It is a devastating feeling to find out your furry family member has cancer. We can't imagine the sadness of losing a loved one, your four legged best friend to this terrible life threatening illness. So bark the word that November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Lets remember paw pals who lost the cancer battle, celebrate the lives of survivors, and give hope to those suffering.
But there is hope, through continued research & medicine cancer does not have to mean a death sentence for your pet. Making simple lifestyle changes can help your pet fight a good fight and win. Together we can save lives, help support cancer research, spread awareness, educate loving pet owners & promote cancer prevention. Let's see Spot run towards a cure!
The Facts about Canine Cancer
1. Dogs get cancer at the roughly the same rate as humans
2. Approximately 1 in 4 dogs will develop a tumor of some kind during his lifetime
3. Over half the dogs currently aged over 10 years old will die of cancer.
4. Fifteen years ago there was virtually no pet oncology; now the level of dog cancer treatment is similar to human oncology.
5. Available surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment is successful in treating many canine cancers.
6. Early detection and effective treatment is essential to give your dog the best possible prognoses.
Early diagnoses is the key to a brighter diagnosis. Recognizing early cancer warning signs and getting proper vet medical care immediately may give your pet a better diagnoses & prolong life. What are the common signs your pet may have cancer?
1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
6. Offensive odor
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating
Preventive Steps Can Save Lives!
Despite the many risk factors facing your dog, there's a lot you can do to help make sure your pet stays cancer free. Although not a 100% foolproof, here are some critical and life saving steps you can take to protect your pets from cancer and allow them to live healthy & happy lives.
1. Visit the Vet: Make sure you and your dog visit the veterinarian on a regular basis for cancer screenings and checkups. The sooner cancer is detected, the sooner it can be treated. This vastly improves the chances that your dog will beat the disease. Vets recommend a checkup every six months for dogs over 7. For younger dogs, an annual exam is a safe precautionary measure.
2. Doggy Exercise: To stay healthy, dogs need regular exercise. Exercise strengthens immunity to a range of diseases, including cancer and reduces stress. In fact, overweight pets are twice as likely to develop cancer than their healthy counterparts. Ensuring that your dog leads an active & stress free, mental & physical stimulating lifestyle can reduce their cancer risk.
3. Avoid Chemical Exposure: As loving and responsible pet owners it is our duties to provide our pets with a nurturing and safe environment to live & grow. There are many known carcinogens that your dog interacts with everyday in and outside the home.
One key to cancer prevention is to keep your pet away from herbicides, insecticides, harsh chemicals and tobacco smoke. In doing so you can make sure they won't develop cancer from chemical exposure. Instead of using toxic house and garden products, choose non-toxic all natural household cleaning & gardening products. Not to mention keep your pets away from secondhand smoke.
When sudsing up your pup opt for all natural, non-toxic, chemical free flea solutions, spa and grooming products. Conventional pet bathing products can contain toxic chemicals you would normally avoid for yourself – parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, cocomide DEA, cocomide MEA, TEA lauryl sulfate and propylene glycol. Known to irritate skin and contribute to a variety of cancer.
4. Spay and Neuter Pets. Simply spaying or neutering your dog can decrease their cancer risk. For females spaying your dog before her first heat or birthday reduces her risk of uterine infections, reproductive ovarian and breast cancer. While males have a decreased chance of being diagnosed with prostate & testicular cancer.
5. Prevent Sunburn. While all dogs can get sunburned and become a burnt hot-dog, short-haired and light-haired dogs carry a greater risk for developing skin cancers caused by overexposure to sunlight. Dogs need sunscreen just like their owners. Rub a bit on your dog's nose and ears.
6. Avoid Contaminated Water. Keep your pet from drinking stagnant water in street puddles, which can contain cancer-causing toxins. Change your pets water daily, and make sure the bowl is clean and fresh.
7. Give your dog Self-Examinations on a regular basis after a grooming session. Feel for unusual lumps or other skin abnormalities. Check the dog's teeth and gums and observe his gait as he walks. Report any changes in appearance or behavior to your veterinarian immediately.
8. Give daily vitamins & supplements. Vitamin and mineral supplements can help boost your dog's immune system and help prevent cancer. Antioxidant supplements include vitamins A, C, and E, beta carotene, lycopene, and mineral selenium. Fish & Salmon oil is chalked full of Omega 3's & anti-oxidants can be given to your dog daily to help in the prevention of cancer and support dogs immune system.
9. Healthy diet- Diet plays a vital role in ensuring optimal health and building a robust immune system. Many commercial dog foods & treats are made up of questionable ingredients such as animal-by-product, poultry fat and split grains. Allergens and genetically modified crops such as corn and wheat are also often used. These ingredients often contain high levels of toxin and carcinogens.
So, when perusing the pet food aisle spend a little extra time reading the labels & ingredients. Remember you can't put a price on your dog's or cat health. Opt for high quality premium dog or cat food with no artificial preservatives and additives. Choosing a holistic and all natural dog food benefits outweigh the cost and in the long run you will be rewarded with lower vet bills. A huge savings to you!
Monitoring what goes in your pets mouth is your best bet for safeguarding your dog's and cat's overall health. Dogs should eat high protein diets with minimal carbohydrates - high quality kibble ensures that your dog's food is free from poisonous elements like fluoride, melamine and hormones. Kibbles made up of free-range meat and organic vegetables can help avoid these problems.
Is your dog or cat a cancer survivor? We would love to hear about your pets heroic winning battle. Give someone suffering the gift of hope! Share your pets story by commenting below.
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