Cancer. Even today, it’s a word that sparks fear in the hearts and minds of most who hear it. I went through it myself and my precious pup June did too. Only she didn’t make it.
Everyone knows at least one person in some way affected by this terrible disease. However, few people think of cancer in conjunction to their cat or canine.
No one ever wants to hear that their pup has cancer. Unfortunately the disease accounts for nearly half of pets annually. It is estimated that dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as people. As such, there are several things you can do right now to take steps towards ensuring your dog stays as healthy as can be.
In honor of Pet Cancer Awareness Month, here are a few tips on preparing for and preventing cancer in dogs.
Whilst there is much debate as to whether or not pet insurance is necessary, we here at WiggleLess tend to err on the side of better safe than sorry. Pet insurance, in general, covers costs such as veterinary bills and is intended to work preemptively. More than anything it gives you peace of mind that you can afford to care for your pet should something serious happen.
Spaying your pup before her first estrous cycle significantly reduces her chances of developing breast cancer. Known to be fatal for about 50% of dogs, spaying completely eliminates the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer and uterine infection. Neutering your male dog prevents testicular tumors and may prevent prostate problems. Neutering also prevents the testicular cancer if done in time, and decreases the possibility of certain hernias and tumors.
Learn the symptoms
Common canine cancer symptoms include the following:
—Lack of energy/ change in energy
—Change in mood
—Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
—Black, tarry stools (a symptom of ulcers, which can be caused by mast cell tumors)
—Rapid, unusual unexplained weight loss
—Decreased or loss of appetite
—Sudden inability to walk or stand
While these symptoms can all be an indication of certain cancers, they can also be caused by other maladies. Should you see any of these symptoms in your dog, it is important to visit your veterinarian ASAP.
Keep your dog’s veterinary care consistent
As with humans, the quicker you diagnose cancer the better chance of recovery. Keep up to date with your dog’s check-ups, and keep an emergency Vet number handy in case you see any issues that require immediate attention.
Are certain breeds more likely to get cancer than others? What types of cancers and common in dogs? Does age play a factor? If you don’t know the answer to these or other questions, do yourself (and your dog!) a favor and make sure you know what to look out for when it comes to canine cancer.
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