Items to Check After Cancer Diagnosis

  • Complete Exam
  • Blood Work
  • X-Ray (spleen, lungs, heart, liver) and Ultra-sound if there is anything unusual
  • If medicine is prescribed discuss the interaction with other drugs the dog is taking (thyroid, rimadyl, adequane, etc.). Are there any side effects? What to watch for. What to expect.

Emergency Care

  • Who will give after hours care? Is your Primary Vet and Pharmacy available?
  • Know before hand what options you have if the dog crashes during the night.

General Considerations

  • Dogs can have more than one type of cancer at the same time.
  • If possible, take a family member or friend who will help ask questions, be persistent, ask until you feel you are prepared and understand the alternatives to different treatments including euthanasia. Unfortunately a few of the cancers spread rapidly and there is not much time to make decisions.
  • Ask questions about the cost of the tests and treatments as they can quickly escalate.
  • Ask questions about the care required for each of the treatment options. Will the dog need help walking, will the dog be able to potty on his own, what will be required.
  • What will the quality of life be for each of the treatment options. Will the dog be “normal” after the treatment or disabled. What type of long term care will the dog require.
  • While being treated for cancer, be aware that the immune system is vulnerable and your dog could contract other diseases.
  • Decide whether you would want an autopsy to be performed.
  • Contact your breeder before making final treatment decisions.
  • Contact the Sharon Myers committee as there are people who have recent experience dealing with different types of cancer (Mary Jo Gallagher at 316-744-2860 or