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Suggested questions

About your pet's cancer and treatment:

  1. What is the name of my pet's tumor?
  2. Is the tumor benign or malignant?
  3. How often does this type of tumor metastasize (spread to other parts of the body)?
  4. If left untreated, what will the cancer likely do to my pet?
  5. What diagnostic tests do we need to perform to determine the location and extent of the cancer (i.e., the stage of the disease)?
  6. What are all the treatment options and what are the costs, side effects, time involved, and effectiveness of each treatment?

About your pet's pain management:

  1. Is my pet in any discomfort?
  2. How do you treat cancer pain?
  3. What happens if the pain is not relieved with the usual treatment?
  4. Is severe pain considered an emergency here?
  5. Who do I call after hours?
  6. How much am I involved in the plan?
  7. Will I receive directions in writing?
  8. Who will teach me about the plan to alleviate discomfort?
  9. Who can help when you are away?
  10. What happens if the pain does not go away?
  11. Who will show me how to give medication to my pet?

About your pet's nutrition:

  1. Is there anything special my pet should eat?
  2. How much should my pet eat?
  3. What if my pet refuses to eat?
  4. When should appetite stimulants be used?
  5. What is assisted tube feeding?
  6. Is it true that we do not want my pet to lose weight?
  7. Can we prevent loss of appetite by preventing dehydration, nausea and discomfort?

 

About ensuring your pet does not have an upset stomach:

  1. How will I know if my pet has an upset stomach?
  2. What can be done to prevent nausea and vomiting, especially relating to cancer therapy?
  3. When should I call for help if my pet is nauseated or is vomiting?
  4. What can be done if my pet is experiencing nausea and vomiting?
  5. What can we do to enhance appetite and to ensure a good level of nutrition?

A diagnosis of cancer often brings with it some overwhelming emotions, including a sense of loss of control, and a sense of hopelessness. When facing the diagnosis of cancer in a beloved pet, you may feel the responsibility of making important life-changing decisions for someone who relies totally on your judgment. Your pet not only shares your home, your life and your experiences, but also your heart. This loved one depends on you to provide the best possible care. And extending a patient's good quality of life is the best reason to treat cancer.