Dog Cancer Answers

40 Episodes

By: Dog Podcast Network

If your dog has cancer, this podcast can help. Vetted advice from real veterinarians who answer your questions. Call our listener line to ask your question: 808-863-3200.

Summer Break! Update & Fall Preview | Molly Jacobson
Today at 10:00 AM

Listen in to get a sneak peek at some of our upcoming episodes (hint: next week’s interview is a game-changer for dog cancer screening!) plus to hear about some of the resources available online.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Dog Cancer Support

Dog Cancer News

About Today’s Guest, Molly Jacobson:

Molly Jacobson is a writer. She is also the editor of the best-selling animal health book The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. A lifelong dog lover and sel...

Providing the Best Care for Senior Dogs | Dr. Mary Gardner

Whether your dog is a super senior or a gentle geriatric, she is probably going to experience some issues with cognitive decline, mobility limitations, and chronic pain. These aging challenges are compounded if your older dog also has cancer.

Dr. Mary Gardner has tips on how to tell if your dog is a senior vs. geriatric, the vital importance of regular vet care for mature pups, and evaluating your dog’s quality of life. She also goes into signs of chronic pain and how to assist your dog with getting up and moving around more easily.


All About Radiation for Dogs | Jenny Fisher

Radiation therapy can sound very scary to many dog lovers. But it can be extremely useful for dog cancer, both to destroy tumors and to provide pain relief.

Jenny Fisher is a veterinary technician specialist in oncology, and has helped many dogs through radiation treatments. She explains all things radiation therapy, from the different treatment types to its best uses and potential side effects.

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between teletherapy and brachytherapy, why some courses of radiation are short and others long, or what a dog experiences when dropped off for a...

Is a Week Too Long for Dog Breast Cancer Surgery? | Dr. Brooke Britton

Gio called in to our Listener Line about his dog with a mammary mass. Unfortunately, his dog has started to chew on the mass, causing bleeding and more discomfort. To make matters worse, his vet is concerned that it may be too large to completely remove with surgery.

Oncologist Brooke Britton weighs in on the different surgery options for a dog with a large mass, as well as how to protect tumors that are bleeding or that bother your dog. And when it comes to actually getting a surgery done, you might be able to schedule it...

Pollution and Cancer in Dogs | Dr. Lauren Trepanier

Double board-certified veterinarian Dr. Lauren Trepanier has lost three Boxers to lymphoma, and she’s not letting that slide. She is currently studying the impact of carcinogens caused by environmental pollution on lymphoma in Boxers and transitional cell carcinoma in all dogs.

For lymphoma, the initial study found that Boxers have a higher risk of developing lymphoma if they live within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant, or within two miles of a chemical supplier or active crematorium. Current studies are directly measuring the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and herbicides in the urine of Boxers with lymphoma as...

Nationwide Dog Cancer Study and Breeds at Risk | Dr. Jules Benson

Dr. Jules Benson of Nationwide Pet Insurance breaks down the data from their first two white papers on dog cancer – Oodles of Doodles, which compares Poodles and Goldens to Poodle mixes, and Diversity of Risk, which looks at cancer risk in specific breeds and purebred dogs vs. mixed breed dogs. You might be surprised by some of the findings!

The goal of these studies is to one day provide guidelines for cancer screening in specific breeds, and in the meantime, to increase education and owner awareness about which particular cancer(s) they should be on the lookout fo...

What Are Some Guidelines for Dog Cancer Detection? Q&A | Dr. Brooke Britton

Caller Janet has found that in her breed, checking the anal glands every six months after the dog turns six years old can be really helpful for catching anal gland carcinomas early, and wonders if there are other things that owners can do for other cancers.

Oncologist Brooke Britton discusses the importance of routine wellness visits with your veterinarian, as well as screening tests that can be done once in a while, such as liquid biopsies or taking x-rays. She also emphasizes what we as dog lovers can do at home to pick up any lumps or...

The Role of Vet Techs in Oncology | Jenny Fisher

When your dog has cancer, there are a lot more people on her care team than just you and the oncologist. Veterinary technicians – including ones who specialize in oncology – are another layer of medical professionals ready to help your dog.

Jenny Fisher, Registered Veterinary Technician and Veterinary Technician Specialist in Oncology, was the Head Technician in Oncology at Louisiana State for 14 years. Fisher explains what vet techs do in the hospital, the education they have undergone, and the struggles of working in this profession. She also explains why vet techs aren’t called veterinary nurses in the US, an...

The Darwin's Ark Cancer Project: How You Can Help | Dr. Michelle White

Have a dog with cancer and wish there was something you could do – right now – to help other dogs avoid this disease? Enter Darwin’s Ark.

The Darwin’s Ark Cancer Project is a free, survey-based project that is looking for trends that could pinpoint why some dogs get cancer and why others don’t. Some of the participants will also get a free genome sequencing and/or a silicone tag to help pick up pollutants that your dog is exposed to. Blood samples may also be collected from some dogs to evaluate tumor DNA circulating in the bloods...

AKC Canine Health Foundation Funds Dog Cancer Research | Dr. Jennifer MacLeay

The AKC Canine Health Foundation was founded in 1995 and is now an independent organization that gives grants to researchers studying health problems in dogs. Their website also features a variety of educational resources for dog lovers and veterinarians alike! Learn about where the money comes from, how they select which studies to fund, and some of the fascinating studies underway that will help give us some extra ammunition in the fight against dog cancer.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show:

AKC Canine Health Foundation

Canine Health Foundation Tribute Page

AKC Canine He...

A Vaccine to Prevent Dog Cancer?! VACCS Trial Brings Hope | Dr. Jenna Burton

The Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study (VACCS) is testing out a vaccine that will hopefully prevent dogs from getting eight of the most common cancers. As of June 1st the study finished enrolling 800 healthy dogs, each of whom will be followed for five years after getting the initial vaccination series.

Listen in to hear Dr. Jenna Burton, one of the oncologists working on the study, explain how the vaccine was designed, which dogs can participate, and what they are hoping to see and learn. Even if the vaccine doesn’t perform as well as hoped, this study wi...

ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy for Dogs | Tammie Wahaus

Immunotherapy is becoming increasingly important in human cancer treatment, and more and more companies are bringing this technology over to dogs! The ELIAS Cancer Immunotherapy (ECI) system is still experimental, but they are already seeing positive results in the approximately 200 dogs that have been treated so far.

CEO Tammie Wahaus explains how ECI works, the role of a healthy immune system in successful immunotherapy, and why they chose to focus on osteosarcoma first. A randomized pivotal trial comparing dogs treated with ECI to dogs treated with carboplatin chemotherapy will be complete later this year, and we will...

Dog Cancer Vocab: Staging and Grading | Dr. Brooke Britton

When your dog is diagnosed with cancer, suddenly you find yourself dropped into a world of medical jargon. Two terms you might hear are staging and grading.

In this episode, Dr. Brooke Britton explains what staging and grading are and what they can mean for your dog’s prognosis. Staging in particular can help indicate the best treatment plan for each case. Dr. Britton also goes over how to work with your vet to get the most bang for your buck – for many of us with a limited budget, we often need to pick and choose the stag...

Dog Euthanasia, Hospice, and Lap of Love | Dr. Dani McVety

Lap of Love is a company dedicated to hospice care and home euthanasia for ill pets. Founder Dr. Dani McVety shares her insight on how to talk to your vet about hospice care for your dog, the “four budgets” that you need to consider when deciding whether or not to pursue euthanasia for your dog, and what to expect during a euthanasia appointment.

She also has an amazing alternative to the dreaded agony of trying to figure out the exact Right Time. Instead, she has found that there is a window of time. Listen in to learn more...

Dog Cancer Vocab: Mitotic Index | Dr. Brooke Britton

Mitotic index is one of the many complicated-sounding medical terms that may be thrown at you after your dog is diagnosed with cancer. At its most basic, mitotic index is the count of how many cells in your dog’s tumor are actively dividing, or reproducing. But what does this mean for you and your dog? Dr. Britton breaks down how mitotic index can help determine the prognosis for your dog, as well as which cancers it is most significant for. The aggressive potential of some cancers is closely linked to the mitotic index, while others can still be tr...

Nutritionist Lindsey Bullen on Diet and Dog Cancer | Dr. Lindsey Bullen

What’s the difference between a vet and a vet nutritionist? Both have an in-depth knowledge of the diseases that can affect our dogs, but nutritionists focus on food as the basis of their treatment plans. Dr. Bullen explains how every patient is a puzzle with unique nutritional needs, and how she uses chemistry, math, and both patient and owner preferences to come up with solutions that can help dogs feel better and live healthier lives.

We are very excited to have Dr. Bullen as a guest on the show, as veterinary nutritionists are few and far be...

Integrative Medicine: One Veterinarian’s Destiny | Dr. Mitsie Vargas

Finding something that works is the first priority of every dog lover who has a dog with cancer. Dr. Mitsie Vargas knows exactly how you feel, both as a pet owner herself and a veterinarian, parent, and daughter. Her experiences with her own pets and family members – as well as a chance event in vet school – have led her to incorporate natural and alternative therapies alongside the more classical cancer treatments from Western medicine.

Listen to her story and some of the therapies that she has had success treating her canine cancer patients, ranging from Chinese herbs to a...

Bone Marrow Transplants for Dogs | Dr. Steven Suter

Bone marrow transplants, also called total body radiation, are a fairly common procedure in human cancer treatment. Dogs can benefit from this procedure too! And the results are thrilling – about 30% of treated dogs are considered completely cured.

Dr. Steven Suter, the leading expert on bone marrow transplants in dogs, explains everything that goes into this procedure – and we mean everything. There are many steps and processes that have to be completed both to make sure that your dog is a good candidate for a bone marrow transplant and then to complete the transplant itself.

In this...

Tanovea: The First FDA-Approved Dog Lymphoma Treatment | Dr. Douglas Thamm

Lymphoma in dogs is very responsive to chemotherapy, but it also often relapses. Each time a dog comes out of remission, the cancer often gets harder to beat. Because of this, researchers are constantly looking for new treatments that can either get long-lasting results from the start or be used to beat back the cancer in those difficult cases.

Meet rabacfosadine, known by the brand name Tanovea. This drug is an injectable chemotherapeutic that just became the first ever FDA-approved treatment for lymphoma in dogs. Dr. Douglas Thamm, an oncologist at Colorado State University, has been working...

SearchLight DNA Can Find Your Dog's Cancer Genotype | Dr. Esther Chon

SearchLight DNA is a test offered by the company Vidium Animal Health. This test sequences the genome of a dog’s tumor, and then compares that genotype to a database of mutations known to be associated with cancer… and the treatments that target them.

The best part? SearchLight DNA can be done with a simple fine needle aspirate, no surgical biopsy required.

The team at Vidium is made up of oncologists, genomic scientists, and pathologists who all work together on each case. This diverse team emphasizes the importance of using multiple strategies to treat cancer.

Pet Cancer Care Consulting: Dog Cancer Care Online | Dr. Rachel Venable

While working in an oncology specialty center, Dr. Rachel Venable kept feeling like there were patients she couldn’t reach – or rather, that couldn’t get to her. So she decided to start her own business, doing oncology consults online.

Telemedicine laws can vary state to state, but most states allow teleconsulting. Your vet probably already uses one type of teleconsulting: sending x-rays out to a radiologist to review. The radiologist never examines the pet in person, but communicates with the veterinarian and works with them as a team. Dr. Venable uses this model for her consulting, but ta...

Poop for the Cure: Your Dog’s Gut Bacteria and Cancer | Dr. Stephanie Culler

Dr. Stephanie Culler and the rest of her team have been studying differences in the gut microbiome of healthy people and people with cancer to find biomarkers that can detect or predict cancer development. After all, the gut plays a key role in the immune system

So where do dogs come in? Dogs and humans share 60-80% of their gut microbiome with humans! Because of this combined with dogs’ shorter lifespans, it is much easier and more efficient to study and develop therapeutics for the microbiome in dogs first. So Dr. Culler expanded their research to include bo...

Vitamin E for Dog Cancer: Can I Give It During Chemo? | Dr. Nancy Reese

Caller Bevan has a dog with mast cell tumors, and his vet recommended giving vitamin E as part of their treatment plan. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which protects cells from damage. Chemotherapy is a pro-oxidant, with the intent to damage cells – specifically, cancer cells. Dr. Nancy Reese explains how these conflicting mechanisms of action can be problematic in some cases, but coexist peacefully in other, as well as why your vet might recommend giving vitamin E in the first place.

Related Links:

Exam Room Series: Mast Cell Tumors podcast episode

Chemotherapy for Do...

Dog Cancer Cost: Economics of Dog Cancer | Dr. Megan Duffy

Veterinary oncologist Megan Duffy joins us to explain and ins and outs of dog cancer economics. A consult with an oncologist can run a couple hundred dollars… but that money gets you the full attention of an expert who focuses on dog cancer and has reviewed your dog’s individual case ahead of time. The oncologist should also be giving you a rundown of different treatment options to help you figure out the option that will give your dog the most benefit while still staying within your budget.

Big takeaways? 1. Be honest about your budget so the onco...

Can I Prevent Dog Cancer With Diet? | Dr. Nancy Reese

Caller John just got a new Sheltie puppy, and he asks a question that many dog lovers have wondered about: can he protect his puppy from cancer by feeding him a particular diet? There is no simple answer. Feeding a quality diet with minimal dietary carcinogens and added vegetables can help to keep the body healthy, but there are many other factors that come into play to cause a case of cancer. Dr. Nancy discusses some of the things to consider when choosing what to feed your dog, along with the limitations that prevent diet from being a silver...

Choosing the Right Clinical Trial for Your Dog | Dr. Craig Clifford

Veterinary oncologist Craig Clifford loves clinical trials. Why? Because they give him early access to some of the newest treatments and therapies, and provide cutting-edge care to patients at a decreased cost - or even completely free.

Dr. Clifford goes over how to find clinical trials and how to evaluate if a particular trial is the right fit for you, from covered expenses to how placebos are used and how many follow-up visits will be needed. The information and results gathered from clinical studies help to get treatments and medications fully approved, making them accessible to more...

What Natural Cancer Treatment for Dogs Can I Use? | Dr. Nancy Reese

Dog lovers frequently wonder if there is a more natural option that could be used instead of pharmaceuticals to treat their dogs. The answer is… sometimes!

Bam Bam has elevated calcium levels in his blood, and his human wants to know if she can swap out some of his medications. Dr. Nancy Reese breaks down how the medications prednisone, Lasix, and Palladia work and why they might have been chosen to be part of the treatment plan, as well as some natural options that might work to help out a bit.

Although a pharmaceutical may be...

What to Bring to Your First Oncology Appointment | Dr. Megan Duffy

That first oncology consult can be overwhelming. Veterinary oncologist Megan Duffy says to expect the consult to take an hour or more – and most of that time is talking over your dog’s case and your treatment options. This is YOUR time to ask all of the questions you have about your dog’s diagnosis and treatment plan.

Once you have an appointment scheduled, ask all of the veterinary offices that your dog has been to in the past two years to send your dog’s records to the oncologist. Sending all records, bloodwork results, x-rays, and other im...

What To Do With Leftover Dog Medications | Dr. Nancy Reese

If your dog has died or just doesn’t need a particular medication any more, you might find yourself with some extra pills. Keeping them around the house isn’t ideal due to risks to kids and pets, but what CAN you do with them?

Dr. Nancy Reese discusses why flushing leftover meds is not a good idea, and offers advice on finding a local drug takeback program or asking your veterinarian to dispose of more dangerous medications, such as oral chemotherapy drugs, for you. She also goes over the legal issues with donating medications, and the safe...

Stage 3 Melanoma in Dogs: What Can We Do Next? | Dr. Nancy Reese

Oral Melanoma is one of the more aggressive cancers in dogs. The gold standard of treatment for this cancer is radiation to shrink the tumor, followed by the canine melanoma vaccine to train the dog’s immune system to attack the cancer cells. But what do you do when this treatment fails?

Dr. Nancy Reese discusses the typical treatment progression for oral melanoma, as well as some additional therapies that might be beneficial for added support.

Related Links:

Panacur for Cancer in Dogs podcast episode

Melanoma – What You Need to Know Abou...

FETCH a Cure: Financial Help for Dog Cancer | Joanne Silverman

FETCH a Cure was founded by Mike Holland, Tonie Stevens, and Ryan Traylor after Mike’s dog was diagnosed with osteosarcoma back in 2006. At that time there were few resources for dog cancer in the Richmond, VA area.

Since its humble beginnings as a back-room operation in a catering business, FETCH a Cure now provides continuing education opportunities for veterinarians, funding for dog cancer treatment within the Virginia-Maryland-DC area, and has even bought a building that now hosts both a veterinary oncology practice complete with a radiation room and a separate holistic veterinary practice.

One of...

Dog Vomiting: Should I Call My Vet? | Dr. Nancy Reese

Vomiting can be caused by a variety of things, ranging from eating garbage to a serious illness. It can also be a side effect of chemotherapy treatment.

In most cases, vomiting once isn’t a big concern. If the dog vomits multiple times within a single day, vomits for several days in a row, or has other symptoms of illness in addition to the vomiting, it’s time to seek veterinary care.

Dr. Nancy discusses several different treatment options depending on the underlying cause of your dog’s vomiting. Cerenia (maropitant) is great for preventing nausea...

Holistic Dog Cancer Treatments: Oncologist Panel Discussion 2022 | Dr. Kendra Pope and Dr. Trina Hazzah

Integrative oncologists Dr. Kendra Pope and Dr. Trina Hazzah discuss the current state of integrative and holistic oncology for dogs and their hopes for the future. Topics include: The shift in veterinary medicine toward a more integrative approach; The need for education of vets on dosing and using cannabis (and ongoing legalization issues); Clinical trials to prove effectiveness of integrative therapies; The value of real-world evidence; Herbal treatments; And genetic testing for tumors.

Visit to read the full transcript.

About Today’s Guest, Dr. Trina Hazzah:

Trina Hazzah completed veterinary sc...

Best Resources for Dog Cancer 2022 | Molly Jacobson and Kate Basedow

Getting a cancer diagnosis is devastating. We’ve been there, and we know how overwhelming this time can be. In this episode we’ve compiled all of the best resources that we have available to help you help your dog fight cancer.

Learn more about: The Dog Cancer Survival Guide; Dog Cancer News, a three-times-a-week newsletter; Dog Cancer Blog, a treasure trove of articles on dog cancer that is constantly being updated; Dog Cancer Support, where you can share your story with other dog lovers who understand; Our list of Full Spectrum veterinarians recommended by our readers and...

Why Is My Dog Shaking? Should I Call My Vet? | Dr. Nancy Reese

Shaking and trembling in dogs have many causes… most of which have nothing to do with health! Some potential causes of shaking and trembling include cold, anxiety, pain, neurological disorders, some immune disorders and electrolyte imbalances.

Dr. Nancy Reese goes over how to figure out what is causing your dog to shake and quiver, and when to seek veterinary attention.

Related Links:

How to Know if Your Dog is in Pain

About Today’s Guest, Dr. Nancy Reese:

Dr. Nancy Reese is a small animal veterinarian with over 30 years of cli...

Laverdia: A New Treatment for Lymphoma | Dr. David Bruyette, Dr. Megan Duffy, and Dr. Craig Clifford

Three veterinary oncologists discuss how Laverdia works and where it might fit into treatment plans for dogs with lymphoma.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Anivive Lifesciences - Laverdia

Anivive Lifesciences – Clinical Trials

How Laverdia Works video

Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group-Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (VCOG-CTCAE v2) following investigational therapy in dogs and cats

Conditional Approval Explained: A Resource for Veterinarians

About Today’s Guest, Dr. David Bruyette:

Dr. David Bruyette received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Missouri...

Dog Has Bloody Poop: Should I Call My Vet? | Dr. Nancy Reese

The only thing worse than your dog having diarrhea is your dog having bloody diarrhea. Nasty! The good news is, one episode of bloody stool is not usually anything to worry about, and cancer is not a common cause.

If your dog’s stool has blood in it or is black (a sign of bleeding in the stomach or small intestines), let your vet know. If it only happens once your dog may not need treatment, but this way your vet can put a note in your dog’s record about when these things happen.


Bladder Cancer in Dogs: Is It a Death Sentence? | Dr. Nancy Reese, DVM, PhD

Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) is the most common bladder cancer in dogs. While there is no cure, Dr. Nancy Reese does consider this cancer to be treatable and you can dramatically improve your dog’s comfort and quality of life with medications.

TCC can also be diagnosed with a special urine test, which is much easier to do and less stressful for your dog than a surgical biopsy (not to mention less expensive!).

As the cancer progresses, it can become uncomfortable and may even obstruct the bladder and prevent the dog from urinating. About 50% of ca...

Euthanasia for Dogs During the Holidays: Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty | Molly Jacobson and Kate Basedow

Losing a beloved dog is always hard, but it can be even more heartbreaking during the holiday season.

But while we as humans put a lot of value in specific dates and times, our dogs do not. Your dog will not mind if you celebrate a favorite holiday with him a few weeks early because his health is failing – after all, every day spent with you is a holiday to him.

You are not alone if you have had to say goodbye to a dear pet during the holiday season. The short, cold days take th...

How to Stop Dog Bleeding | Dr. Nancy Reese

Bleeding can be a minor inconvenience or a medical emergency. Dr. Nancy Reese recommends methods to stop minor bleeding at home as well as how to bandage a more serious wound to control bleeding on your way to the veterinary hospital.

Most bleeding in dogs is due to trauma, from cutting a paw on a rock to being hit by a car. The easiest way to stop bleeding is to prevent it from happening in the first place! Keep your dog on a leash when outside near roads or in the woods, and limit interactions with wildlife...