Suggested Reading

Suggested Reading

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond 2nd Edition

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond 2nd Edition (2017)
by Alice Villalobos (Author),‎ Laurie Kaplan (Contributor)

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A must have book if your pet has cancer. This book informs intelligent pet owners about aging and cancer in dogs and cats. Dr. Villalobos wrote this book as a labor of love. She presents 90 of her real live cases to help clarify the complexity in work up, diagnosis, and decision making for older pets. Dr. V. provides an teaches an empathetic approach justifying a common sense, reasonable treatment of cancer in senior and geriatric pets especially those with other pre existing conditions. The concept of pet hospice "Pawspice" is proposed to provide palliative care for all pets with cancer from the start of their treatment program. This approach, along with using her Quality of Life Scale, provides the best quality of life possible. The book fills in the all the blanks about cancer treatment and cancer's fatal agenda. You get to know what's what from both sides of the exam table. It explains what is often left unsaid in the exam room. The book is in many veterinary teaching hospital libraries and is read by veterinary students, interns, nurses, hospice workers and doctors to gain an overview of compassionate cancer care and for guidance in palliative care, Pawspice and end of life decision making for geriatric cancer patients. Dr. V's manuscript was edited and organized by Laurie Kaplan.

Help Your Dog Fight Cancer, 2009,

This book by Laurie Kaplan, helps inform pet owners how to provide the best everyday home care for dogs as they battle cancer. Laurie discusses the physical and nutritional needs in great detail truly helping pet owners become knowledgeable caregivers for their dog with cancer. 

So Easy to Love, So Hard to Lose, 2010,

Laurie Kaplan helps pet lovers work through the emotional turmoil that accompanies the pending loss or the loss of a dearly beloved pet. She writes from her personal experience of loss after Magic died. In honor of her bond with Magic, Laurie helps dogs and cats via

Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond, 2nd Ed.
Book Review
By Pleia Hall

Dr. Alice Villalobos is a distinguished veterinary oncologist and a graduate of the UC Davis veterinary school. Nicknamed
the “Quality of Life Queen, and Mother of Veterinary Hospice (Pawspice), her work focuses on palliative care for
geriatric canine and feline cancer patients. Her 2
nd Edition book, Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology, is a detailed account
of the different types of cancer and clinical approaches to treating them. Interspersed throughout the book are
anecdotes chronicling Dr. Villalobos’s experiences in treating patients.

The book begins with an introduction to cancer from a molecular biology perspective. Dr. Villalobos explains the origins
of cancer in cells in a way that accurately encompasses the concepts and biological mechanisms of cancer while limiting the
use of unnecessary jargon. She then gives a synopsis of her approach to treating cancer in geriatric dogs and cats, which
focuses on kind and gentle treatments for the cancer while maintaining the highest quality of life possible. The next section
of the book goes into the details of specific types of cancer as well as her own clinical approaches to treating them in
geriatric pets. The final chapters of the book discuss the emotional aspects of end of life care for both pet owners and
the veterinary professionals who care for them.

This book is rare in that it addresses both the “hard” and “soft” aspects of veterinary medicine in this context.
Dr. Villalobos discusses the scientific and clinical side of geriatric cancer treatment with the same clarity and insight as
she guides mourning owners to use her world famous Quality of Life Scale through decision making at the end of a pet’s life.
She also highlights the importance of veterinary professionals taking care of their own emotional health so that they can
serve their clients to the absolute best of their capability. This is an important read for pet owners, aspiring
veterinary professionals, and veterinary professionals themselves. 

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As of February 1, 2021, Dr. Alice Villalobos is now fully retired from practice.  Please contact your primary care veterinarian for oncology referrals.  Thank you

[email protected] 


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