“Pet Cancer Awareness Month”
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month:
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in November. Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for domestic dogs and cats in the U.S., so this month, spread the word to help educate pet owners about how best to protect their furry family members. Cancer in these animals continues to increase over the years, but the good news is, there are advances being made in healthcare when it comes to early detection and treatment. There are several different types of cancers that your cat or dog could be at risk for. We love our pets just like we love our family, so let’s do our best to keep them healthy.
Clearly, cancer is one of the greatest threats to the health and well-being of our canine companions, which is why Pet Cancer Awareness Month is so important. As responsible pet parents, we need to be aware of the ways we can fight cancer and teach others to do the same.
At Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital, we deal with pet cancer every day. We work with the most experienced Veterinary clinical teams, the best pet advocates to help coordinate care and have helped treat thousands of pets with cancer. November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month and we are sharing critical information all pet owners should know, like how to reduce the risk of cancer, the common types of pet cancer, and what we are doing to help dogs and cats who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Pay Attention to Diet:
Many dog parents buy the same old kibble every day for their dogs’ entire lives. New studies and research seem to indicate that this may not be the best dietary option when it comes to our dogs’ health, and there is also a link between what our dogs eat and cancer.
Traditional dog food is sometimes full of grains that can be contaminated with toxins such as aflatoxin B1 that cause cancer. Additionally, carbohydrates from grains and corn are converted into sugar in the body, which fuels cancer cells.
Even good foods, like fresh vegetables and fruits, can have traces of pesticides or herbicides on them that are carcinogenic. So, it’s important to be mindful not only of what your dog is eating but where the food is sourced from and how it’s prepared.
On the other hand, there are several foods that are full of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that can give dogs’ immune systems a major boost, prevent cancer, and help in the treatment of cancer. Many vets prescribe specific diets for dogs who have cancer.
In conclusion, do some research, talk to your veterinarian, and consider making your dog’s food from scratch on your own. Do NOT make any changes to your dog’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian.
Tips for Pet Owners:
Do you know that 12 million cats and dogs are diagnosed with cancer every year? That means millions of pet owners are faced with difficult decisions around their treatment.
Cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death for dogs in the United States and accounts for almost half of the deaths in pets that are 10 years or older. Approximately 1 in 4 dogs and 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer during their lifetime, which is approximately the same rate as humans.
So, If you have a cat or dog at home, consider scheduling them a medical appointment for a checkup, and keep your eyes open for some warning signs that your pet could have cancer. Some of these warning signs are:
- Loss of appetite or difficulty eating.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting.
- Loss of interest in playing or exercising.
- Difficulty with stool or urination, or changes in stool frequency.
- Abnormal stiffness.
- Severe lethargy.
- Unusually strong/foul odors.
- Blood coming from mouth or rectum.
- Increased thirst and urination.
- Respiratory changes.
- Abnormally firm swelling.
- Masses along jaw or tooth line.
Therefore, This month, and in the months to follow, keep your eyes open for any of these signs. If you can catch cancer in your dog or cat early enough, you just might be able to save them.
Try to Be Proactive:
Just like with humans, cancer in pets can take many forms and can be caused by a variety of environmental and genetic factors. Some of the more common types of cancers in pets include sarcomas, carcinomas, osteosarcomas, melanomas, mast cell tumors, meningiomas, and adenocarcinomas.
Some types of cancer in dogs are easier to treat than others. However, in all cases, early detection is critical. The good news is that cancer is curable in 50% of pets. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, many cancers can be put into remission with early and appropriate intervention. Treatment options might include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Fortunately, many dogs do not experience the severe side effects of chemotherapy that humans do.
Not all cancers can be prevented, but there are things pet parents can do to minimize the risks.
Start with proper nutrition and regular exercise. In addition to helping stave off some cancers, these healthy habits have the added benefit of reducing your pets’ chance of getting diabetes.
Spaying or neutering your pet significantly reduces the risks of certain types of cancer.
Keep your pets’ teeth clean. Regular brushing and annual dental exams can reduce the risk of oral diseases.
While your dog or cat is undergoing treatment, it is vital that you follow any instructions you receive. These instructions will be designed specifically for your pet and are essential to their recovery.
History of National Pet Cancer Awareness Month:
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month started in 2005 and was created by Nationwide and the Animal Cancer Foundation with a goal in mind to raise money and increase awareness to fight the leading killer of pets.
Remember, you can’t prevent all Cancer, but you can minimize the risks by following a proactive approach.
Nohl Ranch Animal Hospital has been serving pets in “Orange“, “Anaheim“,
“Santa Ana“, “Fullerton” and “Tustin” for more than “15” years.
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