Words can’t express how saddening it is to hear your beloved pet has cancer. November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and we want to give you the best tips on how to find it early and the preventative care needed.
What are the signs to look for?
The American Veterinary Medical Association says that early detection can help tremendously in cancer treatment. Look for abnormal swellings or lumps, sores that do not heal, weight loss/loss of appetite and difficulty eating, a strange or offensive odor, bleeding or discharge from any part of the body, lameness, stiffness, loss of stamina, as well as difficulty breathing or using the bathroom.
Top five most common pet cancers:
- Lymphosarcoma/ Lymphoma – A cancer occurring in the white blood cells that affects the immune system. Symptoms can include tumors, lethargy, weight loss, and loss of appetite. Chemotherapy is the most common dog lymphoma
- Mammary Gland Tumors– This is most common type of both benign and malignant tumors in dogs. The tumors can range in size, and surgery is usually required to remove all masses.
- Skin Cancer- Cancer of the skin is usually from sun exposure, but can also be from a variety of sources. A universal symptom of skin cancer is a raised mass or lesion on the skin. Treatment varies, but usually surgery is required to remove the lesion, as well as chemotherapy.
- Soft Tissue Sarcomas– The term “soft tissue” means it can be in any of the following: fat, lymph nodes, blood vessels, nervous tissue, muscle, and joints. Symptoms truly depend on the tumor’s location. Treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
- Osteosarcoma- Also known as Bone Cancer, is harder to spot. More common in large dog breeds, symptoms include swelling, lameness, joint pain, and loss of appetite. Chemotherapy is the best treatment and in some cases, amputation is necessary.