First of all, we need to understand that pet cancer is a devastating disease. Deciding which treatment to take can be confusing because it’s normal to feel anxious when making decisions for your pet. Here are some suggestions on which factors to avoid during cancer treatment to optimize pet care.
1、 Before talking to your dog’s attending veterinarian, avoid giving your dog any supplements or medications
You may try to use supplements, vitamins or other drugs as part of the treatment to help their bodies fight cancer. Most supplements don’t work on cancer. These products, which may be touted as “natural,” may have a negative impact on prescription drugs for dogs, thereby reducing and impairing the benefits of chemotherapy.
People are often surprised to find that some chemotherapeutic drugs come from plants, so they are also classified as natural substances. The interaction between different natural substances is unpredictable. There is no guarantee that mixing the two will not result in treatment failure or injury.
See dietary supplements and cancer treatment: risk mixtures for more information on the potential negative interactions between supplements and chemotherapy.
2、 Don’t overfeed
Some pets with cancer, especially cats, show signs of loss of appetite during treatment. This occurs because of the disease process itself and in response to prescribed treatment. In these cases, veterinarians often lift typical dietary restrictions on companion animals and allow owners to offer a wider range of foods, including menu items that are usually prohibited, such as fast food or other types of human food. However, for pets whose normal appetite is not affected by the treatment, overfeeding or frequent provision of food will lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, which may lead to adverse symptoms of treatment. In addition, overfeeding makes pets easily overweight, which may aggravate previous orthopedic diseases and lead to concurrent health problems, including cardiopulmonary disease and pain, leading to a decline in the quality of life of pets.
While it’s understandable to keep your pet happy during these tough times, it’s better to help your pet with attention, toys and activities than with calorie rich food.
3、 Don’t be lonely
You may encounter some people who question your decision to treat your pet’s cancer. They think you are selfish or traumatizing animals. Treating your pet with cancer is equivalent to “torturing” them. This kind of severe criticism may make you feel isolated and make you guess your choice and intention. Know that there are thousands of pet parents who choose to treat their pets like you do. Many pet owners who have been treated for cancer are happy to offer insights and advice to people who are considering their choices. This can be in person or through the Internet.
4、 Missing out on time to play (but only for specific times listed by veterinarians)
Pets receiving chemotherapy may have a temporary decrease in white blood cell count at a certain time after treatment. In these periods of immune system damage, animals are more susceptible to infection. Although the overall risk of disease is low, sometimes you should avoid situations where your pet may encounter new pathogens. This may mean occasionally missing a trip to the dog park or staying indoors with other pets for a while. In addition, it is crucial to minimize stress levels at times when pets may reduce their immune defenses.
While these physical challenges seem to have a significant negative impact on your pet’s quality of life, an important consideration is that this change is indeed temporary and will only occur within a few days after your pet has received some treatment.
5、 Don’t be afraid to ask the vet questions
You may have a lot of questions about your pet’s condition and treatment plan, and it’s important to resolve them as quickly and effectively as possible. You may not think of all of these immediately, so it’s important to write them down when they happen.
Although the Internet is a valuable resource, the providers of Internet resources do not know your pet. Your veterinarian will be the best person for you to ask questions. You should never feel that any problem is trivial. If you feel that your pet’s needs are not met, please state your concerns. This enables you to make the best decisions about pet care and have more confidence in the plan.