Pet Cancer Awareness

Contributed by Elko Veterinary Clinic

In honor of Cancer Awareness Month, we want to make sure that we are raising awareness about our furry friends and their health. About 1 in 4 dogs will at some point in their life develop neoplasia and half of dogs over the age of 10 years old will develop cancer. Dogs get cancer at about the same rate of humans, and it is assumed that cats are about the same, although there is not as much information on cancers in felines, although they are more susceptible to some cancers more so than dogs. 

Unfortunately, the cause of most neoplasias is unknown and therefore prevention is difficult. Spaying before 12 months does reduce the risk of mammary cancer in dogs, just as neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer. Just as in ourselves, early detection and treatment to manage neoplasia in our pets. 

These are possible signs of neoplasias in pets, because they, just like us, can develop lumps and masses in any organs or tissue on their body. Any abdominal swelling, bleeding from the mouth or other body openings, difficult breathing or eating, and of course, any lumps/bumps/discolored skin. Non-healing wounds, persistent fluid loss in the form of diarrhea or vomiting, drastic changes in weight (either gain or loss), and visible masses or tumors that appear over short periods of time are definitely signs to be concerned with. Many of these signs can be health changes other than cancers, but you should always seek the assurance of your veterinarian to be sure, especially in elderly pets. 

Make sure you’re giving your fluffies lots of pats and rubs, paying special attention to armpits and flanks, the belly and neck areas, and over the ribs. If you find any lumps or soft spots, or areas of tenderness or swelling, call you veterinarian and schedule a checkup to make sure they are nothing to be concerned about. Our pets earn every day they have on earth here with us, let’s make sure we do our part to ensure they are healthy for as long they are here!