National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Unfortunately, animals are prone to developing cancer just as their human counterparts. And like humans, animals can reap the benefits of improved preventative care and advances in veterinary medicine.

Pet Cancer Awareness month was created to educate owners on cancer prevention, signs and symptoms and treatment options. As with other conditions, the prevalence of your pet developing cancer can depend on age, breed, and lifestyle habits. It is most often diagnosed in middle-aged and senior pets.

Commonly Diagnosed Cancers:

  • Mammary gland (breast cancer)
  • Lymphoma
  • Mast Cell Tumours
  • Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
  • Melanoma (skin cancer)
  • Feline leukemia-related cancers
  • Oral cancers

 

Prevention

  • Spay your female pets. This procedure reduces the risk of breast cancer in cats, dogs, and rabbits
  • Neuter your male pet. Completely eliminates the risk of testicular cancer
  • Vaccinate your cat for feline leukemia which prevents feline leukemia virus infection which can cause several different types of cancer and is contagious to other cats
  • Limit sun exposure to reduce the risk of skin cancers
  • Avoid smoking around your pets to prevent certain forms of cancer, including oral cancers

 

Treatment

  • Early detection and treatment are the best ways to prevent or slow the progress of cancer.
  • Treatment can include: 
    • Surgery
    • Chemotherapy
    • Radiation
    • Immunotherapy
  • Regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help you discover some signs of cancer that may not always be obvious and get overlooked
    • Contact your veterinarian to check out:
      • Lumps and bumps
      • Discoloured skin
      • Slow healing wounds
      • Enlarged lymph nodes
      • Abdominal swelling
      • Unexplained lameness or bleeding
      • Respiratory issues
      • Loss of appetite and sudden weight changes
      • Persistent diarrhea or vomiting

 

Early detection, treatment and prevention are so important in your animal’s health. The cost of veterinary care, diagnostics, advanced technology, and specialists is equivalent to that of human medical care.

As humans, we are very fortunate in Canada to have government-funded Medicare to cover most or all of these costs. However, our animal family members do not, and we strongly encourage owners to get pet insurance that covers the range of routine medical care to unexpected emergencies to managing chronic conditions and diseases.

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