Pets with Cancer


Our Pets' Advice

Cody's Club (Mast Cell Tumor - Radiation)

Oliver's Story 


Meet Us 

Member Profiles

Recent Visitors and Spirit Dogs

Using the Lifeline

Gaelee's Story - A Kerry Blue Terrier Triumphs 

Every Day is A Good Day (Lymphoma Treatment Guide)

Our Advice to Owners



Welcome to 

Pets with Cancer Lifeline


Anna and Leonard, Carol, Diane, Gail, Gina, Jeff, Isabelle, Jacque, Ken and Fran, 

Marie, Nick, Nicole, Pat (Archie), Pat (Hannah), Shona, and Terri


Shelley, Laurie, and Lonna

Many of us have had a dog or cat treated at the Oncology Service of the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (VHUP).  In February, 2003, we decided to create a network to provide information and support to the families of the newest Oncology patients who have practical questions about pets living with cancer, or simply want to talk with someone whose pet has received a similar diagnosis.  In November, 2007, after four years of responding to hundreds of inquiries from new VHUP patients and dog and cat owners literally around the world, we are joined by Shelley, Laurie, and Lonna, who connected with us through, and are now part of, the Pets with Cancer website.  

2009 UPDATE:  Nearly 10 years have now passed since the first of our pets received treatment for cancer.  Some of us are not aware of the most recent developments in all forms of treatment, but maintain our website available for the valuable information it contains as well as in tribute to our wonderful cats and dogs.  Our email link on the main page remains available should you have questions. 

What Pets with Cancer Lifeline offers:

· Our  Lifeline, an email network through which our members provide support and advice to other owners who have questions about cancer treatment for their pets. Our goal has been to give support and perspective in the early phases of treatment, and answer questions that owners have about the everyday life of pets with cancer.  As mentioned above, the Lifeline has become less active in the last year.   

· Treatment profiles of our members' pets.  These quick sketches discuss our pets' diagnoses, what we were told about estimated survival, and our pets' actual results and quality of life during treatment.  This information demonstrates that every pet's experience is unique, and should continue to be helpful to you .

· Treatment perspectives of other VHUP owners.  In April 2005, we asked our members and other VHUP Oncology clients for their thoughts about the how they and their pets' lives were affected by treatment to create an "Owners' Advice" page on the Pets with Cancer website.   

· Cody’s ClubInformation about Cody's Club, a charitable fund, support group and support hotline for radiation treatment and malignant mast cell tumor, created by one of our members, Nicole Kraft to honor her black Lab, Cody. 

·Oliver's StoryOliver's rare cancer, Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor (MPNST), sent his owner Shelley searching for information about treatment options appropriate for her dog.  While specific to MPNST, Shelley's discussion of her consultations with several specialists and decision-making process highlight the need for thorough information gathering when dealing with any cancer, and making decisions for your dog or cat.  

 ·Gaelee's StoryGaelee, a Kerry Blue Terrier, was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2007.  With chemotherapy, accompanied by acupuncture and other homeopathic treatments, Gaelee survived in remission two years, until July 2009.   Her owner Laurie's story and email reports to chronicle the ups-and-downs of treatment and the joys of extended life for a beloved dog.

·Salty's StorySalty, an agility dog, was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma, in 2009.  Lonna chose radiation, based on the high likelihood (84%) the cancer would not return within 5 years, accompanied by specific diet and supplements.  In  Salty's Badge of Courage, Lonna discusses her evaluation of treatment options, what the radiation process was like, and how Salty was able to continue his agility activities during the course of treatment.       

· Every Day is A Good Day (Berry The Dog’s Guide to Living with Lymphoma).  Every Day is an owner’s guide to the chemotherapy treatment process, with links to dozens of sites related to canine lymphoma.

· A Little Fun where our pets share some pet-to-pet tips about treatment.

Our goal:   To be a resource for owners who are making a decision whether to treat a cat or dog with cancer or whose dog or cat is in the initial stages of treatment or a "rescue" protocol. 

We are not veterinarians or medical personnel. We are owners who understand your situation and are willing to share our own experiences and observations about:

· Why we decided to treat our cat or dog 

· How cancer treatment has affected the everyday life our cat or dog

· How the cancer treatments have affected us

                    · What to expect, and how to make the most of the treatment experience

Each of our pets received a cancer diagnosis, followed by treatment.  Initially, we all faced the same questions:  What should I do?  Will treatment hurt my pet?  Will my pet receive caring treatment at a teaching facility or will he be a research subject? What will my pet's quality of life be?  We each gathered information from written materials from VHUP and other sources, conversations with the veterinarians, internet searches, and other owners whose pets had cancer.  We hope that by sharing our experiences, Pets With Cancer Lifeline can be another such source. 

What should you do?  Only you can answer that question.  But we can tell you that most of our pets have done well in treatment, with good to excellent quality of life and generally minimal side effects.  We know that VHUP's Oncology Service provides exceptional treatment.  And, as Diane writes, we know "they truly care about each and every patient." 

Collectively, our pets had hundreds of months of treatment at the VHUP Oncology Service, so we've learned a lot about how pets with cancer lead their everyday lives.   We've seen the initial stages of treatment, remission, recurrence, and loss of our pets -- to cancer and to other, unrelated causes.  We support you in your journey.

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The Pets with Cancer Lifeline is hosted on-line by was created by Carol Dubie and DC Jackson in January 2001 to celebrate the life of Berry The Dog and to help people confront and cope with canine lymphoma.  Hosting the Pets with Cancer Lifeline represents yet another step in the journey that is

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