Is There a Cancer Center for Dogs? There Should Be

So, I’ve been thinking. It’s not pretty, but I’m going to just say it.


Even with something stuck to my nose, I can think. Who knows what that is. A bit of a leaf? A speck of dirt? I don’t know.

Here goes: Don’t you wish there was a Massey Cancer Center or an M.D. Anderson Center for dogs? I do. People get flown to Massey and M.D. Anderson all the time for cancer treatment. So, why not have one for dogs?

I hate thinking about this stuff.

See, a couple of my Scottie compadres have walked over the Bridge recently. Because of cancer. Scotties, I’m told, are “cancer magnets” and so are dogs with dark gums.

Good Lord. How I wish that weren’t true!

On the pawsitive side, there are things we can do to stay on top of things.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Get a good Dogtor. One who knows and keeps up with the latest do dads in canine medicine.
  • Have your peeps put their hands all over you. All the time. Growths can pop up overnight. And you just never know. Have them feel around for unusual things. Of course, sometimes we don’t feel things, like with bladder cancer and things like that. But, when our peeps are mindful of how we act and of what’s going on with our bodies, they just might notice something. Early.
  • Don’t be afraid to get aggressive. When BoBo, my Peeps’ first Scottie, got melanoma in his gum, Dogtor Elliott said, “would you agree to some pretty aggressive surgery?” The peeps said “yes, of course!” and he had his jaw and cheek practically rebuilt where that nasty stuff was. And lived another five years. Sweet.
  • Get a second opinion. No explanation needed for that. If you don’t feel well, but someone says you’re OK, have somebody else check you out. You just never know.
  • Try alternative options. Like cellular forte with IP-6. BoBo had that stuff added to his food and a tumor in his liver didn’t get any bigger. You just never know what might help. But be careful, be sure to talk with your Dogtor about this stuff.

Sorry to be such a downer today. But I’ve been thinking about all the friends I’ve lost over the years because of cancer. It makes me so sad. I can’t think about it anymore.

Hey…do you have any thoughts about staying healthy? Even when you’ve had a diagnosis of something bad? Surely we can rally around each other and share some knowledge. (Like my friend who told me never to eat raw green beans because they’d make me sick. Even though I already knew that, I really appreciated the care and kindness. And my other friend who’s begging my peep to take me off of Trifexis. The peep is considering that!)

What You Learned Today:

  • We can all help each other when things go awry.
  • Sometimes we get diseases we can’t cure.
  • If that happens, we have to stay as healthy as possible to live a quality life. For as long as we can.
  • If you’ve got an alternative remedy or preventive idea, please share it in the comments! Come on! Bark at me!
  • Is there a cancer center for dogs that you know of? I’d love to know.
  • OH….and one last thought…the most important thing for us all to remember: Live and love like somebody left the gate open! Woooot!

About The Scottie Chronicles

Winston welcomes you to The Scottie Chronicles - a blog that began in 2009 as a voice for Stuart, a more than memorable black, brindle and white Scottish Terrier who captured hearts around the world. Stuart passed suddenly in December 2015 from cardiac hemangiosarcoma, a nasty cancer that took him far too early. If you love Scotties, please follow along. Arroooo!
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46 Responses to Is There a Cancer Center for Dogs? There Should Be

  1. sue ellen says:

    Makes us all so sad and frightened…that horrid cancer thing. Actually my first scotty girl was taken by cancer. I brushed her every night and felt a ‘grain of sand’ right under her skin. Next am off to the doc we went. He asked ‘how did you find this”? It was so small… he did a biopsy and just said it was HOT. We chased it w/ surgeries all over her poor body. Finally there was a time she felt awful, and so did I ..My precious Bridee needed to be free…so you know the rest. She was the happiest sweetest scotty ever…That was 22 yrs ago…yes, I still cry. A MD Anderson for dog & kitties would be nice. Now we can tale them to animal medical universities …. I hate cancer.
    Okay Mr. Stuart and peeps lets hug and play with joy ~~~ We all need joy..
    L&M’s mom peep ♥

    • I’m so sorry for your devastating loss. But, thank you for sharing your story. Thank goodness for universities! We’ve got one here with a good veterinary school. Thank goodness for smart and kind vets.

      Joy to the vets!

      Your pal,

  2. Gavin says:

    We agree completely Stuart re cancer center for dogs! My mom is an RN, and was Pre-Vet student before that. She researches, and tries to improve my diet and stuff ALL THE TIME. She knows the risks are very high, and wants to feel that she is doing everything possible to prevent the bad “C”. Probiotics, organic Tumeric, raw coconut oil, fish oil, raw vinegar w/”the mother”, green tripe, plus organic meats and fruits/veggies sold for human consumption. She started subscribing to “The Whole Dog Journal” in 2008. This journal has been so helpful for the research and education about nutrition, as well as articles on conventional and alternative therapies for health issues. Apologies for the essay-but This is SOO important!! Always interested in others’ ideas.

    • Oh Gavin. Nooooo apology necessary my barking friend. This is helpful stuff. Very helpful.
      Good for your Mom! She’s one smart peep, yes?

      Huummm… turmeric. I’ve heard of that. Gotta check that out along with the other things you mention.

      See! We can all help each other. Sweeet!

      Thanks pal. Stu

  3. Two French Bulldogs says:

    You have a great idea there. We have hospital that has an Oncology Department
    Lily & Edward

    • PAWSOME! Oh. Yes. I know you know. Oh me. Oooohhhh me….

      You know what? I thought about not posting this particular post. It might be troublesome for those with such close experience. But then, I thought, let’s all share knowledge with each other and maybe something good will happen.

      Thank you you guys!


  4. rjkeyedup says:

    I have IBD…. mommy first went to the regular vet and I took different medicines – but I still had trouble, was losing weight; so then mommy brought me to a Acupunture Vet – now three months later no more antibiotics, I have gained weight, my poops are normal, mommy is happy!!! I take a probiotic every day, some pumpkin, and Z/D food. So Stuart, alternative therapies are important and may even prevent future cancer outbreaks!! Forever hopeful, your pal Ozzy

  5. nordhuesn says:

    You ae such a good advocate for all of us. I (Duffy) take Denamarin, a milkweed supplement since my liver enzymes are a bit high. Andy and I also take vitamin E. We get ultrasounds of our abdomen about once a year. Our Dogtor is very proactive, but always leaves the dogcision to the Peeps. Elsa would be over the bridge if not for her (schnauzers have issues also. She has Lupus, high blood pressure and kidney problems). We think our Peeps are always vigilant, but sometimes you just get a bad poker hand. Thanks for reminding us that life is precious and you should get as much out of it as possible, as well as many treats as you can :>). Woot, Aroooooo

    • What great advice you share. Ultrasounds once a year? Terrierific! So glad you have a grrrreat Dogtor. I do, too. And, of course, your peeps are THE BEST.

      Thanks for sharing. I’m learning so much….denamarin and ultrasounds. Yippee!


  6. Kismet says:

    Kyla had her toe amputated a year ago when we first discovered something there. Too late, the melanoma spread throughout her body. We all miss that girl.

    • But, you had a good team. Watching her. Taking care of her. Giving her a rich life. She loved you for it too. That makes all the difference. We’re the sad ones left to live without her.

      Sigh, Stuart

  7. When my shepherd, Niko, was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in 2009, I had no idea what to do or where to go. I was so glad that I had such a good relationship with the vet. I worked closely with him, the local doggie oncologist, and a specialized surgeon to come up with a plan of attack. Niko was cancer-free for almost a year before it came back (and metastasized) and, again, I worked closely with our “team” to determine what the best course of action was.

    I feel that really knowing about Niko’s health (this was one of the times being neurotic was helpful for me!) and knowing something was off helped us find his cancer when we did. Secondly, having a wonderful vet who really explained things and let me be very involved in Niko’s treatment was incredibly important. Having a “team” made such a difference. (Just btw, the doggie oncologist recommended a diet high in protein and low in carbs for Niko.) And finally, as a doggie mom, I had to really trust my instincts. I knew my boy; I knew what was best for him. It was scary and heart-wrenching, but I made the best decisions I could to keep Niko healthy, happy, and comfortable for as long as possible. When he crossed the Rainbow Bridge, he did so with dignity – and that was exactly how I know he would have wanted it.

    • That’s what I’m talking about my friend. Listening, learning and loving. You’re right – it takes a team.

      How lucky you and Niko were to have shared a trusting life together.

      Thanks so much for telling this story of love.


      • Thank you for letting me share, Stuart. When Niko passed, donations were made to a center that was studying cancer in dogs. I don’t remember the name but there are places doing research to try to help our furry friends. I have also learned that going to teaching colleges or colleges that specialize in veterinary medicine – like Cornell University or Oklahoma State University – can offer specialized treatments and/or other opportunities that most vets might not have.

        I tried to keep my boys healthy in spirit and body because sometimes, unfortunately, that’s all we can do.

  8. Many of the universities that teach veterinary sciences do specialize in cancer treatments for dog – very few people know about it because they don’t advertise. When I was having so much trouble with food allergies it was University of Texas veterinary school that finally figured out my issues.

  9. Stuart, excellent thoughts. Green beans make me throw up too. Mama looks at the raw diets some of our pals eat, and thinks…Skyler will just throw this stuff up…and yet? As you do, we also wish there was a Cancer Specialty Center for us. Our biggest resource here in NC is the NC State Vet School, and Mama has been to the Auburn Univ. Vet School years ago with her Chow, Sam. We need to talk more about this. Good start Stuart!

  10. corkscot says:

    We have a Cancer specialist in West Palm Beach. The clinic is devoted t all kinds of cancer. Lexie
    Lou went there when she was diagnosed.

  11. Tobias,Cherry, Shadow says:

    You know Stu – that part about ‘self-examinations’ is a big part of helping to catch the nasty things you (and sometimes us too) get – Your Godmother Carol is one huge help to all of her Scotty children; she is right on top of all – and has good suggestions when someone has something (like bladder cancer) to go along with the Dogtor Elliotts medicines – combining holistic and reality is a good thing. Keep up the good work – always share information with us all — Cherry & Shadow – missing the T man too…

  12. Cancer sure does stink. My momma are always feelin me for lumps – speshully now dat I are “gettin up there.”

  13. it’s so sad to remember all that furfriends we lost because of this big evil C… and there are so much who wait for a lab test or who discovered something what looks suspect…and there is always the fear it “could be”…. We have a Cancer Center for animals in our area at the veterinary university… but even the vets there are helpless to often :o(

  14. Jackie says:

    About 3 years ago my wheaten Scotty, Bonny Rose, had a bad lung infection (coincidentally right after a Bordatella shot). Her vet did an x-ray and found her liver to be enlarged and liver enzymes elevated. We left the office that day thinking she had cancer. I took her to a holistic vet for a second opinion. The holistic vet didn’t think it was cancer and recommended several changes. No more vaccines (!) and minimize drug use when possible (topical flea & tick), change BR’s diet to eliminate grains and additives. Bonny Rose now eats homemade food, Urban Wolf. She also gets Chinese herbal supplements to support her liver. She also takes Sam-e, organic turmeric and coconut oil. She gets heartworm meds from April-October (we live in an area where it freezes in winter) and this year we are trying the Seresto collar for fleas. Blood titer tests satisfy those who need to see evidence of vaccine compliance. Three years later Bonny Rose is doing well and just turned 12 yrs. old!
    We have a Scotty friend who just went through treatment for oral melanoma…thankfully a college veterinary hospital is nearby and after 3 weeks of radiation and melanoma vaccine treatments, we hope for more years of happy life for him.
    BTW, our holistic vet does NOT recommend Trifexis. She’s had doggie patients who developed liver disease after using it. Just something to think about.

  15. PigLove says:

    Oh pal this is so true. I think they should have a cancer place for anipals. We are peeps too – just with four legs, right? Me and the other anipals here are always getting checked by mom/dad. They know when something doesn’t feel right. Great blog post my friend! XOXO – Bacon

  16. Thank you my porcine pal! Have a grrrrreat weekend. Full of snorts. And hug that Houdini.


  17. Pingback: Friday’s Foto Fun – Meet Mac | The Scottie Chronicles

  18. gentlestitches says:

    cancer is awful. All I know is enjoy every minute of life that you can and eat good food and lots of fresh water. Also walkies and huggles! 😀

  19. Christine Dube says:

    Dogwood Animal clinic and Dr. Waite are right here in Richmond. They specialize in cancer.

  20. ScottieMom says:

    I didn’t know Scotties were so prone to cancer until we were face-to-face with it a few years ago when Heather was diagnosed with liposarcoma. Luckily for us, all that was needed was a surgery – no chemo. Heather has been cancer-free for a while now but we often worry whether it will come back. Much love, The Scottie Mom.

  21. dougalldog says:

    We’re with you Stu, too many scotties get the big C, our Uncle Fergus got it… It is awful… 😦

  22. Anonymous says:

    Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine has an outstanding staff who both research and treat cancer. You are brave and wise to have this discussion, Sir Stuart.

  23. arrooOO, Stu. There are one or two Veterinary Centers that specialize in oncology.I haven not located one specific to canines, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one 🙂 Here are some links you might want to look at and share with friends. I hope you are staying cool this summer. ~ Kat

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