According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 1 in 4 dogs will, at some stage in their lives, develop a tumor, and almost 50 % of dogs over age 10 will develop cancer. But efforts are underway to help pets improve life quality and expectancy — and help owners cope.
Three organizations helping your dog with cancer:
The Pet Cancer Foundation
The Pet Cancer Foundation officially launched in October 2022 and next year seeks to invest $2.5 million in research for earlier cancer detection in pets, $1 million to research pet-specific cancer treatment options and another $1 million to provide veterinarians with better information to improve the cancer care that pets receive.
For more information, visit petcancerfdn.org.
Earlier this year, the Canine Cancer: Take C.H.A.R.G.E. (Canine Health and Registry Exchange) established the first-ever national database of the incidence and prevalence of canine cancer to help target diagnoses and treatment decisions. The information is taken directly from dog owners and vets based on personal experience with canine cancer. The database, overseen by eight leading veterinarians who specialize in canine oncology and surgery, is open to the public and the first-of-its-kind resource that will help guide canine cancer diagnosis and treatment decisions from incidence rates reported on a large scale.
For more information, visit takechargeregistry.com
Wild Blue Dogs
Wild Blue Dogs raises money for Comparative-Oncology, a fast-growing field of cancer research that ties together the study of cancer in dogs and humans. The organization fundraisers through weeklong summer and fall dog camps held on Lake Tahoe in California, where owners and their dogs participate in adventurous and bonding activities, guided by dog trainers and coaches. To donate, you can choose whether your funds go toward canine cancer research or treatments. To learn more, go to wildbluedogs.org.
How important is finding support when your dog has cancer?
A multi-year Gallup survey of U.S. dog owners and a retrospective review of more than 35,000 anonymous canine patient records found that when a dog is diagnosed with cancer, the owner often suffers from depression and anxiety. But, if the owner is able to manage his dog’s cancer treatment side effects well, such as pain, urinary incontinence and diarrhea, his well-being improves.
A dog cancer diagnosis is sad and filled with uncertainty, but utilizing these resources and furthering cancer research and treatments for all dogs, can bring the whole family a level of comfort.