Feeling Guilty About Your Dog’s Cancer

Guilty feelings are common in dog cancer. But they don't mean that you actually did something wrong. Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger have tips.

James Jacobson: One of the common reactions when you find out that your dog has cancer is guilt. You think, is there something that I did or could have done differently or better? Dr. Dressler, let me throw this out to you first. What about the guilt that some people feel when they heard the dog has cancer?

Dr. Demian Dressler: It’s a natural response. However, this is a manifestation of blame. This is when somebody is actually blaming themself for something that they’re not capable for. It’s not their fault. It’s kind of a different version of getting angry at the neighbor, or getting angry at the Vets for the cancer. So, we, many times need to do something with this emotions, and find who is to blame and guilt is somebody blaming themself. Now, it’s not that anybody is at fault. We lived in an industrialized society. We are surrounded by things not only environmental, but also dietary in lifestyle that increase the rate of cancers and there are generic factors which — nothing to do with anybody’s choices, and all these things were accountable for cancers in dogs right now. So, guilt really has no place at all in this equation. And it’s really sad, because there is a lot of pain and suffering that goes along with.

James Jacobson: Dr. Ettinger, do you find this on your client’s common and felt guilty maybe put it done something differently?

Dr. Susan Ettinger: Yeah! I mean, everyone is always trying to understand why their pet has cancer, what was — environmental, was it genetic? But, and, I think guilty is a very, can be a very negative thing, and I think it’s more important to instead of looking back at this point to look forward and learn about the cancer itself. What its.. how to treat it? How they wanna treat it? And try to turn that guilt into a more forward possitive action and how they’re gonna deal with the cancer?

James Jacobson: Ok. Guilt not necessarily an emotion that you need to feel. It’s common, but probably wanna focus on, but you can do. Dr. Ettinger in New York, Dr. Dressler in Hawaii, thank you both very much for being with us.

Dr. Demian Dressler: Thank you!

Dr. Susan Ettinger: Thank you!


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