Dog With Bone Cancer Sees Ocean for First (And Last) Time

When Cassidy Williams was planning her romantic beach wedding on the Oregon coast, everything in her life seemed to be going perfectly. That is, until she discovered that her beloved family dog of five years, Dood, had been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer.

“He was always a happy, sweet and healthy dog,” said Williams.

Having been with the Williams family since he was a puppy, Dood’s diagnosis came as quite a shock to everyone. At only five years of age, everyone felt that Dood was still in the prime of his life.

At the time of the diagnosis, nobody was sure how to reconcile the fact that Cassidy’s wedding was bound to conflict with Dood’s hospice care. “We scrambled to figure out what to do,” Cassidy told reporters.

Eventually a solution was reached – Williams father agreed to forego his flight and instead make the 13-hour drive from Utah to Oregon with Dood in tow. This gave Cassidy the chance to have the wedding of her dreams without feeling the guilt of leaving her sick dog to be looked after by a dog sitter some 900 miles away.

What makes this story even sweeter is the fact that, up until this point, Dood had never so much as stepped foot on a beach – an experience almost universally adored by dogs. “Dood has always lived in a little bubble,” said Cassidy regarding her pooches sheltered life.

At first, Dood was a little hesitant around the ocean, not sure what to make of such a large expanse of water. Eventually he evened out and was playing in the surf like nobody’s business! “He was so happy, he had so much energy.”

Also, Cassidy and her husband decided to have Dood in the wedding party as the ring bearer. While they may not be the first – nor the last – to have a dog as their ring bearer, on this specific occasion it seemed to resonate with a deeper sense of meaning.

While the death of their beloved Dood has hit the Williams household harder than anyone could imagine, these final moments provide them with a lasting memory of exactly how special he was to them.

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Golden Retrievers 2x More Likely to Get Cancer

Golden retrievers are beautiful, loyal dogs that can be a great friend or addition to the family. However, they’re also more likely to develop cancer. According to The Wall Street Journal, purebred golden retrievers have a 60 percent chance of developing canine cancer and dying from it, which is nearly twice as high as the average among canines.

Many breeds have specific health concerns tied to them, but one of the scariest things about cancer is how abruptly it can affect a golden retriever.

“A dog can be literally chasing a ball in the backyard, come in for a drink of water and collapse and be dead within minutes,” Rhonda Hovan, a research facilitator for the Golden Retriever Club of America, told the Journal.

Luckily, this isn’t the fate of every dog who develops this chronic disease. Although cancer is incurable, it can be treated to help your beloved dog live a fuller, longer life. The first thing you should do is look out for the warning signs of cancer in your golden retriever and act as quickly as possible.


Researchers Use Dogs’ Noses to Sniff Out Ovarian Cancer Pt. 1

Other than being man’s best friend, canines have been used for a variety of services ranging from guiding the blind to consoling sick patients in hospitals. However, dog noses are for more than just finding and chasing rabbits around the yard.

The New York Times reported that McBaine, a black and white springer spaniel from Philadelphia, is a new employee at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. His job is to stroll around a table-size wheel with 12 arms protruding from its edges, each holding different blood plasma samples. However, one of them contains a drop of cancerous tissue. After making his choice – box No. 11 – McBaine is given a tennis ball as a reward, which he chases during his victory lap.

The spaniel is one of four dogs at the center who are highly trained in cancer detection. The facility helps purebreds put their senses of smell to good use in search of early signs of ovarian cancer. As part of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, the Penn Vet collaborates with chemists and physicists to isolate cancerous cells that only dogs’ noses can detect. The goal isn’t to train dogs capable of super smell, but rather to eventually manufacture nanotechnology sensors that can detect cancer that’s 1/100,000th the thickness of paper.

RELATED STORY: Dogs Can Detect Prostate Cancer 4x Better Than Modern Tests

The Working Dog Center trains canines for police work, search and rescue, and bomb detection. Ovarian cancer detection was added to their doggy courses after receiving a grant from the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation. Many of the participating pooches are hunting hounds with noses that have been improved through years of selective breeding, such as Labrador retrievers and German shepherds. The dogs start with basic obedience classes when they’re 8 weeks old and are raised in the homes of volunteer foster families.

The cancer detection training entails handlers holding two vials of fluid in front of each dog – one cancerous and one benign. Dogs smell both, but are only rewarded when they sniff the malignant sample. George Preti, Ph.D., a chemist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, is working to isolate chemical biomarkers that produce ovarian cancer’s subtle smell. This is how the handlers are able to train the canines to correctly sniff out the vial with the cancerous sample. Using the research, the next step will be to design a handheld sensor that can detect the specific chemicals that dogs are able to identify with their noses.

The experiments being conducted at the Working Dog Center highlight the uncanny sense of smell that dogs possess in comparison to humans. But do you know just how much stronger their noses are than ours?

Continue Reading >>>

PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at


Dogs Can Detect Prostate Cancer 4x Better Than Modern Tests

Finally, we have found a way to capitalize on our dogs’ long-standing affinity for sniffing rear ends.

Recent studies are showing that trained dogs are nearly four times better than modern testing when it comes to detecting prostate cancer.

The Facts

Prostate-specific antigen (or PSA) tests, in which blood is tested for a protein produced by the prostate, have been the most reliable and least invasive way to determine whether or not a man has prostate cancer. However, even that test frequently produces a false positive. In fact, 75% of positive PSA tests turn out to be incorrect, meaning that 3 out of 4 people receiving the bad news had no reason to be put under such stress.

Our canine compatriots, on the other hand, can detect prostate cancer with roughly 90% accuracy. And while this may be initially surprising, should it be? Dogs have been used for their keen sense of smell for hundreds of years. From tracking game, to sniffing out drugs and explosives, dogs’ well-honed schnozzes have been exceptionally useful tools for numerous tasks. And pair that with their ability to learn and perform various jobs, it should come as no surprise that, with the proper training, dogs can detect nearly anything.

RELATED STORY: Your Dog Knows Your Smell, Even From Afar

How Do These Dogs Do it?

Dogs have the ability to pick up scents that are as diluted as one part per thousand, thanks to their 200-million-some-odd nasal olfactory receptors (compared to the paltry 6 million we humans are equipped with). It’s that keen sense of smell that makes dogs such natural trackers. In order to use that ability to detect cancer, dogs can be specially trained to sniff out certain chemicals produced by prostate tumors in urine.

In a recent study by Dr. Jean-Nicolas Cornu of Tenon Hospital, out of the 66 tests that were done, Medical Detection Dogs were spot on 63 times, with only 3 false positives in the batch. That is an almost unheard of success rate for a test of this nature.

Skeptics are bringing up some concerns with the initial test, saying the sample size is too small to be making claims, or that the dogs may have been picking up on subconscious cues from researchers. Still, this test does open up the a whole new way to think about testing for diseases.

What do you think about using dogs to help detect cancer? Leave a comment and let us know! Also, consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more.

Counsel Heal – Dogs are Four Times More Effective Than Prostate Cancer Tests
WebMD – Dogs Sniff Out Prostate Cancer
Daily Mail – Dogs are FOUR times better at detecting prostate cancer than traditional tests


PetPlus and 2 Million Dogs Join Forces to Fight Cancer


What is the 2 Million Dogs Foundation?

Cancer is a condition that affects us all — that includes our dogs. As it stands, one out of four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. For the unlucky ones, while treatment is still an option, it’s often expensive, invasive, and ineffective.

To help bolster the fight against this debilitating disorder, 2 Million Dogs is dedicated to uncovering the links between people, their pets, and cancer, hoping to close in on how to best prevent this condition from developing in the first place.

LIKE US on Facebook; we will donate 25 cents per like to the 2 Million Dogs foundation!

How They’re Helping


2 Million Dogs puts all of its resources into providing funding for comparative oncology studies. Comparative oncology is an area of cancer research in which doctors study and aim to treat cancer in animals, with the hope that what they learn from treating pets will result in advancement in the field of cancer treatment in general.

As it happens, cancer in our pets is not so different from cancer in people. Pets and owners both share many of the same environmental risk factors, and the biology of pet and people tumors are remarkably similar. Also, since cancer moves quicker in pets – often advancing in months what would have taken years in a person – studying cancer in pets allows for a quicker completion of clinical trials. In short, comparative oncology works to cure and prevent cancer in our pets with the idea that the discoveries made will translate to improving cancer treatment for people.

2 Million Dogs raises money for comparative oncology by hosting their “PuppyUp” dog walks all across the country. During these walks, participants sponsored by friends and family walk two miles with their dog and thousands of others to raise funds and awareness for 2 Million Dogs. In this way, 2 Million Dogs manages to bring like minded people together, increase awareness about their cause, and draw from a large pool of donors all at once.

How You Can Help


PetPlus is offering to donate 25 cents for every new “LIKE” we receive on our Facebook page, so if you haven’t liked our page yet, now is a great time to do so. And if you’ve already liked us, then share this post with your friends!

We would also like to encourage you to reach into your coffers and donate a little something yourself, or look at their events calendar and participate in a walk near you. Or, if you’re so inclined, 2 Million Dogs is always looking for volunteers, as well as new venues to host a walk. So, if you have some time to spare, or live in a place that would embrace the 2 Million Dogs mission, reach out to them here.

And remember — if we all work together, we can put a “paws” on cancer!



Momma Pitty Pumpkin Needs Help! And A Home!

When Sara Jackson found Momma Pitty Pumpkin pregnant on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, she took her right home, despite the fact that she already had a foster dog and two other dogs of her own.

“She had sores running down all of her legs, her nails were curled under, and her hips were showing,” Sara said. “She had obviously been living outside and was being used to make money for someone.”

A week after bringing her home, Momma gave birth to 8 beautiful pups, all of whom Sara was able to place with loving families.

“We were able to partner up with so many amazing people who gave us great connections with spaying and neutering and all of their vaccines,” Sara said. “It truly took an army to rescue this amazing group of babies.”

Once the puppies had been placed in homes, Sara was able to start focusing on Momma. Momma had a large mass on her back right hip that a vet had previously aspirated (drained), and said could be drained again. Sara hoped this would be taken care of when she took Momma in to be spayed, but after some testing, it was discovered that Momma had cancer. Later testing revealed that it was mast cell 2 cancer.

The mass was removed during Momma’s spay, and because the vet estimated that Momma was only 2 years-old, Sara decided that it would be worth the additional cost to go through with radiation to ensure that the cancer would not spread to the rest of her organs.

Fun Fur All Fundraiser For Momma’s Treatment

The additional cost, however, is not minimal. Radiation therapy will cost $6,000. To help raise the money, Sara is hosting an event in Charlotte on Mother’s Day. The event, which can be found on Facebook at Momma Pitty’s Run Fur Fun 5K and Silent Auction, will include a 5K run, a 1 mile walk, and a fun-filled day of live music, photographers, a silent auction, costume and talent contests, massages, and a pit bull kissing booth featuring Momma’s puppies at Dog Bar, where Sara works on the weekends.

Dog Bar is a dog-friendly off leash bar in Charlotte. It’s almost like a dog park, but with drinks and live music.

“Momma is always at the bar with me, most of the time she is caught ON the bar,” Sara said. “This is her favorite spot and is often seen begging people to pick her up to put her on the bar so that she can kiss everyone directly in the face.”

Adopt Momma!

If Momma sounds like the kind of loving dog you’d like to bring home, consider adopting her! Sara is fostering Momma for now, but hopes to find her a forever home.

A bit about Momma:

– Breed: Pit bull

– Age: Estimated to be 2 years-old

– Weight: 40 lbs.

Crate trained, potty trained, knows basic commands

Walks well on a leash, and can even walk off leash and will come back when called

– Well-socialized and loves people and other dogs

– Loves to swim!

“Her love for life just beams through her large Pitty smile,” Sara said. “She is not only beautiful on the outside — her soul just shines.”

And a note about Momma’s cancer:

“We do not want anyone to be discouraged because of the fact Momma has been diagnosed with cancer. Her mass has been removed; we are doing radiation as a precaution,” Sara said. “Many bully breeds are known for having this cancer and it is something that as a dog owner we feel you should be prepared for even in a healthy dog.  Cancer in dogs is a lot like cancer in people, you treat and do what you can, but you do not just cast the dog aside.”

As a thank you to Sara for all that she has done for Momma and her pups,we are offering her six months free of PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. We will also offer a free year of PetPlus to whoever adopts Momma to help them take care of her.

If you are interested in adopting Momma or supporting Sara’s fundraiser, visit the event’s Facebook page and leave a message, or leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you with Sara’s direct contact info. Good luck, Sara!