Cancer Awareness on Small Animals

By: SA Perillo

Cancer in dogs is the most common disease for dogs and, sadly, many die because of it, having 50% of them dying in the US. There are many types of cancer that are the same as that of humans. Cancer, for starters, is an abnormal growth of cells and may either be removable or malignant. Depending on what stage the cancer is, it can be cured with proper medication. The problem with cancer is it is difficult to prevent it because the cause is unknown and the only way to prepare for it is to watch out for symptoms.

Most of those prone to cancer are breeds such as Golden Retriever, Greyhounds, and Boxers who have big bones and re most likely to have bone cancer. One example is, if a dog gets injured from a fall, the one thing a pet owner would do is to go to the vet for a checkup. The vet will just treat the injury as he or she sees that it is a minor injury. What the pet owner (and some vets) doesn’t know is that there is a certain part in that broken bone that has already triggered the cancer cells and will soon spread in the bones. And by the time you find out it is cancer, it is already too late to save the dog.

Another type of cancer is breast cancer, and just like people, mostly happens to female dogs. And again, as like any cancer, it will be difficult to prevent it because of you don’t know where it came from, except that it started as a tumor.

Mammary and Testicular cancer are common types of gender cancer that occur to female and male dogs. Then, there is lymphoma where lymph nodes are found in the neck, shoulders or knees of the dogs. This is a type of cancer that can be curable if early medication is provided. Hemangiosarcoma is a cancer that is aggressive and deadly as it occurs in the blood cells and appears on middle-aged dogs. Most of the dogs that get these are the larger breeds such as German Shepherds, Boxers and Golden Retrievers. There is also the most common type of cancer called histiocytomas where tumors appears very small and develops at a young age of 3 years old. Most cancers that people have also develop in dogs as they are mammals.

Despite having difficulty in detecting the cancer, it is best to still watch out for symptoms such as weight loss, loss of appetite, and abnormal growth of lumps. When you see these kinds of signs, you must immediately inform your vet about it and have your dog check up. It is through early detection that it is possible to treat dog cancer. Option such as surgery to remove the tumors is possible, but it can also post risks, especially if it is already malignant. There is also chemotherapy and radiation to kill the cancer cells. Despite these treatments that can either give good or bad results, it is still good to take proper care of your dogs.

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