• I was wondering if anybody got a cat or a dog after being diagnosed with Cancer to help with recovery?

    Asked by Elizabeth on Monday, November 14, 2011

    I was wondering if anybody got a cat or a dog after being diagnosed with Cancer to help with recovery?

    41 Answers from the Community

    41 answers
    • mysecondchance's Avatar

      I already had a cat. His name was Fifty-fifty. He was my buddy and a great comfort during my illness. When I came home after surgery I was reading my pathology report. I left it on my bed and Fifty laid on it. He laid on it everytime he jumped onto my bed. That went on for a long time. Unfortunately I lost my baby in July. He was over sixteen years old and his little body just gave out. I miss him.

      over 9 years ago
    • Elizabeth's Avatar

      I am sorry to hear about your cat he seemed like a great companion. It seemed like he was looking out for you and made sure you were not upset. It makes me miss my dog Anna she lives with my parents and two younger sisters. Its amazing what an impact they make on our daily lives.

      over 9 years ago
    • gdytko's Avatar

      This is so hard for me, my little boy is a miniature pincer. He looks like a small Scooby Doo. I have my mom taking care of him until I can heal up enough after my surgery. It has been about a year, oh God I miss my little boy so much. There was no way I could take care of him while I was going through chemo. and radiation, then after the surgery. If you have someone that can help you take care of your pet while you are sick or just can't do it, then by all means have a pet with you, there is unconditional love. In about another month I'll get my little Sammy back.

      over 9 years ago
    • Glenda's Avatar

      I allergic to animals so no pets in this house.

      over 9 years ago
    • SunnyCloud's Avatar

      We got a puppy for my daughter. That helped both of us. If you have someone to care for the puppy or kitty on the days that you just cant, get one! :) By the way, I bought myself a Beanie Husky. I named him Chemo. I held it in my hands during radiation a few times & it also kept me company during chemo.

      over 9 years ago
    • stillkickin's Avatar

      By all means, get a pet. I had 3 cats before I was diagnosed, and I was never happier about having them then during the times that I felt the worst. My cats would crawl in bed with me and offer me love and comfort, and that really kept me going during the bad days. There is something about the unconditional love of an animal that wraps you in a warm blanket of caring.

      over 9 years ago
    • Elizabeth's Avatar

      I want to get a Yorkie but my parents are too worried that I will get sick if I have one around while on Chemo because of my white blood cell count. They told me that after Chemo is over then I can have one. I miss Anna (family dog) she is a Maltese. They are just worried about me but hopefully I will be able to change their mind.

      over 9 years ago
    • TubThumping's Avatar

      I didn't get a cat but I kept asking people to bring me one to cuddle. Unfortunately all their cats are pretty aloof and don't like people. When I had me cats there was nothing better than having them snuggle in bed with me especially if I didn't feel good.

      over 9 years ago
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      I have 3 dogs they help me get through treatment.

      over 9 years ago
    • Bonkers' Avatar

      It was about five years ago. There was a cat in the neighborhood that was left outside becouse the owner did not want her. I had finally completed my Cheme and radiation. When ever I sat on the swing in the front yard, the cat would come over from the other side of the street to sit with me. After a while he would come when ever I whistled. One day when it was pouring rain out I opened the door and whistled. She came running across the street and into the house. She has been staying with us ever since and is now my best friend. In fact, she is on my lap now while i'm trying to type.

      over 9 years ago
    • Chris' Avatar

      Animals are the best thing when you are ill - They believe my cat found my cancer first - he was starting to lay on my neck and scratch. When my neck got enlarged, I thought it was from his claws, it wasn't - it was the cancer. We had to put him to sleep this year - he had cancer :(

      over 9 years ago
    • ejonespw's Avatar

      I have a beautiful seventy five Pound red nose pit pure breed it helps to have a campanion wish I would of listened to her she knew something was wrong with me months before I went to hospital she has been big part of my time so by all means get a dog or cat if u have to dogs better can u tell I like dogs lol hope your recovery good will Pray for you peade

      about 9 years ago
    • markmather's Avatar

      Sunny my kitty sat next to me for months while going through treatment. He was an unafraid blessing in my life. He saw me at my worst and still loved on me day and night. Animals can be there for you when people cant because of busy lives. Cheers to our little buddies.

      about 9 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      I can't imagine life now without my loving dig. I thought I rescued him but, as it turned out, he rescued me. It feels like healing body chemicals are stirred-up when I interact with him. The love is palpable.

      almost 9 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      Oops. The word is "dog."

      almost 9 years ago
    • shhwee's Avatar

      My dad remarried and we were in the process of moving into a house together when I was diagnosed. She had an English Bull Terrier. He was literally one of the key things that helped me through treatment.
      When I got wobbly on my feet he started walking beside me on my weak side, nudging me with his nose when he sensed me wobble.
      When I had chemo breakdowns he would climb into my bed and cuddle up to me.
      When my bones would feel like napalm he would lay at the end of my bed and growl at whoever came near my room so that no one would disturb me.

      Hes not a helper dog, and I'm pretty sure he only understands Spanish, but he helped keep me sane. I love my big ol Rocco monster!!!

      almost 9 years ago
    • Lirasgirl33's Avatar

      I just got my little "Lily". She's a 2 month old white calico kitten. She has been great company since I'm home on disability.

      almost 9 years ago
    • CrazyCatMan's Avatar

      After my dad was diagnosed with cancer, the doctors recommended keeping him away from animals since his immunity was down due to chemo. When my mom and I talked to him about finding other homes for our cats, he absolutely had a cow! We were concerned about them contaminating feeding tubes, germs from the litter box, shedding hair, etc...
      But I'm glad we kept the cats. They seemed to sense that my dad wasn't well. His favorite cat Delilah was very gentle and comforting and hardly ever left his bed. He loves that cat and she definitely helps him cope. And no health issues arose due to the animals being in the house

      almost 9 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      My dad has a dog, and he knows when he's not feeling well. He sits right next to him... doesn't leave his side... and when he gets up, he follows him. They know how to do comfort care better than people. The best place to adopt a pet is from a shelter, so you can help save each other. It's important to make sure there's someone available to help take care of the pets' needs too when people aren't able to.

      over 8 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      Recently I watched a documentary about the human/dog bond.
      Researchers have measured oxytocin levels when a human and dog interact. The beneficial hormones increase for both the human and the dog to a similar level as the rush of oxtocicn a newborn and it's mother experience during breast feeding. I have a rescue dog and don't know what I would do without him. He knows I'm not at my best and stays close to me night and day, even escorts me from room to room and wakes me if I'm having a bad dream. I rescued this dog not realizing that, in truth, he rescued me.

      over 8 years ago
    • Bellamore's Avatar

      I pick up my GSD puppy in two weeks. He'll be our 7th. I can''t imagine life without a dog.

      over 8 years ago
    • derbygirl's Avatar

      I was lucky to have two wonderful animal companions to help me through my recovery in 2008 from Ovarian Cancer. I had a wonderful cat named Bandit and an incredible dog named Poochie. I had taken both of them off the streets and gave them a good home and they in return gave me love and support. In fact Poochie had run away from a home where he was used as a bait dog to train attack dogs by his previous owner who eventually ended up in jail. He had to go through surgery and weeks of physical therapy so somehow I think he knew what I was going through because he stayed by my side when I came home from the hospital. Bandit would lay on the bed next to me and at night she cuddled up next to me. Sadly both have died recently, I will never forget how they both helped me during a difficult time. Since they passed, I have rescued 2 more cats, Rascal who is now 3 and Yo Yo who is 4. They make me smile and I love them both dearly. Animals give you unconditional love and help in ways you never could imagine.

      over 8 years ago
    • sbeck08's Avatar

      I have 2 cats and one of them sleeps with me at night, every night and if I am having a bad day and I spend the day on the couch, one of the them lays with me in the morning and the other one gets the afternoon shift. It is very comforting having them there, just a warm fuzzy body to cuddle with.

      over 8 years ago
    • Effiemae's Avatar

      I already had a dog before I was diagnosed, and quite frankly I don't know what I would have done without her. I know that she loves me unconditionally, and she's so sensitive that she really picks up my feelings when I feel bad. I feel bad that I can't do the things for her that she loves like walking her and taking her out to see other people. She's very sociable. I think anyone who doesn't have a pet ought to consider getting one.

      over 8 years ago
    • Jennyjenny's Avatar

      No but I would recommend taking with your docs first, wheimmunosuppressed and in treatment, infections can have a far greater impact on you. Don't not do it bc of my comment, but I have heard of rare cases where that cuter little puppy resulted in a hospital stay...

      over 8 years ago
    • LadyM's Avatar

      My accident, I actually got a rescue dog right at the start of my treatment. Madeline, my chocolate lab, was my best friend on 4 legs. She stuck by me every step. She is laying across my feet right now watching me type. We saved each other.

      over 8 years ago
    • runninka's Avatar

      I adopted a new kitten the weekend before my surgery. I wanted to name her Kimo, but that is my brothers nickname. She ended up being "Kitty". I was off work for 2 months and in that time we bonded like I never had with a pet before. Can't imagine life without her.

      over 8 years ago
    • loafingroae's Avatar

      We already had a pet but my daughter got a havaneese puppy about a year onto diagnosis. This little dog was something we needed My husband calls her his granddog and loves her so much. She has learned to jump on our couch then stand on the arm of the couch to get in the bed with him. She was a breath of fresh air that we needed.

      over 8 years ago
    • DebbiD's Avatar

      I already had two dogs. One of my dogs knew I had cancer before I did. He suddenly got depressed and wouldn't do anything-when I took him to the vet I was being tested for lung cancer. He still comes up to my mouth to smell my breath. He's afraid of people having been abused but never left my bed except to eat and go out and would growl at anyone who entered my bedroom. It is true dogs can sniff cancer. My two dogs were one of the main reasons I kept on-who would take care of an abused dog?

      over 8 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      We already had two dogs, Bear and Lucy. Mu husband had never ever had a dog before and always wanted one, so in July 2001 we went on a search for the perfect puppy, and in September we adopted 10 week old Bear from the Humane Society. The following may we decided Bear needed company during the day while we were at work and after searching every single shelter in our area we adopted 1 year old Lucy from the county shelter. Lucy is a Rhodisan Ridgeback and Bear is a Fundie mix, and both are quite large (Bear is 120 lbs of cuddle love). They are a God send ot my husband. if is in in bed, they are on the bed with him. If he is in his chair, they are at his feet and often times his lap. Luch is so sensitive, being a hound, that she has come downstairs to get me when my husband needs me. They are truly amazing and we love them to pieces. e have recently added my mom's Brussels Griffon to the mix, Harley, and adds amazing laughs to the crew as only a little dog, so dreaming of being big like Bear. can do.

      over 8 years ago
    • wvgal68's Avatar

      I did not get a pet to help with recovery, because I already had some. I have 3 cats, and a dog. There is nothing more comforting to me then hearing my cats purr. I actually recorded one of them on my MP3 when I had to go out of town for surgery.
      My dog was only a puppy when I started my cancer journey, and he has been my constant companion. He stays in the room with me, whether I'm staying in bed, or decide to sleep in my recliner. He'll bring toys to me when I'm not feeling well, so that I will have to play with him, and that makes me laugh. He plays gently with me when I'm weaker, and makes me move around more when I'm able.

      over 8 years ago
    • erie94's Avatar

      My husband already had a 1 year old old english bull dog when I got cancer, now she's two. And I spent so much time with her during cancer, she was at home with me while hubby was at work, and now she's grown attached to me instead. To this day my hubby is a little jealous when she lays on the floor next to me, in fact she is next to me now!!! LOL

      over 8 years ago
    • Harry's Avatar

      I already have two dogs and I'm not adding to the menagerie.

      Seriously, a dog or cat is a long term committment. I can see one as a very positive influence on one's outlook. And, a dog or cat accepts you as you are without reservation.

      over 8 years ago
    • KimmieC's Avatar

      I was about a year post-treatment when a friend gave me a 2-year-old Dachsund, already trained! It was my first attempt to have an animal live inside with me. He has been awesome for me! I have alot of bone and joint pain, especially in my elbows, due to my surgeries and radiation and ongoing pill that I take. He ALWAYS knows when I am at my worst. He even licks my elbows or other joints, its just weird that he knows where I hurt. But for some reason, every once in a while his smell makes me sick at my stomach, and my children have to bathe him in some special shampoo so I can tolerate him. If you get an animal, make sure it is one that you can take care of, that it won't be a burden to you on your worst days. Don't be afraid to ask friends to pet-sit for you, or to say, "This is too much for me right now."

      over 8 years ago
    • Mikeb's Avatar

      I had a chocolate lab that passed away just before I was diagnosed. After my surgery I got a yellow lab and named him Chance. Short for Second Chance.

      over 8 years ago
    • LeslieR's Avatar

      I already had 2 cats and a shelter rescue dog from Katrina. So why did I need another one????? I was diagnosed Sept 2011, that Christmas my ex-husband had adopted a dog from the shelter. I had stopped by his house for a few minutes (unknowing he had the dog) and I saw the sweet baby running aroung his yard. When my ex opened my car door the poor shaggy baby jumped into my front seat and he's been with me ever since. For some reason I needed him and he needed me. Never under estimate a shelter dog/cat. They are ever so grateful for a second chance at life... and I am as well. : )

      over 8 years ago
    • DJS's Avatar

      I can't imagine going through this without my cat -- in fact, I can't imagine life without a pet(s) -- but before you make a decision, remember to consider the care and costs involved. Are you going to be up to changing a litter box, or can you get help with that? Will you be able to commit to walking your dog regularly, or do you have a fenced in yard where he/she will be able to play, or again -- someone to step in and take over when you can't? The costs for food (and toys!) can be negligible, but are you prepared to take on vet bills? Not just for initial shots and exams, but if/when your new baby gets sick and needs treatment? Also, this is a commitment that you could be taking on for many years -- are you excited about that, or is getting a pet something you're thinking about now because you're sick and lonely? If you have your bases covered...go out and go for it! You'll find your new best friend will actually be the one picking you out!!!

      over 7 years ago
    • ilovespring's Avatar

      I got/was given a dog and it was the best thing for me. Absolutely get a pet as long as it's ok with your doctor. They will cheer you up, keep you warm, and make you laugh. Without my dog I don't know I would have made it this far through the days completely alone and so sick. He has been my constant companion.

      about 7 years ago
    • rpro's Avatar

      I have two cats, Coco and Belle. They made me feel better after treatment no matter how bad I felt.

      almost 7 years ago
    • workit's Avatar

      This doctor recommends it, even tried to bill insurance for it:

      Get a Dog and Start Walking John L. Marshall, MD March 15, 2013


      almost 7 years ago
    • BobStewart412's Avatar

      I got a Golden Retriever the week before i was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away within one month of me being in remission. She was there for me during my 2 and a half years of chemo though.

      almost 6 years ago

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