The facts are clear: cancer steals the ones we love far too often. This deadly and painful disease is the leading cause of death for domestic dogs and cats in the United States. Read on to learn more about how pet parents can prevent their furry family members from becoming another number in cancer statistics.

What do those numbers look like?

  • 25% of dogs will develop tumors in their lifetimes 
  • 50% of dogs over ten will develop cancer
  • 20% of cats will develop cancer

Those statistics may be frightening, but you have the power to give your pet a healthy life. Keep reading to learn more about how cancer affects your companions.

How Can You Prevent Your Pet from Becoming a Victim of Cancer?

Early diagnosis during a physical exam can prevent cancer from spreading and save your pet’s life. Keep an annual appointment (bi-annual for senior pets) on your schedule so we can monitor your pet’s health and address problems before they progress.

Of course, cancer doesn’t respect human calendars. Knowing when to worry and make an appointment outside of your pet’s annual exam is vital. If your pet is showing any of the following symptoms, please make an appointment right away. There may be a simple explanation, but it could be something more sinister.

Early signs of cancer in pets include:

  • Lack or loss of appetite
  • Inability or difficulty eating
  • Sudden or rapid weight loss
  • Increased thirst/water intake
  • Frequent urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to play, exercise, or walk
  • Trouble getting around and stiffness
  • Blood from the mouth or bottom
  • Difficulty passing urine or stool
  • Trouble breathing
  • Masses around or near the mouth
  • Swelling or firmness
  • Lumps and bumps that grow rapidly or seem painful

Can Cancer in Pets Be Treated?

Most types of cancer are treatable if detected early. Neoplasias, or tumors, can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Treatment depends on the type of cancer, location, and severity, as well as your pet’s age and lifestyle.

It is never inappropriate to ask questions about your pet’s health and treatment plan. If you are worried about your companion, we are here to give you peace of mind, answer your questions, and provide best-in-class treatment so that you have many happy years with your furry best friend.

What If My Pet’s Cancer Cannot be Treated?

Untreatable cancer is one of the most heartbreaking health conditions we encounter. We offer palliative care options so your pet can be comfortable living with their illness. Effective pain management minimizes trauma for your furry best friend and gives your family time to process their feelings during a difficult time.

Let’s Kick Cancer to Curb

Recognizing your pet is struggling and seeking help can save your pet’s life. Together we can make a difference and reduce the number of pets cancer affects each year. We hope you feel better prepared to monitor your pet for the signs of serious illness, and consider sharing this article so your family and friends can do the same.

Is your pet in need of their annual exam? Make an appointment today.

Photo Credit: Pexels.