Pet cancer is an unfortunate problem that can touch any and all of our lives. This month, be sure that you do your part in the fight against pet cancer. Participate in Pet Cancer Awareness Month activities in your community, spread the word, and donate. But before you start barking the word about pet cancer its important to know a few facts.
Canine Cancer Facts:
-Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year
-One in four dogs die of cancer.
-Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime.
-Just like in humans, cancer can occur in any part of your dog’s body.
Signs of Cancer
The importance of annual check-ups regardless of the age of your pet is critical in the prevention of cancer. Here are the top 10 early warning signs of pet cancer listed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
6. Offensive odor
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
If you notice that your dog has abnormal swelling, sores that don’t heal, weight loss, poor appetite, bleeding, offensive odor, difficulty eating, fatigue, lameness, or difficulty performing normal functions like breathing or urinating, it’s incredibly important for you to see your veterinarian. Many of these symptoms can be early signs of pet cancer.
The most common forms of cancer in pets are lymphomas and skin and oral tumours. Many types of cancer can be cured if caught early enough and if the lump is small enough to surgically remove. Even after a lump removed, your veterinarian may wish to send the sample to a pathologist to ensure that the margin of the growth is cancer free.
If your dog or cat is diagnosed with cancer, many of the same human treatment options are available for pets, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Steps to Avoid Cancer in Your Pet
Keeping your pet active with a healthy weight and on a high quality diet will prevent some forms of cancer. Obesity is a major cause of cancer in pets. Having your pet spayed or neutered will drastically decrease the chance of various reproductive cancers.