November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer is unfortunately quite common in our canine companions. In fact, close to half of pups over the age of 10 will develop cancer. However, there are now many treatments and options that can help. A Coral Springs, FL vet discusses canine cancer in this article.
Our canine companions can be afflicted by many different kinds of cancers. Some of the most common ones include sarcomas; carcinomas; leukemias; lymphomas; melanomas; mast cell tumors; and osteosarcomas, or bone cancers. Lymphoma is actually the most common kind, comprising about one in five canine cancer cases. In fact, Fido is two to five times more likely to develop lymphoma than people are.
Several things can increase Fido’s odds of developing cancer. Age definitely plays a role: your canine buddy’s chances of getting cancer will increase over time. Diet and lifestyle also factor in, as does chemical exposure. Breed is another thing that comes into play. While any type of dog can develop any type of cancer, certain kinds are prevalent among specific breeds. For instance, long-limbed breeds like Irish Wolfhounds, Great Danes, and Scottish Deerhounds are prone to developing osteosarcomas, while Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Labradors have elevated risks of developing angiosarcomas. It won’t hurt to do some breed-specific research about your furry best friend.
Different types of cancers have different warning signs, but there are some general red flags to watch for. These include lameness, sudden/unexplained weight loss, depression, increased thirst, wheezing, coughing, reduced appetite, bad breath, and visible lumps, bumps, or lesions. If you notice any of these things, schedule an appointment right away. Your vet will evaluate your pooch, and may order tests or screenings, such as a CT scans, radiography, endoscopy, and/or diagnostic ultrasound. (Note: here at Heron Lake, we are proud to offer mobile imaging. This allows us to bring many tests to our patients, allowing them to stay comfy and content at home.)
There are treatments for cancer available, and more options are being developed all the time. However, several things must be considered when developing a treatment plan. These include the type of cancer, the rate at which it is spreading, the location of the cancer, and the pup’s age, health, and quality of life. Your vet will be able to offer specific options after a diagnosis has been made.
As your local Coral Springs, FL animal hospital, we’re always here to help. Call us anytime!