Nov. 11, 2022

When a Vet Oncologist Gets Cancer with Dr. Renée Alsarraf | The Long Leash #67

When a Vet Oncologist Gets Cancer with Dr. Renée Alsarraf | The Long Leash #67

Dr. Renée Alsarraf made it her life's purpose to help animals and their families navigate the c-word: Cancer. But everything changed when doctor became patient.


For more than two decades Dr. Renée Alsarraf treated cancer in her canine patients. Then, at age fifty-one, she was diagnosed with cancer herself … and so was her boxer, Newton.

The healing nature of their bond helped Dr. Alsarraf fight. Newton acted as her guide dog through chemo, therapy, and recovery.

Dr. Alsarraf joins us to share what’s she learned about cancer from her own ordeal. There are similarities in between the species that she understands more deeply than ever. The lessons she learned on her journey she incorporates into her current veterinary practice.

Now cancer-free, Dr. Alsarraf connects with the parents of sick animals with a new level of empathy and experience.

Dogs teach us how to live well, if we pay attention – and Dr. Alsarraf pays attention. She has chronicled her extraordinary experience in her book “Sit, Stay, Heal.

Episode Links

Sit, Stay, Heal: What Dogs Can Teach us About Living Well by Dr. Renée Alsarraf

This episode is sponsored in part by EverPup and BarkBox.

About Dog Podcast Network (DPN)

DPN is the first of its kind. A podcasting network as devoted to dogs, as they are to us. Our mission is simple: entertain, inspire and inform. We will improve the quality of life for dogs and the people who love them.

Check out Dog Podcast Network for other dog-adjacent shows:

Dog Edition: our flagship show where a global team of dog-obsessed journalists and storytellers feature news, in-depth reporting, analysis, features, and interview segments

Dog Cancer Answers: which offers vetted advice from real veterinarians who answer your questions about dog cancer

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Renee Alsarraf Profile Photo

Renee Alsarraf

Author/veterinary oncologist

DR. RENEE ALSARRAF has created four different veterinary oncology practices and led three veterinary radiation facilities. She has performed numerous veterinary clinical trials, co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles, and has lectured both locally and on the national level. She completed a medical oncology residency in New York City at The Animal Medical Center. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey, and is married to a veterinary ophthalmologist. They have one son, whom she cherishes, as well as Dusty, her beloved, bossy, six-year-old female boxer.