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Pets and Cancer

May 01, 2024

The month of May is earmarked for bringing attention to the importance of cancer awareness. Unfortunately, cancer is quite common in our beloved furry friends. It remains the top cause of disease-related death for dogs and cats in the United States. Around 25% of dogs and 20% of cats are affected. Discover valuable insights about this dangerous disease from a Clermont County veterinarian.

What Are The Causes Of Pet Cancer?

Pet cancer doesn’t have a single, clear cause, but it seems that environmental and genetic factors have a big impact. Similar to humans, the prevalence of cancer in pets is on the rise. This is most likely the outcome of increased exposure to carcinogens such as pesticides, chemicals, secondhand tobacco smoke, and so on.

Are Some dog breeds more prone to developing cancer?

Dogs of all breeds and ages can be impacted by cancer. However, some may be more prone to risks than others. Some of the dog breeds that are particularly vulnerable include the Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Poodle, Beagle, Scottish Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres, Cocker Spaniel, Bichon Frisé, Doberman Pinscher, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Bernese Mountain Dog, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Boston Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, and Pug.

If you’re uncertain about Fido’s breed, consider getting a doggy DNA test. This information can be incredibly beneficial in helping you identify any specific illnesses or diseases that Fido may be prone to. 

What Is The Most Common Pet Cancer?

Pets can be affected by various types of cancer. There are actually more than 30 different types of lymphomLet’st’s take a look at some of the commonly encountered ones:  

Fibrosarcoma This particular type of cancer impacts the soft tissues of the body. It is fairly common among cats. Though it has a slow rate of spread, it can be extremely aggressive.  Thankfully, a diagnosis doesn’t have to be the final chapter for our beloved feline companions. With proper care, cats can live for over a year or even longer, though the exact lifespan will vary for each individual cat.

Mast Cell Tumor These tumors often form on or near the skin’s surface. Additionally, they may manifest in other regions of the body, including the eyes, mouth, throat, and spine. In this case, finding the growth quickly is very important because its location and size determine whether it can be operated on.

Mammary Tumors Pets can also develop breast cancer, just like humans. In fact, mammary tumors make up a significant portion of neoplasias. This is fairly common for female dogs. They can often be found in our feline friends as well. 

Unfortunately, the majority of feline mammary tumors are malignant, which means they have the ability to spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs and lymph nodes. In many cases, surgery is recommended. In certain situations, pets may experience added advantages from radiation or chemotherapy treatments afterward.

Osteosarcoma Osteosarcoma primarily impacts the skeletal system, and can cause considerable pain. Certain dog breeds, such as Dobermans, Boxers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Irish Wolfhounds, Rottweilers, and Weimaraners, are more prone to developing this type of cancer.

Lymphoma Lymphoma affects a specific type of white blood cell, which is known as a lymphocyte, as well as other lymphoid tissues such as the lymph nodes, bone marrow, and liver. There are over 30 distinct types of canine lymphoma. Cats can also be afflicted. Thankfully, chemotherapy has shown great success in treating feline lymphoma. A study revealed that around 70 percent of cats achieved remission after undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Of course, those are just a few types of pet cancers. There are many others. Ask your Clermont County vet for more information. 

What Are The Signs Of Cancer In Pets?

Cancers can cause a variety of symptoms. It is important to be aware of warning signs.

Here are some of the key ones:

  • Mood Changes
  • Discharge
  • Trouble Eating
  • Limping
  • Unpleasant Smell
  • Bleeding Or Discharge
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite Fluctuations
  • Injuries
  • Weight Loss
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Inflammation
  • Discomfort
  • Odd Breath Smell
  • Bloating
  • Lack Of Energy
  • Reduced Interest In Play
  • Urinary Difficulties
  • Coughing
  • Straining During Elimination
  • Decreased Stamina
  • Changes In Thirst

It’s important to pay attention to any general changes in behavior. When your furry pal isn’t feeling well, their behavior may deviate from their usual demeanor. Even the most loving pet can show signs of irritability or aggression if they’re sick. Sometimes pets go the other way. For instance, an aloof kitty may unexpectedly crave affection. Changes in vocalization can also be a possible sign.

It’s also crucial to keep up with your pet’s veterinary appointments. Sometimes tests will show abnormalities before symptoms appear. This is always beneficial, as early treatment can in some cases make a huge difference.

If you see any of these signs, it is crucial to contact your veterinary clinic promptly. It is of utmost importance to identify and address issues early on!

What Distinguishes Cancer, Tumors, and Neoplasia From One Another?

Neoplasia, tumors, and cancers are separate entities, although there is a significant potential for overlap among them.

Neoplasia is irregular cell growth. This might be benign or cancerous. A tumor is the physical manifestation of abnormal cell growth. While benign tumors can still be a concern, their potential to spread throughout the body is limited. Tumors that are cancerous can spread quickly and move to different areas of the body. Cancer, in a nutshell, is the harmful form of abnormal tissue growth.

What Treatment Options Are Available For Cancer In Pets?

Just like humans, pets have three main options for cancer treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Additionally, there are numerous alternative and new options to consider, including immunotherapy, cryotherapy, hyperthermia, and radioactive Iodine I-131. Another alternative is palliative care, which focuses on ensuring the pet’s comfort rather than aggressively fighting the cancer. Additional treatments that can offer assistance include laser therapy, nutritional therapy, and acupuncture. A mix of therapies can be highly beneficial for many pets.

After your pet has been diagnosed and evaluated, your veterinarian will guide you through the available options.

Several factors need to be considered in this situation, including the stage and type of cancer, as well as your pet’s quality of life. A dog with an early-stage tumor on its leg may have a better prognosis than a cat with advanced lung cancer.  Every pet is unique, which means that the treatments offered will vary depending on the specific diagnosis. After your vet has completed a thorough assessment of your pet and obtained all the necessary test results or screenings, they will give you comprehensive information.

As caring guardians for our beloved animal companions, it is our duty to make well-informed choices on their behalf. There are a variety of treatment options to consider, but it’s important to prioritize the health and happiness of your beloved pet. If your pet has recently been diagnosed, we understand the difficulties you may be experiencing, and we are here to offer you the support you require.  

Book An Appointment At Our Pet Clinic In Clermont County

Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your beloved pet? Are you concerned about the potential for your cherished pet to develop cancer? Contact us today at our animal clinic in Clermont County!

Posted in General Health

1404 Old State Route 74
Batavia, OH 45103
(513) 732-1730
Also serving Clermont County, OH and surrounding areas.

***Construction/Detour Update
Old State Route 74 is permanently closed at Hwy Ohio 32. 

Two options to reach us:
1)Turn on Elick and follow detour signs.
2)Turn right on Olive Branch/Stonelick Rd and then left at the light.

Opening Hours:
Monday-Friday 9am-6pm
Saturday 9am-12pm

Daytime Emergency Care
After Hours Emergency Care

Voted 2021 Best of the East - Cincy Magazine
Voted 2021 Best of the East - Cincy Magazine