November is the start of the holiday season and time to think about those you love. November is also Pet Cancer Awareness Month, so think about the furry friends you love.
What Should Be Known About Cancer In Pets?
Twelve million dogs and cats are diagnosed with a form of cancer every year. The cancer risk increases after age ten. Fortunately, there are advances in medical treatment that aid animals with cancer in living better lives.
Take your little buddy to the vet should you see any of the following.
- Abdominal swelling
- Bleeding from any orifice
- Difficulty in breathing or eating
- Lumps, bumps or skin discoloration
- Wounds not healing
- Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
- Unexplained changes in weight
- Sudden swelling, heat, pain and lameness
What Kind of Cancers Can Pets Get?
Mast Cell Tumors affect middle-aged pets. Intact females may come down with mammary gland tumors. Lymphoma affects both cats and dogs. While you should get your vaccinated, one odd adverse effect of vaccines is VAS tumors that may develop at the vaccination site.
Can I Reduce My Pet’s Risks of Getting Cancer?
While there is no perfect prevention, there are some things you can do to reduce your pet’s risks of contracting cancer. For more information and solutions, consult your veterinarian.
- Have your pet spayed or neutered. A spayed female can’t get uterine or ovarian cancer and her chances of contracting mammary cancer are greatly reduced. Neutered males don’t get testicular tumors.
- Do not expose your pet to carcinogens. If your pet is light colored, you want to limit UV ray exposure. Second hand smoke is as bad for animals as it is for people.
- Feed your pet a healthy diet. It is good for your pet to have antioxidants and vitamins. Do keep in mind what animals shouldn’t eat. Your pet must not eat processed ingredients. Neither should they eat sugar nor other pro-inflammatory ingredients. Talk over your pet’s diet with your vet.
- Get your pet tested. Early detection increases survivability odds. Schedule regular visits with your vet. This can also help with detecting other health problems, especially as your furry friend gets older.
What is Being Done About This Problem?
There are ongoing studies of all types of cancer and how to treat or prevent it. Rest assured, our four legged friends are not being ignored. The Golden Retriever Life Study is dedicated to discovering the identification all the risk factors for cancer in dogs, be it genetic make up, lifestyle, environment or nutrition. Such findings will serve the purpose as a starting point for a multitude of health studies in dogs. Cancer research in dogs covers all grounds connected to cancer including cancer cell reproduction, diagnostic tests, drug therapy and surgical techniques plus much more. The Golden Retriever Life Study is one of the biggest and most complete studies of canine health in the United States.
A recent study by a Dr. Missy Simpson, an epidemiologist for the Golden Retriever Life Study, reveals that timing of spaying and neutering is the key to a healthy dog. According to Dr. Simpson’s data, dogs spayed or neutered before reaching six months of age had a tendency towards cruciate ligament rupture. Get it done, but not too soon. You may also want to watch your dog’s food intake and exercise as desexed dogs have a tendency towards obesity. Discuss with your veterinarian what would be best for your dog’s lifestyle and breed.
Everyone wants their darling pet to live a long, healthy life. Early detection is important. For more information, read this infographic.