Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Pet Cancer Awareness Month

cancer-thumbThe month of May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, feline and canine cancer is a common health problem in pets. Just as in people, early detection is critical. Detecting cancer in your pet early can be the difference between life and death and substantially decrease the cost of treatment. That’s why it’s so important for your pet to have annual preventive care examinations.

What causes cancer?

The causes of cancer are complex and multiple.  One of the major factors is that some breeds of dogs are genetically prone to canine cancer, including:

  • Golden Retrievers
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Rottweilers
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs
  • Boxers



Pet Cancer Facts


  • Cancer accounts for a large number of disease-related pet deaths each year.
  • Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans.
  • One in four dogs die of cancer.
  • Over 50% of the dogs over age 10 will die of cancer.
  • Just like humans, cancer can occur in virtually any part of your dog’s body.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime.
  • The cause of cancer in pets, just like people, in largely unknown.
  • Obesity in pets is a risk factor for many forms of cancer.
  • While cancer is not as common in cats as it is in dogs, it’s often more aggressive.



Early Pet Warning Signs


  • Persistent, abnormal swelling
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Loss of weight
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  • Offensive odor
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Hesitant to exercise or loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

Knowing these signs of cancer can help with early detection. Fortunately, we have many technologies that can help pets fight off cancer. Radiographs, ultrasounds, biopsies and blood tests are all great at detecting cancers. Once found, there are treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy that can be employed on certain cancers in effort to decrease of remove it.

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