November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month!
As awareness and fundraising for cancer in our pets increases, the treatment options and survival stories are also increasing! This just goes to show how important it is to be aware of the symptoms our pets are displaying, and to get them thoroughly examined by a veterinarian at least once a year.
Pet cancer is the #1 disease-related killer of cats and dogs. Thankfully, advancements in veterinary medicine have made it possible to treat our furry companions with options such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. If you research cancer in pets online, numerous success stories appear. But all of these cases have one thing in common—they were detected early!
As you may already know, our pets age much faster than we do. As a result, diseases such as cancer can progress much faster in our pets, and a healthy animal can become a sick animal in what seems like a very short period of time. This is why it is so important to monitor our furry friends and get them to your veterinarian if there are any concerns. Early detection is critical in the fight against cancer.
Please take your animal into the veterinarian if they display any of these potential early warning signs:
- Abnormal swellings that do not go away or that continue to grow
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Sores that do not heal
- Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Hesitation to exercise, lethargy, depression
- Persistent lameness or stiffness
- Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
If you are interested in helping raise awareness and support for pets suffering from cancer, there are numerous opportunities to do this! The Ontario Veterinary College’s Pet Trust is one such opportunity. This is a local organization based out of Guelph, Ontario, dedicated to promoting research and healthcare for our companion animals. Donations go towards helping find better ways to diagnose and treat our pets: for cancer, but also in numerous other areas such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and many more. Please see the below link for more information:
Also visit the website for the National Canine Cancer Foundation: “eliminating cancer as a major health problem in dogs through education, outreach and research”.