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 diagnosis. You should be doing frequent exams of your pet’s body running your hands all over and checking for new lumps and bumps as part of your regular animal husbandry routine.
Here’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 – what do you do? Speak to your Veterinarian but be very careful of the potentially dangerous set of words “Let’s just watch it”.
Instead, you’ve got four options to explore.
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 trialwww.VetCancerTrials.org
A cancer diagnosis is hard to hear. Taking the appropriate steps now to limit your pet’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. 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 Dog and Cat Cancer Fund also helps defray some of the costs of cancer treatments. http://www.dccfund.org