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Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Heartbreak of Animal Cancer

I've been through this, and getting a diagnosis of a pet's cancer was almost as painful as getting my own (back in '85; I'm fine now). Kendall, my 16-year-old German shepherd, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer nearly two years ago. She underwent successful surgery to remove the tumor, then we were referred to a veterinary oncologist, who recommended a course of chemo.

I had a lot of factors to consider, not the least of which was Kendall's age. In the end, I opted not to do chemo - which can make an animal violently ill - and indeed, her cancer never returned. I had to let her go after her back end pretty much gave out, and she could no longer walk or stand.

Click here to read a story about vet oncologists and the often emotional work they do.