Kim Gau, Stow, Ohio
“When I heard the diagnosis that my dog had cancer I had no idea where to start, what to do. After taking some time to contemplate what was in front of us, I realized I needed more than just “medical” language, more than just a clinical approach. I needed a game plan for us and for our dog. I know her and love her and needed to make the right choices. The bottom line for me was “no regrets”. I needed to make sure I understood the range of alternatives available, that I was making choices that were “right” given all the circumstances and that I would have peace whatever the outcome. The Dog Cancer Survival Guide gave me a starting place, empowered me to ask questions, push for alternatives, challenge the status quo and change the landscape. Whatever happens now, there will be no regrets on my part.” – Valerie Sachs, Pepper Pike, OH
“When we first found out that our ten year-old Labrador had cancer, we had a sonogram done of his entire body. It showed that the cancer, which had started in his anal gland, had spread to several of his lymph glands, some of which were grossly enlarged. The vet, on seeing the sonogram results, told us our dog had 6 to 8 weeks to live. We immediately started using the strategies in Dr. Dressler’s book, including the high-protein, low-carb diet, the cancer-busting supplements, the immunity-strengthening methods, and the self-esteem building activities. We first used alternated using Luteolin and EGCG, as well as Doxycycline, Modified Citrus Pectin, K-9 Immunity and Transfer Factor, Multivitamins, and Fish Oil. Then, when Apocaps came on the market, we used only Apocaps, along with the K-9 Immunity and Transfer Factor, Multivitamins, and Fish Oil. We used all of Dr. Dressler’s immune boosting strategies, including having our dog in a completely dark room for nine hours of sleep each night. We gave our dog some type of exercise every day, whether it was a short walk, chasing a Frisbee in the yard, or playing ball in the house. We also played fetch and tug-of-war games with him. We also gave him hugs and plenty of petting every day. You could tell that he was happy…his tail was always wagging. Our dog lived not only 8 weeks, but 18 MONTHS longer, largely, we believe, due to Dr. Dressler’s suggestions. He amazed every veterinarian we knew! We were so thankful to have the blessing of this extra time with him. In addition, his quality of life during all these extra months was very good. He was not constantly nauseous and fatigued, as he would have been if we had pursued chemotherapy. He was his normal, happy, energetic self. And when we realized the end was finally near, Dr. Dressler’s advice on how to make the final decision and how to deal with the stress and sadness of losing our beloved friend really helped us. I can’t tell you how thankful we are for this book! It was truly an answer to our prayers.” – Heather G., San Antonio, Texas
“Having the Dog Cancer Survival Guide is truly like having a second opinion (in my case a third, along with my general practice vet and the canine oncologist overseeing Sparkle’s treatment). It was so reassuring to me to have good questions to ask, and to see that what my vets are recommending agree with Dr. Dressler.” – Susan McKay, Winnipeg, Manitoba
“I was devastated when I learned Buddy’s cancer had returned. The same ache in my stomach, the tearing of my heart came back. He had seemed to recover nicely from the melanoma. I had great vets. His affected toe had been amputated. His previous x-rays were clear. How could this have happened again? I immediately started searching the internet. The news was so grim that I felt nothing but despair. How could I watch my pet, my friend, suffer through this? I clicked on Dr. Dressler’s site and scanned the info on his book. I realized that I had to play an active role in Buddy’s” treatment. I immediately ordered the book (e-mail copy.) I downloaded the 300+ pages as soon as i got home from school and began reading. While the news was still alarming I began to feel a little hope. Notes and read up on the research cited. I jotted down questions and was ready form my initial appointment with Buddy’s new oncologist. I listened, questioned, and re-hashed what the oncologist explained to me. I quizzed her about her background, research practices and philosophy of medicine. I was amazed she actually agreed about the medication (doxycycline) to give to Buddy. I began Buddy on the Apocaps and massage therapy. We began daily walks and a dietary change from Beneful to an almost grain-free dog food. I spent more time telling him how grateful I was to him and much more time on my knees praying for a miracle. I began to “beef up” Buddy’s weight and chart his progress. I held my breath and expected the worse. It hasn’t happened yet. Buddy’s blood count is great, his weight is up and his attitude is wonderful. While the doctor says is too soon to tell, she has suggested that he is getting better. She has actually said on more than one occasion that if she didn’t have Buddy’s chart in front of her she would never suspect he was at all sick. I keep waiting for the miracle of Buddy being healed. In the meantime, I know there are options to sitting back and letting the worse happen. I am more optimistic and grateful for Dr. Dressler’s book. It has brought me closer to God, given me hope for the future, peace of mind, and avenues to follow to help Buddy and the rest of my family cope with this “trying” situation.” – Debbie Granger, Chesterfield, Missouri
“We were very grateful to find such a resource as this book. There is so much misinformation on the net and so many self-proclaimed or new age experts today, it was a blessing to find real information backed by real research. Thank you!” – Steven McAfee, Fort Wayne, Indiana
“DO NOT GIVE UP! Read the book, cry, laugh, and love with your pet. Use the book to formulate a realistic game plan in regards to attacking the disease to the best of your abilities. When you love a pet as evidently you do (given you found this book and Dr. D), you’ll find trying will make a world of difference to you and will reflect on your pet as well. It was well worth the time, effort and money spent and I would pay tenfold for this information. Dr. Dressler presented everything in a REAL light. Nothing was sugar coated but at the same time the recommendations all had supporting information as to the “why” this can work, and how the research has come about.” – Julian Trevino, Roseville, Michigan
“Buy this book; you won’t be disappointed. It will help you prepare yourself for all the challenges that come along with your dog having cancer. So many of the things he recommends seem so logical and are things you need to do to help yourself before you can help your dog. You find yourself saying “Wow, this makes so much sense” but yet it was something you hadn’t actually thought of yourself.” – Christine Darg, Winnipeg, Manitoba
“When LP was first diagnosed, we were distraught and felt completely hopeless. My husband is an equine vet – yet he couldn’t deal with such devastating news any better than I did. We were emotional disasters – yet when I read Dr. Dressler’s book, I realized that everyone goes through the exact same things we were. We need to be strong for our dogs, we need to be focused. We don’t know where this journey will take us but we are now on a steady course. LP is a happy guy, he’s doing well right now and we’re taking one day at a time. I am sure this has helped LP.” – Susie, Millwood, Virginia
“Angus is a nine year-old Golden Doodle. He’s the best dog we have ever had. We’ve always said he’s like a human in a dog suit. He’s always been there for us, always attentive, always ready to put his head on your lap, always ready to give love. Plus, he was fast. He looked like a thoroughbred when he ran. In June of 2010, my wife, Barb, was down at our house on the beach helping our daughter start up a restaurant and noticed him limping and staying off his rear leg. She drove him down to our “beach vet” to be checked and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. He was one of the favorites at the vet’s office and all of the “girls” who worked there were bawling along with my wife. When Barb got him back to the house, she called me and told me to sit down and laid it out — the vet had said that, without treatment, Angus’ prognosis was 6 -8 weeks as this was an extremely aggressive and lethal cancer. We must have cried on the phone for two hours. At the time, it was one of the most gut-wrenching things we had been through. It paled, however, compared to the death of our son, Dave, 5-months later (for which there is no comparison). Barb’s someone that springs to action. She got on the phone and made an appointment with a leading veterinary oncologist in the Raleigh area (where we live), wrapped up a bunch of restaurant-related details, found Dr. Dresser’s book on the internet and sent me the link, packed up her truck and got him back for a consultation. After consultation with the specialist, we signed up for amputation and a 4-week course of carboplatin, hearing that it could extend his life by 6 months and, maybe if we were lucky, a year. I printed out Dr. Dresser’s book, put it in a 3-ring binder, and started reading. I had always been big into supplements, so was drawn to the chapters on alternative therapies. I probably read those chapters about 10 times before it started sinking in and we started off adding just a couple supplements to his meals and giving him purified water instead of tap water. Angus went in for amputation surgery on July 1, 2010 and we spent a long 4th of July weekend lying on the floor with him to reassure him and keep him from chewing his stiches out. Obviously, the wound was pretty gross. Like all good dogs, he kept licking our faces after we had just brought him in to have a leg chopped off. Cancer mechanisms and alternative treatments became our new obsession; I spent hours researching after work every night, reading Dr. Andrew Weill, Dr. Russell Blaylock, internet blog after internet blog, and as many clinical studies and papers I could find on medicinal mushrooms and artemisinin. Surprisingly, I found Suzanne Somers’ book Knockout to be superb. The more research we did, the more we fine-tuned Angus’ regimen. I’m now a big believer in the theory of dogs self-medicating. We’ve never had to force pills down Angus’ throat. He either eats them with his dinner or out of our hand…I persuade myself that he does this because he senses it will help cure his cancer. It’s now 10 months since Angus was diagnosed. He has had to survive the stress of our grieving the loss of our son. And the stress of that event on him — he knows…But, we have doubled our efforts to support Angus in dealing with his cancer. We aren’t willing to lose two of our “boys” in the same year. Angus has been back to the oncologist twice for scans to see whether the cancer has spread (most dogs with osteosarcoma die when it spreads to their lungs). On both earlier visits, nothing showed on the scans and his blood counts were phenomenally good. He’s still bright eyed and has a good appetite. We want to get him another summer at the beach. He’s a great dog, a great friend. He deserves it.” – Al Marzetti, Raleigh, North Carolina
“Be truly open-minded about alternative therapies. We used both traditional (radiation) and alternative (supplements, immune support etc.) at the same time. If I had it to do over again, I would have tried the alternatives first, and only done traditional if necessary. I think the traditional therapies really strained our twelve-year-old golden – I wish I had trusted the alternatives enough to really give them a go first.” – Sheryl Poole, Andover, Massachusetts
“Shadow was one of the true loves of my life. When he was diagnosed, and we then fought the cancer that had attacked him, we came to know that winning the ultimate fight was not as important as the days we shared. Living in the moment really came into its own. While I would always choose to still have Shadow with me in physical form, he opened doors and brought realizations to my life that would not have happened without his illness. I know for certain that it was his path and ours together, to learn. When he friend, Keymos was diagnosed only a year after losing Shadow, at first I couldn’t believe that we had another diagnosis. But, we were already armed. Keymos was already on a wonderful diet, and he began Apocaps immediately. Thought he is older at 13 than Shadow was at only 9 years, Keymos is fit and sturdy. But without the lessons learned from Shadow, we may not have had the tools in place to help Keymos be this well. There is no evidence of cancer in him anymore, and he revels in every day, teaching the younger dogs what he knows.” – Susan Harper, High Wycombe, England
“… although everything seems so terrible and you’re confused and feel helpless you have to try and firstly stay strong for one another. You have to see beyond the word cancer and take positive action immediately. Little steps at a time as there is so much information out there. Do your research, change the diet immediately. Remain high spirited and joyful as soon as you can in front of your dog as they can not only sense your pain but have to deal with theirs too. Remember there is positive guidance and great vets out there. Nothing is impossible: where there is a will there’s a way! If it means trying everything then do, but make sure you spend your time researching the good not the bad. You’re the driving force behind your dog’s recovery. They need you just as you need them. It’s not the end, don’t settle for the C word – beat it as long as you can. At least you’ll live to know that you tried everything in your power.” – Margherita Ferlita, Surrey, England
“There is always hope! You should learn everything you can about the type of cancer your fur baby has and then no matter how much or how little time you have, live each day for just that day. Yes, you will have ‘down’ days but don’t brood on them, just know that they will happen. Look at the diet you are feeding your friend, and see where you can make it better, variety is very good for them too just as it is for you. Read and learn everything you can: the treatments, the medications, supplements and diets, because it is you who are the closest to your friend, and you know what is best for your dog.” – Shirley, Salem, Oregon
“Cry if you need to; but then sit down with the book and a notebook. Write down what supplements sound right to you. Find them on the Internet. Do some research. Consult Dr. D’s blog. Act as if you’re in grad school and really get educated and be proactive. The vets here in North Dakota are not very receptive, and from what I hear, that’s not uncommon. If you don’t have vet support; keep going.” Kris Kitko, Bismarck, North Dakota
“Love your dog and give her the best you have, understand that this is an important and difficult time for both of you. Find a network of people who have been through it to support you, and get as much info as you can beyond what your own vet is telling you.” – Ellen Slater, Redmond, Oregon
“Even though at first you may think the situation is insurmountable, please do not throw in the towel. You can, through help and guidance and understanding, help you and your friend through these tough times. It’s normal to be confused, sad and angry at the same time. You need information from knowledgeable people. You need to become informed on everything dealing with the problem. You can then base your decision and plan of action based on what is best for your friend. The treatment is for them, so don’t give up; do what is possible for them and for you.” Jon Marshall, Norman, Oklahoma
“You will get through this, you will never forget your dog, and he is part of your heart. Bear up, be strong for your dog and just do your best. Your dog will love you the more for it.” Connie Almy, San Antonio de Belen, Costa Rica
“Calm yourself first. Deal with your own emotions. Then, be your pet’s best friend and advocate for his health. Gather as much Information as you can to make informed decisions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And at the end of each day, give him hugs and tell him how much you love him, cherish him and PRAY for him daily…it will definitely help him and you as well.” – Tina Holloway Johnson, Surprise, Arizona
“Be pro-active in your dog’s care. If something does not “feel” right to you — ask and then ask again. We know our dogs better than anyone else, so, we need to be the folks that speak and act on their behalf. Stay calm — even though this is hard to do at times. Read everything you can about the type of cancer your dog has — that way you can make informed decisions in regard to the type of care your dog needs. Try and keep your dog’s life as normal as possible — which is very important. Talk to your dog and be thankful that they are with you every single day. They are true gifts to us.” Sheril Allen, Austin, Texas
“This is one of the toughest things you will ever go through. Make sure you find the right vets, do your research, and double check your research. Not all vets are made the same. Be INVOLVED in your pets care. Research, research, research. Just like when a human goes to a doctor and you have to be your own advocate, you need to be your pet’s advocate too. Don’t be afraid to seek a specialist, don’t be afraid to ask for your pets records to go see a specialist, and don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be afraid to question anything that doesn’t feel right in your gut. Stay positive around your dog. That’s not to say, that you can’t go hide in your car by yourself and bawl your eyes out. For me, I hid in the shower and cried my heart out, but as soon as I came out I had to put on a happy face and bring out that positive energy for Daisy. Do what you can to help stimulate your dog. You may not be able to do the things you used to do, but maybe just going for a ride, playing a game of paddy cake or hide the cookie, or sitting at a field, by the water, at a park, and just watching the world go by together. That can make a world of difference to your pup and give them something to look forward to every day.” Chris Shoulet, Bethesda, Maryland
“We humans, when we hear cancer, we automatically think – imminent death and that is not always the case. Don’t panic. Make sure you seek as much information as possible about the cancer and treatment options because depending on the type of cancer there could be many treatment plans available. Do not rely on one medical opinion; I work with an oncologist and a holistic vet and they have been instrumental in helping my dog have the best possible immune system and therefore fight the cancer. Also, I am part of a few cancer groups. These groups can provide vital information for your pet because they have been there and done it. They also help you realize that there a lot of other people/dogs out there going through the same thing and can provide support.” – Marian Beeman, Fairfax Station, Virginia
“To Others Who are Experiencing What I am Going Through … It is a breath of fresh air, learning from Dr. Dressler, that Cancer is NOT a death sentence. Every time I see my little one scratching her bed to make it, every time I see her prancing her little girly prance, every time I see her running along the beach, and most of all, every time I look into her loving, adoring eyes, I know without a doubt that nothing that I do for her is ever too much. Everything counts. Every day counts. And when the time comes for us to part, whether it be from cancer, or from age, I know that it will be she that tells me that it is time (but only for a short while, for hope is eternal).” – Joyce Parham, Julian, North Carolina
Paperback: 496 pages