By David Duchemin, BA
In my last blog, I talked about the fact that clients, and even referring veterinarians, use their own experiences of cancer as an indicator of what to expect during a pet’s cancer treatment.
I also spoke about how well most pets do during treatment because of the way veterinary oncologists are able to treat. But, I believe that in addition to the obvious biological differences, there are other reasons why pets do so much better while undergoing treatment than their human counterparts.
These reasons might not necessarily be founded in fact, but they are a personal belief. Animals live in the moment; they are not, by nature, self-conscious, embarrassed, distressed, or upset. They don’t feel sorry for themselves or let society’s stigmas or preconceived ideals dictate how they should behave or feel.
It is, however, scientifically proven that keeping a positive outlook helps to significantly improve one’s health. When humans deal with cancer, they go through many stages ranging from grief to anger; it is a considerable time before they come to terms with their illness. I believe that this kind of stress can significantly hinder the body’s ability to handle disease, as well as treatment of the disease.
Another factor to consider is that animals, like children, are very sensitive to our emotions. If you are stressed or unhappy, then it is very likely that your pet is as well. If your pet has cancer, or any terminal illness, you should never be so afraid of losing him or her that you no longer enjoy every moment together. All time together is precious! Enjoy every moment without the fear of time slipping away.
We have so much to learn from our pets; they celebrate life every single day. They don’t know or even care that they have cancer. They only care about living in their moment… with you! Obviously, this is not a cure for cancer; nevertheless, keeping a positive emotional outlook will improve your life and your pet’s quality of life too.