It’s hard to think about your cat or dog being diagnosed with cancer but difficult as it may be to imagine, pet cancer is a topic that demands the attention of pet owners.
Every November, ‘National Pet Cancer Awareness Month’ is observed to help spread the word and help educate pet owners about how to best protect their furry family members.
Owner Aine Corridon was able to sit down and give us some tips for when it comes to finding early signs of cancer in our pets.
Some symptoms of pet cancer can include:
- Abnormal swelling
- Wounds that won’t heal
- Rapid weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty breathing or urinating
- Lameness, stiffness and lethargy
- Bleeding or discharge
- Persistent odor
- Masses along jaw or tooth line
To help prevent cancer, pet owners should practice good nutrition and general care to help your pet live a long, healthy and happy lifestyle. Some good practices include:
- Spay or neuter your pet to significantly reduce the risk of testicular or mammary gland cancer.
- Feed your pet a nutritious diet. Obesity in cats and dogs is one of the major risk factors for cancer. Avoid giving your pet too many treats or table scraps to maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise. Get out there and have some fun with your pup. Go for long walks or hiking excursions to stretch your dog’s legs. Regular exercise can help reduce your pet’s risk of obesity, diabetes and cancer.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Regularly brush your pet’s teeth and practice good oral hygiene to decrease incidence of oral cancers.
The good news is that nearly half of all cancers are curable if caught in time. Early detection is a critical part of curing cancer in pets, which is why routine checkups at the vet are always recommended.