Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Knowing is Half the Battle: Answer to Common Pet Cancer Questions

With pet cancer on the rise it is always devastating to hear when a furry friend has fallen victim to this disease. But understanding this silent killer is half the battle. The stats are sad and astounding, for dogs over six years of age, 60 percent will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. Nearly half the deaths of pets over the age of 10 years fall victim to cancer.

There are nearly 100 different types of animal cancer. The most common type in cats is leukemia, and the most common cancers for dogs are lymphoma and mammary gland cancer. But there is hope and good news! With treatment advances and early detection, pets with cancer have a much better chance of survival. Here are answers to some common pet cancer questions. Let's not be silent to this silent killer, educating ourselves about cancer is the difference between life and death. Let's work together toward prevention and a cure.

What is cancer?

Cancer describes cell in the body that grow and divide at an abnormal rate & uncontrollable rates often forming tumors or masses. These growths can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous).

Is My Pet At Risk?

Did you know that cancer is the #1 killer of pets. Although cancer is more common in older adult dog & cats, younger pets are still at risk. Make sure to do your research on your pets breed because certain breeds are more susceptible & predisposed to cancer. It is imperative that you understand your pets risk. By speaking with your vet you can take proper precautions. Also, early detection toward this silent killer is the difference between life and death and the key to good prognosis, successful treatment & recovery.

What are the pet cancer warning signs?

*Abnormal swelling that persist or continue to grow
*Sores that do not heal
*Weight Loss
*Loss of Appetite
*Bleeding or discharge from any body organ
*Offensive odor
*Difficulty eating or swallowing
*Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
*Persistent lameness or stiffness
*Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

Why Is Early Detection & Diagnosis So Important?

Regular vet checkups play a vital life role in the early detection of cancer & other health issues. As loving pet owner it is important that you take your pet for his or her wellness exam twice a year. Annual blood screenings is helpful in detecting & effectively treating pet cancer. If the vet finds at abnormalities in your dogs health x-rays, ultrasounds and other diagnostic test will be preformed.

When should you see a vet if you suspect cancer?

It important that if you see any of cancer warning signs, lumps, bumps that don't go away or a change in your dogs behavior to seek help immediately. Don't wait, because the clock is ticking away with a good prognosis. But remember to not panic and remain calm because not all tumors or growths are cancerous. If you do find a lump on your pets skin or coat seek vet aid quickly, its better safe then sorry. Look for lumps that may appear at the site of a vaccination or injection which can signal a concern. Regular vet checkups will help to detect cancer that is affecting other parts of the body like your pets blood or internal organs that are not visible. Please take your pets annual checkups very seriously and mark your calenders so hidden health problems are detected & treated early.

Is Pet Cancer Treatable?

In many cases pet cancer is treatable, but early detection & treatment is crucial to your pets outcome. With the help of ongoing cancer research, advances in veterinarian medicine and organizations on the front line working to find a cure there is hope. There are so many treatment options available which not only help to treat the disease but improve your pets quality of life. Speak with your vet about these treatment options and do your research beforehand so you can ask any and all questions before making a decision.

Pet cancer treatment options will be based on the type of cancer and how far it has progressed. You may be referred to a cancer specialist or vet oncologist who will work with you to determine the proper course of treatment that's right for your pet. Some of the cancer treatment options may include: surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. There are also some effective homeopathic cancer pet treatment options available which takes an holistic approach. Please seek the advice of a certified vet or holistic vet and do your research first.

What Are Some Common Cancer Terms?

Learning that your pet has cancer can be scary & hard to cope with. But like your qualified vet it is important for you to be in the know when discussing your pets health & options. Here are a few definitions worth remembering.

Tumor-A growth made of abnormal cells, also known as masses or lumps. Tumor can be either benign or malignant

Benign Tumor- non-cancerous growth usually confined only to the affected area.

Malignant Tumor-cancerous growth capable of spreading to other parts of the body

Metastasis-The spread of cancer cells from the primary affected area to other parts of the body via the bloodstream or lymphatic system.

Let's not be silent to this silent killer anymore! Bark the word that November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month and advise your friends on the important of annual vet checkups. Lets remember paw pals who lost the cancer battle, celebrate the lives of survivors, and give hope to those suffering. Let's see Spot run toward a cure!

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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