Click here to learn more.
In July of last year, a young couple brought their two
Greyhounds to see me at the clinic. Joel, the 11-year old
had begun coughing over the last few days. (Toast, Joel’s faithful companion, came along for moral support.)
The couple and I talked about how the dogs were doing, and possible causes for this mild but persistent cough. As I examined Joel, our conversation drifted to work, married life and local restaurants. The room was full of smiles and laughter. Then I put my stethoscope on Joel’s chest.
His lungs sounded terrible. I immediately feared severe lung disease.
To avoid alarming Joel’s owners, I simply said, “I don’t like the way Joel’s lungs sound. Let’s take some X-rays to make sure everything’s OK.” They agreed, and I led Joel from the room as Toast looked on warily.
When his x-rays appeared on my computer screen, my heart sank. Joel’s lungs were full of soft-tissue nodules. He had metastatic cancer.
What followed was a painful and emotional conversation that I have had far too many times. I began by displaying the x-rays so I could explain my findings to Joel’s unsuspecting owners. The first thing I said was, “I’m afraid I have some bad news to share.”
Telling people their pets have cancer is probably the worst part of my job. Unfortunately, I have to do it with some regularity. Cancer is the most common cause of death in dogs over age two and one of the most common causes of death in cats.
Twice this week I have talked with pet owners who just learned their pets have cancer. In both cases, the first question they asked me was: “What do we do now?”
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Jax, who trained to be a K9, sprang into
action when a man being chased by
police hid behind the dog's home.
Did you laugh at Paper Cat or tear up
during Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” ad?
Here are our favorite clips of the year.
Ever wonder why your cat goes into a
crouch and then suddenly leaps? Our
veterinary behaviorist has the answer.
A reader has heard that his puppy risks
getting parvo if she leaves the house or
yard before her last shot at 16…
Think big dogs are more aggressive? Or
that they can’t live in apartments? We’re
here to dispel these…
In his home country of Thailand, the intelligent and attention-loving Korat is a living symbol of luck and prosperity.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.