May is Pet Ca
ncer Awareness Month. We know, this isn’t a very fun topic. However, it is very relevant, as cancer is unfortunately quite widespread among our four-legged friends. Dogs are particularly at risk. In fact, as many as one in four pups will develop cancer at some point in their lives. In this article from Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO vet clinic, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, a vet discusses cancer in pets.
Dogs can get many different types of cancers, including carcinomas, sarcomas, lymphomas or leukemias. Some of the most common ones include melanoma, mast cell tumors, and bone cancer. The signs of cancer will vary a bit, depending on what sort of cancer Fido has. Some things to watch out for are lumps, swelling, sores that won’t heal, bad breath, lameness, a bad odor, reduced appetite, sudden weight loss, depression/listlessness, increased water consumption, wheezing, and coughing. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these red flags.
There are actually several different risk factors at play here. Age is a big one. Almost half of dogs over age 10 will get cancer. Breed also plays a role. Some pups, such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Boxers, are just more prone to getting cancer than others. Purebreds often have higher risks of developing specific types of cancer. Lifestyle, nutrition, location, and chemical exposure also factor in. For example, a pooch that lives near a commercial farm that uses a lot of chemicals may be at higher risk than one who lives in the woods.
The news here isn’t all bad. There are pet cancer treatments available, though they are not one-size-fits-all. There are many factors that will determine how successful any specific treatment can be. These include the type of cancer, the location of the cancer, the available treatments, and Fido’s age and overall health. Cost is also something to consider.
It’s worth pointing out that the sooner the cancer is detected, the greater the odds of successful treatment. Keep up with your canine pal’s veterinary appointments. We also recommend checking Fido over regularly. Look for anything out of the ordinary, like bumps or bruises. If you notice anything amiss, call your vet immediately.
Contact Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO vet clinic, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!