November was Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and Kit and Kapoodle know that Cancer is not strictly a human disease; it is the number 1 disease-related killer of cats and dogs. They also know that it is very important to never overlook the symptoms that could mean cancer. These include:
- Persistent, abnormal swelling
- Sores that do not heal
- Loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive coughing
- Gum Paleness
- Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
- Offensive odour
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
- Persistent lameness or stiffness
- Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
Just as in humans, cancer can occur in any part of your pets body, so watch for the symptoms mentioned previously all over your pet. If any of these symptoms appear make an appointment to see your friendly PetFocus Veterinarian.
If you’re noticing any of the previous symptoms in your pets then we suggest you seek medical advice from your local PetFocus Veterinary Clinic. One of the biggest questions is, “What causes cancer?”, but this question is not easily answered. As in humans we are not always sure what causes cancers, though there are some common denominators that we can see in pets such as:
- Genetics: Animals that come from improper breeding practices are genetically prone to cancer. This typically refers to puppy or kitten mills, or breeders using animals who have incidences of cancer in the bloodline.
- Over-Vaccination: Always speak to your friendly PetFocus Veterinarian about which vaccinations are necessary to keep your pet safe. Over-vaccination can weaken your pets immune system, only vaccinate as per your veterinarians recommendations.
- Toxins in the environment and food: Large amounts of preservatives and chemical additives can build up in the food, and that has been linked to cancer in both humans and pets. The environmental toxins include but are not limited to, lawn fertilizers, detergents, and cleaners. These of course have been linked to pet cancer though are not conclusive.
The best way to fight pet cancer is to educate yourself, to know the signs and symptoms of cancer in your pets, and to be proactive. Talk to your PetFocus Veterinarian if you are concerned in any way, or notice any of the symptoms noted above.
Sources: http://www.petcancerawareness.org/ , http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/november-marks-fifth-annual-national-pet-cancer-awareness-month-67198552.html, and http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/november-marks-fifth-annual-national-pet-cancer-awareness-month-67198552.html