It can be very hard to make a dog comfortable when they are suffering from bladder cancer. All you want to do is help them with the incredibly painful symptoms they are experiencing. Dog owners have been there, and they have discovered some amazing things to help their pets.
How to make a dog with bladder cancer comfortable
Early detection is important because early treatment can reduce the risk of death from the tumor and improve survival rates for dogs with bladder cancer. Treatment options include surgery for localized tumors and chemotherapy or radiation for tumors that have spread beyond the bladder.
Pain medications can provide a temporary relief from the pain associated with many types of surgery or chemotherapy. Analgesics can help reduce pain in the days leading up to surgery or chemo treatment. Anti-anxiety medications can provide short-term relief from anxiety and stress associated with an upcoming surgery or chemo treatment.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is a very aggressive form of cancer. Dogs with bladder cancer need to make sure that their veterinarian is aware of any changes that may be occurring in their dog’s body such as weight loss or lean muscle mass loss, so that they can treat these symptoms accordingly.
In many cases, a dog’s age can affect which treatment is best for them. For example, dogs less than five years old are more likely to respond well to surgery than dogs over 10 years old.
While there is no medication to cure bladder cancer, there are steps you can take to make them comfortable during their final days.
A simple way to do this is by making sure he has access to food and clean water on a regular basis and placing a bowl in his favorite room.
If you notice your dog getting uncomfortable, try putting a warm towel around their tummy or using a heating pad. The goal is to try and keep your pet as comfortable as possible while they are dealing with this difficult condition. It may not sound like much, but it can make all the difference in the world when they need you most.
You may also try placing your dog in a comfortable bed that allows him to lie down at night with minimal discomfort.
If your dog is not eating. You can give him soft food like boiled chicken or turkey, cooked rice balls, or just plain canned food. There are also special diets available for dogs with bladder cancer (such as Hill’s Prescription Diets), which are designed to help dogs with other types of cancer feel better while still maintaining their quality of life.
In the most severe cases, you can choose euthanasia; however, if the cancer is confined to the bladder and is not affecting surrounding structures, your veterinarian may recommend stenting the urethra. This will allow urine to flow better and reduce urine pressure. Urologists are trained in this procedure, so they can perform it safely and quickly if needed.
You may notice changes in his behavior: he may be sleeping a lot, avoiding playing, or generally appearing depressed. If your dog is showing these signs, it is time to say goodbye and allow him to pass without any pain.
How long do dogs with bladder cancer live?
On average, dogs with bladder cancer are expected to live for 6 months without treatment and 12 months after treatment. The vast majority of dogs diagnosed with the disease will be euthanized due to the incurable nature of the disease.
Does bladder cancer in dogs cause pain?
Dogs with bladder cancer are in constant pain and are unable to urinate. This is a very serious condition that requires immediate attention. Dogs also may exhibit loss of appetite, depression, and lethargy. Many dogs with bladder cancer experience a decreased interest in food, water, and playing with other dogs.
When to euthanize a dog with bladder cancer
If your dog has bladder cancer, you and your veterinarian want the same thing: to relieve pain and discomfort. Your vet will help you make decisions about treatment, including when it’s time to let go.
When you consider euthanasia for a dog with bladder cancer, weigh several factors: quality of life; pain level; and financial burden for continued treatment vs. euthanasia costs. If you’ve exhausted all options and can no longer keep him comfortable at home, consider having your veterinarian perform euthanasia in her office or come to your home.
Financial assistance for dogs with bladder cancer
There are various pet care assistance programs that you can turn to if you want to find the best help for your dog’s bladder cancer. There are certain requirements that you have to meet before you get accepted onto one of these programs though, so be sure that you meet them before applying.
Ask your vet if they offer payment plan options and what requirements you must meet to qualify. Many veterinary practices offer payment plans to clients with good credit who need assistance paying their bills.
This is a great option for those who don’t mind traveling and want a cost-effective approach to their pet’s care. One drawback is that your dog will be treated by a student, but you still have an attending veterinarian to oversee your pet’s care.
Local animal shelters
Some organizations in select cities offer low-cost spay/neuter surgeries and other services for dogs with bladder cancer at local shelters as well as mobile clinics.
Animal Cancer Foundation
Animal Cancer Foundation is dedicated to advancing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals by providing funding for innovative research and by educating the public about cancer. Animal Cancer Foundation provides more than $500,000 annually to support scientists at leading veterinary schools who are exploring new ways to detect, treat and prevent cancer in pets.
Grants are available for dogs with bladder cancer. Visit the ACF website for more information on qualifications and how to apply.
Brown Dog Foundation
This is an organization that helps pet owners pay for the costs of emergency or chronic care. They have grants available for treatment and medication for pets with cancer.
The Pet Fund
This is a non-profit organization providing financial assistance to owners of domestic animals who need urgent care. Their goal is to keep pets healthy and with their families rather than euthanized or surrendered because of financial limitations.
CareCredit is a credit card, specifically for medical services, that offers no-interest and low-interest financing options. You can apply online or by phone at 800-677-0718. If you are approved, you can use your card to pay for your dog’s bladder cancer treatment, then pay off the balance within the promotional period (usually 6 or 12 months) without interest charges.
Conclusion of making dogs with bladder cancer comfortable
When your dog is diagnosed with cancer and given only a short time to live, cherish every moment with him. Make sure he knows how much you love him by giving him lots of attention, gentle pats, and hugs.
- Look for a vet who will offer you the most compassionate care.
- Make your dog comfortable during the final days.
- Consider using chemotherapy, particularly if your dog is otherwise healthy and has a good prognosis.
- Talk to your vet about pain medications, as many dogs can tolerate some degree of pain with treatment.
- Seek out options to keep your dog eating, such as adjusting the diet or using appetite stimulants or anti-nausea medications.
If your dog is experiencing incontinence due to bladder cancer, there are medications that can help. These include tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, as well as phenylpropanolamine (Proin) and imipramine (Tofranil). These medications can be used alone or in combination with other medications to help alleviate symptoms of bladder cancer.
If you are a senior citizen, you might have a reduced income, and your budget may not allow for all of the treatments your dog needs. If this is the case, reach out to your veterinarian for advice about how to get help from charitable foundations or other organizations.
If you must put your dog down, consult with your vet ahead of time to know what to expect from your pet during the final stages of his illness. While it can be upsetting, it’s important to remember that euthanasia is a humane and painless way of ending the suffering of a dog with cancer.
We hope this article has been helpful in helping you make your dog with bladder cancer comfortable.