Few words in the English language evoke such depth and variety of emotion as the word cancer (Lagoni et al, 1994). Faced with a spectrum of potential owner reactions, veterinary personnel must provide accurate medical information and appropriate emotional support. For many clients, such a diagnosis in their treasured companion implies pain, discomfort and impending loss of life (Ciekot, 1995). The role of veterinary personnel in a cancer diagnosis includes that of health care provider, teacher and source of emotional support. This article will outline the role of personnel from presentation of the diagnosis and discussion of treatment options, to providing support for the owner and extended family of the pet throughout the cancer journey.
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