Cancer in Pets….a TOUGH Topic

More than ever dogs are truly a part of the American family. With this shift in the way that dog and cat illness is being viewed by pet parents there has also been a shift in how this disease is being approached and treated by veterinarians. Sadly Cancer is more prevalent in our pets than ever before. Many owners are now choosing cutting edge and sometimes very expensive treatments/procedures rather than face the thought of losing their beloved family member. In past years if a dog was diagnosed with cancer they were often quietly put to sleep. Cancer is the #1 cause of death in dogs over the age of ten according to Pets WebMD.  The good news is that “half of all cancers are curable if caught early”. To get the facts visit Pet WebMD @

Currently there are a wide variety of treatment choices that can save or greatly prolong your pet’s life. Many veterinary hospitals have become very similar to human hospitals with new advancements in technology and lists of options for each medical scenario presented after a thorough work up.  As with most choices, it can be a much needed blessing or a completely overwhelming experience! Know the facts before you go, as information overload can be incapacitating at such a critical time. After you receive your first diagnosis get a second opinion, just like you would for yourself! Consult with multiple vets and contact specialists that may have more updated information than your everyday vet.

One very interesting part of this development in veterinary medicine is that many of the technologies now used to treat children and adults were perfected on dogs and cats! CSU is a leader in the US with both their veterinary programs as well as with their animal cancer center. Check out the Colorado State Universities web site for some of the most cutting edge technology being developed right now!

One of the most common forms of cancer in dogs is bone cancer or Osteosarcoma. CSU has one of the most advanced programs in the country to treat this terrible disease. Some of techniques developed in this program have been incorporated into treating children with brain tumors. It is comforting to know that if our beloved pets have to experience this terrible disease at least they are helping to pave the way to help others! Check out the link below to be taken directly to the CSU cancer center homepage. They offer a lot of great information on cancer of all types and the various treatments.

Another helpful site is this link provides a listing of the most common types of cancers found in dogs. Unfortunately dogs and cats are prone to the very same types of cancer that people are.

While animal medicine continues to advance there are no easy answers for a pet parent faced with this disease. Many of us have been through it and if we have not than we certainly know someone who has. There are many ways that we can help.  The National Canine Cancer foundation has a fantastic web page that offers a wide variety of information.  Whether to find people who are going through something similar to what you may be experiencing or to educate yourself about treatment options; or if you simply want to help out check out this great site!

 “The passion that moves us forward is from
experiencing what Cancer really does to the ones we love.
We are driven because there is a hole in our soul
where once was the love of our dog.” Gary D. Nice


Is it Time for My Close-Up?

Are you the type of dog owner that sees those breed books full of professional doggy photos and think to yourself, ‘yeah my dog looks just as good. I could capture that.’

Your sure can, it’s just a matter of getting a few things right (we’ll leave out all the photography jargon and cover the basics.)


If you’re looking for an action shot, for example, it’s best to capture the photo early in the day before you and your pup hit the trail for a long hike.

Turn off the flash

Getting a good shot of your dog is best done with natural sunlight. Typically, if you shoot in the early morning, evening, or in the shade of a bright day, your photos will turn out the way you’d like them to. If you are shooting indoor, you’ll likely need the flash. In this circumstance, try to shoot the photo slightly upward so that the flash bounces off the ceiling and not off your dog.

Move like your dog

No, you don’t need to get down on all fours; what we mean here is the best photos of your dog will come from down on their level. So, scrunch down to where your pup is and snap away!

Let your dog adjust to the camera

Your dog will likely want to sniff the camera you just brought out, and you should let them get to know it before you start your shoot. Once they’ve adjusted to the camera and have gone about their business, you’re ready to begin.

What’s in the background?

This is an important question, as you want your dog to stand out. Beaches, grassy fields and dense tree lines are great backgrounds to consider when planning your dog’s photo shoot, just be sure you don’t have, say, a tree branch seemingly sprouting from your dog’s behind. Also, color is an important thing to consider. Avoid black backgrounds if you have a black dog, brown backgrounds if your have a brown dog etc. As a rule of thumb, have your dog at least a dozen feet in front of the background you’ve chosen.


Have plenty on hand during your photo shoot. Need we say more?

Be creative and take lots of pictures!

The more photos you take, the better chance you’ll have of producing a winner, and you’ll want to get creative. Again, get close up to your dog so that he or she takes up the whole picture. Move around to snap all sorts of different angles, tell your pup he or she is doing a great job to excite them; the energy will transfer into the photos. It’s likely that the more spontaneous you are, the better your photos will come out!

These are just some suggestions for your dog’s close-up. Can you offer others? Better yet, share photos you’ve taken of your dog with us on our Facebook page!

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