Cancer has impacted our family several times and I often worry about our four-legged family members getting cancer as well. Is there anyway we can lessen our pet’s chances of getting cancer?
Concerned about Cancer in Cottage Grove
November happens to be Pet Cancer Awareness Month, because, unfortunately, our pets aren’t immune to the horrible disease. All pets, regardless of size and breed, are at risk for developing cancer. However, there are certain breeds of dogs that have higher instances of the disease than others.
Some Breeds Are More Susceptible to Cancer
Certain breeds, such as golden retrievers, Rottweilers, and German shepherds are considered at-risk breeds and have a higher risk of getting cancer. According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, these breeds can have up to a 70-80 percent chance of getting cancer in their lifetime.
Of course, older dogs are more likely to develop diseases such as cancer than younger dogs. “Just like in people, however, the earlier that cancer is detected, the greater chance there will be of achieving remission,” said Jaci Christensen, oncology veterinary technician at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.
Preventing Cancer in Pets
In order to get the upper-hand in cancer prevention and treatment, The Veterinary Cancer Society suggests checking your pet regularly for signs such as swollen lymph nodes, sudden weight loss, enlarged lumps, vomiting, diarrhea, and lameness. If your pet displays any of these warning signs, consult with your veterinarian as soon as you can.
Cancer Isn’t Always a Death Sentence for Pets
If your veterinarian does find cancer, there are various treatment options for most types of the disease. Once you know which type you’re fighting, the various treatment options can then be discussed with your veterinarian.
“Cancer treatment in dogs is similar to that of humans, including treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery,” said Christensen. “However, surprisingly, chemotherapy’s side effects tend to be less severe in our pets than in humans.”
TomoTherapy, a state-of-the-art radiation therapy system, is another treatment that is available. This precise image-guided radiation therapy allows veterinarians to pinpoint a tumor’s size, shape, and location seconds before radiation therapy begins.
Don’t Fall Behind on Regular Vet Checkups
Veterinarians stress that wellness checks every year or six months are key to cancer prevention. To ensure the cancer is detected in time, it is urged that pet owners take their pets to the veterinarian for blood work and biopsies if cancer is suspected. Learning that your beloved pet has cancer is never easy, but discovering it early-on ensures a better chance of survival and an increased quality of life.
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Pet of the Week
Meet Eleanor. In case you didn’t know it, November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month and this 13 year old sweetheart would make the perfect companion for most anyone. Eleanor is a terrier-mix who is loving, gets along well with other dogs and is eager to please. She’s in good health and ready to find her forever family–could it be yours? If so, go to www.k-9angelsrescue.org to learn more.