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Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: Empowerment for Dog Owners, Turn Despair into Confidence, Become Your Best Friend's Best Advocate Paperback – January, 2016
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Help Your Dog Fight Cancer: Empowerment for Dog Owners
by Laurie Kaplan
February 1, 2016
This comprehensive guide to canine cancer delivers standard veterinary information and advice in language that average dog owners will understand. Kaplan (So Easy to Love, So Hard to Lose, 2010, etc.) has a background in editing veterinary school texts and writing about animals, but her experience caring for her late Siberian husky, Bullet, directly inspired this book. "About half of our dogs will have cancer in their lifetimes," she learned, "yet most dog owners know little or nothing about caring for a dog with cancer." Moreover, although some 10,000 dogs are diagnosed with cancer daily, she says, only 250 American veterinarians specialize in oncology. This book thus serves as a layman's compendium about veterinary oncology, including information on diagnostic tests, treatment methods, side effects, and end-of-life care. As in humans, genetics and diet play a major role in canine cancer, but environmental carcinogens may be more influential, Kaplan says, as dogs are in closer contact with fertilizers and household cleaning products. Treatment options for dogs are also similar to those for people: surgery, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. Luckily, the author says, "Dogs tolerate chemotherapy better than people do," with minimal hair loss and quick recovery. The book includes lists of symptoms and discussions of types of cancer along with italicized, often illustrated case studies from pet owners, which lend this informative text a personal touch. Kaplan also contributes heartfelt reminiscences of Bullet's medical history; as a four-year lymphoma survivor, he was a successful outlier. She recommends comparing clinics' fees and getting second opinions; to that end, she provides helpful sets of questions to ask one's veterinarian. Getting chemo drugs direct from suppliers, she says, can cut costs, while complementary medicines and human-grade food can contribute to continued health. The book turns sappy when Kaplan discusses "pawspice" care and the "Rainbow Bridge" where departed dogs go--a whimsical shift after the preceding down-to-earth advice. Still, she reassuringly acknowledges that "the loss of a pet is like any loss. Grief is grief." (Kaplan also mentions the Magic Bullet Fund she launched in 2004, which assists dog owners who can't afford cancer treatment.)
An invaluable resource for providing top-notch care for man's best friend.
From the Back Cover
You could not have a better ally in the battle against cancer than this edition of Help Your Dog Fight Cancer. Laurie's thoughtful recommendations may ultimately help cancer dogs live longer and healthier lives. With sincerity and knowledge, the author reaches into the hearts of fellow dog owners who want to help their dog fight and beat cancer, but are afraid, bewildered and confused. Laurie offers compassion and intelligent guidance to dog owners living within the wonders of the human-animal bond during and after their dog's cancer treatment.
------------ Alice Villalobos, DVM
You don't know how much your book has meant to us. When our little Jack Russell, Dinky, was diagnosed with cancer, we were heartbroken. We searched everywhere for answers. Then God sent us your wonderful book. It has helped us understand what to expect, and prepared us for what to ask our vet, but much more than that. Your book taught us what to do in our efforts to improve Dinky's quality of life, and to extend Dinky's life. Thank you so very much!
------------ Mike and Diana Eddy and our precious little Dinky
Laurie Kaplan, MSC, is a medical animal writer, former editor of Catnip newsmagazine, co-founder of the Lead the Way volunteer program for SPCA of Westchester, member of the Dog Writer's Association of America. Co-author of Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond. Founder/administrator of the Magic Bullet Fund. Author of So Easy to Love, So Hard to Lose: A Bridge to Healing Before & After the Loss of a Pet.