It’s a dog owner’s worst nightmare hearing the four words “Your dog has cancer.” Nevertheless, it’s really a stark reality for many. In reality, one in three dogs may develop cancer, in accordance with the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Cancer occurs in both mixed strain and pure-bred dogs (depending on the cancer, and some strains like Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Golden Retrievers are considered to be high risk). Canine cancer may occur at any age but often it occurs in elderly dogs, that will be partially because dogs live longer thanks to modern, increased nutrition and veterinary attention.
What Is Cancer?
But it is vital to define cancer. Cancer is a disease where cells grow out of control, invade surrounding tissue, and will spread (metastasize). Just like in humans, cancer usually takes many forms in dogs. The disorder might be localized (in 1 area) or generalized (spread throughout the human body). Cancer is deemed multifactorial, so it has no known lone cause but heredity and the environment are regarded as factors.
Based on the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation, the most common types of canine cancer include:
Mast Cell Tumors
Transitional Cell Carcinoma
Catch It Early
While canine cancer can be treated (with varying success) using operation, chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy, the best thing you can do will be to grab the illness in its early stages — before it propagates. Early detection is essential for successful treatment and healing.
One of the very frequent ways dog owners detect cancer is by getting a lump or a mass onto their pet (the dog typically isn’t bothered by the lump). However, it is vital to describe, simply because you will find a lump, doesn’t suggest it’s cancer. Still, a veterinarian should investigate any lump whenever possible.
Symptoms to Detect
The National Canine Cancer Foundation states there are 10 warning signs your dog could have cancer :
Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
Sores that don’t heal
Loss of desire
Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
Difficulty eating or swallowing
Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
Persistent lameness or stiffness
Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating.
If you find a lump or your pet has some of the other indications above, do not delay in setting it up investigated by your family veterinarian. If it’s confirmed your dog has cancer, then it’s advised to have a second opinion — possibly with a board-certified veterinary oncologist — to speak about your options.
Some cancers can be treated using one or a combination of treatments, however sadly, many cannot and only delay the inevitable. Some owners opt out of treatment completely and instead aid their dogs with pain management (palliative care) during the course of the disorder.
While maybe not all cancers might be averted, certain steps owners can take to help their dogs have a lower risk of developing it. By way of instance, getting your dog spayed or neutered at a young age helps prevent reproductive disorders. Some health care experts encourage giving your pet antioxidants in supplement form like vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene, lycopene, and the mineral selenium to help ward off cancer. Wholesome nutrition and exercise are also believed to help prevent cancer from growing.
The bottom line: Awareness of cancer disorders and fast action are fundamental to giving your dog the best chance for survival.