In a prior post we talked about the Big C and gave you tips on ways you can eliminate toxins in your pet’s life that could lead to a cancer diagnoses.Â You should be doing frequent exams of your petâ€™s body running your hands all over and checking for new lumps and bumps as part of your regular animal husbandry routine.
Hereâ€™s a brief guide on what signs to look for.
- Any growing lump or sore that fails to heal
- Drastic changes in weight or appetite
- Unusually strong odors coming from the pet
- Discharge or bleeding from any body opening
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- A new unwillingness to exercise
So if you find something unusual â€“ what do you do?Â Speak to your Veterinarian but be very careful of the potentially dangerous set of words â€śLetâ€™s just watch itâ€ť.
- Insist your vet aspirates the growth and have the sample diagnosed or sent out for review by a specialist
- Go to another veterinarian
- Ask your vet for a referral to a local oncologist
- Go to the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine to find a Board Certified Oncologist. In our area. http://www.acvim.org/PetOwners/findaspecialist
If your dog or cat has cancer another good site to go to is Vet Cancer Trials to see if your pet might qualify for a particular cancer trial.Â www.VetCancerTrials.org
A cancer diagnoses is hard to hear.Â Taking the appropriate steps now to limit your petâ€™s exposure to potentially harmful diets and environmental toxins can help as can early diagnosis. Fortunately there are many groups actively trying to find a cure and to support families whose pets have cancer.Â The following sites might be helpful for you and your family.
www.2milliondogs.org does fundraising walks and is also a helpful pet cancer website
The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is an exciting groundbreaking study of 3000 dogs over the course of 10-14 years. https://www.caninelifetimehealth.org/ – About/GoldenRetrieverLifetimeStudy
The Dog and Cat Cancer Fund also helps defray some of the costs of cancer treatments. http://www.dccfund.org
A study mapping genes associated with two cancers common in golden retrievers could lead to better prevention and treatment of the disease in dogs as well as similar cancers in people. – Read more here!
All photographs by Cryrolfe Photography