2001-Sun Apr 30 08:50:32 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
When a beloved pet falls ill with a serious disease like cancer, friends can sometimes be the first people we turn to for comfort. But what can the owner of a canine or feline cancer patient do to take advantage of this support without overtaxing or unduly upsetting the people who are trying to help? Here are some ideas for navigating this tough time.
Twitter, Facebook and other social media venues are great tools that can help you easily communicate with multiple friends and family at the same time and keep them up to date. In the human health world, there are also private support websites, like CaringBridge, for patients and their families. One support website like this for pet folk is Fight Dog Cancer. Using tools like these means you'll be able to tell your "story" fewer times — and save more time and energy to care for your sick pet. If your pet's cancer has resulted in a recommendation for a limb amputation, a visit to Tripawds can help answer your friends' questions and yours.
Sometimes your friends and casual acquaintances may not fully understand your pet's situation. It's OK not to listen to their advice. But if your closest friends and supporters — those who truly understand the nuances of your pet’s cancer treatment — are all saying the same thing, it's time to listen and seriously consider heeding their advice, assuming that the advice is in line with what your veterinarian is recommending.
Other people love your pet too. Probably not as much as you do, but a whole lot. They are used to seeing the two of you interact or hearing about your joint escapades, so understand their need to also grieve over the loss of your pet. Be sensitive about the fact that they may be uncomfortable when they see you without your pet on a walk, or when they bump into you in the supermarket parking lot.
Thank friends for reading your patient support website, watching your sick pet while you are out running errands, taking you to the veterinarian’s office, waiting for hours while your pet has a crisis in the E.R. — and for listening. You know that you've talked about your sick pet too much, but you just can’t help it right now.
When you feel ready, read about Vetstreet's dos and don’ts for helping a friend or family member cope with a pet who has cancer — and learn how to help someone else over this life hurdle.
Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a practicing veterinarian for 25 years, is board-certified in both oncology and internal medicine. She maintains her clinical practice at The Animal Medical Center in New York City, providing primary care to her long-term patients and specialty care to pets with cancer and blood disorders.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.