Preventing Cancer in Your Cat and Dog

Cancer can occur within cats and dogs of all ages and form in any area or organ system. A cancer diagnosis for a beloved pet can be pretty scary for an owner to hear. Fortunately not all cancers are fatal, especially if caught and treated early on. Here are some tips on preventing cancer in your cat and dog.

Pet owners can take measures to help safeguard their cats and dogs and thus minimize the risk of cancer developing in their animals. People should be vigilant about checking their pet’s skin and body for any signs of abnormal swellings or sores that do not disappear but grow. In females, regular checks of the mammary glands should be done monthly as tumors can grow and develop into breast cancer. Spaying your pet at 6-8 months of age reduces the risk of breast cancer and other reproductive cancers at a later age in life. Any tumors or abnormal swellings or sores should be brought to your veterinarian’s attention for immediate evaluation.

Vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite and unexplained weight loss are also warning signs that should not be ignored in your cat or dog. These signs can be a result of other ailments as well as gastrointestinal and abdominal cancers. Your pet should be examined to rule out any of these possibilities and to allow treatment as early as possible.

If your pet has any signs of swelling in the lips or mouth area, excessive salivation and a foul odor emanating from the mouth, see your veterinarian immediately. There could be a tumor growing in the mouth and early detection could save your pet’s life.

A persistent cough, difficulty in breathing, eating and swallowing can indicate warning signs of respiratory and lung cancers and should be checked out as soon as they become noticeable. Keeping your home free of smoke or other pollutants and irritants can help maintain your cat and dog’s health and well being.

There are many different cancers that can strike at our beloved pets. With proper care and vigilance, early detection can lead to quick treatment and hopefully a cure. There are many therapeutic choices for managing a cancer diagnosis, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation but early detection is the best preventative of all. Our beloved cats and dogs rely on us to safeguard their health. This awareness of all the potential warning signs could ensure that they remain as part of your family for a very long time.

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