Why We’re Here
Every 60 seconds in America veterinarians shatter the hearts of 11 dog lovers with the words “your dog has cancer.”1
Dog lovers expect America’s 57,805 general practice veterinarians who deliver the news to have solutions ... but with only about 400 boarded veterinary oncologists to refer to, they can't have an immediate plan in place.2,3
Online forums may offer hope and some good tips, but also bad advice that may waste time, money, or worse, harm dogs.
Where can dog lovers and veterinarians turn for reasonable, complete, medically-sound information ... presented with great tenderness, hope, and compassion?
DogCancer.com is by dog lovers, for dog lovers … and also by veterinarians, for veterinarians. We know exactly what you are going through because we have been there ourselves.
We are not just veterinarians, cancer researchers, and science writers ... we are your best friends who would never steer you wrong.
Cancer Tries to Kill the Human-Dog Bond Long Before It Kills the Dog
Cancer rates have escalated in the last decades, making cancer the most common cause of death in dogs.4 An estimated 6 million dogs get cancer every year just in the U.S., and millions more around the world.i
For the human, hearing a dog cancer diagnosis is a horrific, heartbreaking, shock. They look at their dog and can't help but imagine their death. An abyss of loss has opened between them and their dog. Their bond strains at best, and too often, breaks.
Many people never look at their dog the same way again. To them, their dog is already gone. The anticipatory grief is overwhelming.
The experience for the veterinarian is a parallel. They stand with the dog lover, feeling helpless. They know the pain; they've been through it themselves. Cancer is a complex illness, and there are rarely clear protocols to offer at the first screening. There is little they can do or say to immediately stop the devastation they have unleashed.
The dog, meanwhile, feels the same as they did the moment before the diagnosis dropped. Nothing in their world has changed, not one single jot ... except for their concern about how upset their mom or dad is.
"There's Nothing We Can Do" Is the Wrong Answer
As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, humans demand better medical care for their non-human family members.
Hearing "there's nothing we can do" no longer flies. They want to know what they can do to treat cancer, even if it only means improving life quality.
The veterinary profession is in its own crisis. Better medicine means learning more and doing more and making changes to modernize. Burn out and hiring shortages are endemic. The pressure is enormous on both the professional and personal level.
Dogs today live better lives than ever. They sleep in our beds, eat our food, and enjoy enriched lives. When they get cancer, they may have discomfort or pain, depending upon their diagnosis ... but they don't worry about their condition. What they do worry about is their human, if that human is in crisis.
And dog cancer is always a crisis for humans, no matter which side of the examination table they stand on.
A Frantic Search for Answers; Any Answers
Some cancers are considered treatable. They have chemotherapy protocols worked out, surgical suggestions, and radiation strategies. Others have fewer conventional options.
There are only 400 veterinary oncologists in North America, many of them in research.3 That leaves the roughly 60,000 general practitioners scrambling to come up with treatment plans.2
With cancer rates in humans also escalating, many dog lovers are already familiar with the illness. They wonder why diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes aren't always addressed at the vet office. They often go online to look for information about "outside the box" solutions.
Unfortunately, they're met with search results stuffed with generic advice from pet-related websites. There isn't anything in-depth or immediately actionable.
Understandably frustrated, dog lovers head to social media to find helpful strangers. They pose their questions and watch the little dots dance as "someone types an answer." Their hope grows as comments fill in.
It's emotional to see all these strangers give their time and energy to offer hope, advice, and stories. The dog lover feels less alone. They trust these people because they are there for them in their moment of need.
Their veterinarian was rushed, hurried, and short with them. They probably heard the bad news at the end of a quick appointment. They went in for a routine exam, and walked out with a shocking diagnosis ... and the veterinarian didn't tell them any of the things these new friends are telling them.
If the bond of trust between veterinarian and dog lover wasn't already strained, it certainly is now.
And when they take what they've learned online back to their vet and hear dismissive comments, that bond breaks.
How Do We Keep the Human-Dog Bond and the Veterinarian-Client Bond Intact?
DogCancer.com is a safe landing place for both the dog lover and the veterinarian.
Dog lovers will find hundreds of articles about every topic touching dog cancer. Whether you want to know more about carboplatin or CBD, we have an article that covers it in detail.
We have thought deeply about what you need to know, and we don't leave anything out. (If we have, please let us know.) We explain why and how things help, and give you a realistic picture of what to expect. We also help you understand what questions to bring back to your veterinarian.
Each article is researched and written by veterinarians, cancer researchers, and journalists. Each has gone through medical review. And each is updated routinely, and certainly when new information presents itself.
You'll find videos, podcasts, and guest articles, all produced with you and your dog in mind.
Every single person who has prepared these materials for you is a Dog Lover. We have all been touched by dog cancer. Even our bookkeepers, graphic designers, and web designers. We all really care about this project.
Not to get too sentimental, but it's true ... we think of ourselves as your best friends who get what your dog means to you. We would never steer you wrong, whether we have a string of letters behind our names or not.
If you're a veterinarian, you will find all these resources as well, and can share them with your clients. We also have white papers available on most topics. They are written for veterinary medical professionals so you can get up to speed quickly. We keep them up to date so you can feel confident you have a go-to resource for canine cancer information.
Don’t Worry, Friend, We’re All Here for You
There is no doubt that cancer is a terrible, awful, no-good, very bad, horrible, disgusting, unfair disease. But with the proper mindset it can be helped. We are infusing every word on this site with all the hope, kindness, loyalty, and bravery our own dogs have given us. We hope it helps you and your dog.
All the Humans and All the Heart Dogs of DogCancer.com
1What is comparative oncology? COP - Pet Owners - What is Comparative Oncology | Center for Cancer Research. https://ccr.cancer.gov/Comparative-Oncology-Program/pet-owners/what-is-comp-onc. Accessed November 30, 2022.
Roughly 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S. This averages 16,438 dogs per day, 685 dogs per hour, 11 dogs per minute, or one dog every 5 or 6 seconds.
2U.S. veterinarians 2021. American Veterinary Medical Association. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/reports-statistics/market-research-statistics-us-veterinarians. Accessed November 30, 2022.
3Vet Specialists Find a Vet. VetSpecialists.com. https://www.vetspecialists.com/. Accessed November 30, 2022.
A search of ACVIM (Oncology) specialists in the U.S.
4Gardner HL, Fenger JM, London CA. Dogs as a model for cancer. Annual review of animal biosciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6314649/. Published 2016. Accessed November 30, 2022.