When we think about our pets’ health, we often think about proper diet and exercise. We might also think about wellness checks (good thinking!) and dental health. Things that can slip our minds include more serious health conditions that can affect our pets. For example, the prospect of a pet getting cancer can be unthinkable.
However, cancer is surprisingly common among pets. In fact, the Veterinary Cancer Society estimates that one in four dogs will develop cancer, and up to half of all dogs over the age of ten will be affected by cancer. Dogs have some of the highest cancer rates among all mammals.
What You Can Do to Prevent and Treat Cancer in Your Dog
There are several things you can do to either prevent cancer in your dog or get it treated more effectively. Some of the measures you can take include getting your dog spayed or neutered. These procedures have been shown to decrease the likelihood of common cancers like mammary or testicular cancer.
You can also ask your vet to perform regular blood work and other internal medicine diagnostics. When you visit the animal hospital for your dog’s wellness check, you can ask for these screenings. This becomes even more important as your dog ages.
Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs
Your dog can exhibit a number of warning signs if she has developed cancerous growth. These warning signs include:
- Loss of weight or appetite
- Regular diarrhea or vomiting
- Persistent bleeding
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessively warm or feverish
These signs can develop as the cancer has progressed to an even more dangerous stage. Catching warning signs early as they first arise and getting regular wellness checks are key to detecting your pet’s cancer early.