Do you know that one in every three dogs has cancer? This alarming rate is applied to every breed, mixed or pure, and is higher in certain breeds like Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Boston Terriers, Golden Retriever and Boxers. Cancer is also the most common cause of death for dogs over 10 years old. Good news is these can be cured rather easily given you catch the disease early.
WHAT IS CANCER?
Simply put, it is the disease where cells grow out of control to invade tissues nearby. It can also spread around the body. There are always many factors attribute to a case of cancer. With dogs, cancers can be treat by performing surgery, chemo, radiation or immunotherapy, but the best of them all is to catch the disease at the earliest stage possible, before it spreads all over.
SIGNS OF CANCER
Here are some symptoms that you want to look for to find cancer in a dog:
- Weight Loss or Gain
It is the most common sign of canine cancer. Weight loss in dogs may be caused by the gastrointestinal tumor. If this is the case, they will drop weight very quickly either when the dog loses his appetite or not. However, if she eats less than usual but still gains weight, or her appetite spikes suddenly it could also be a sign of cancer.
- Lethargy and Seizures
When your dog does not greet you at the door, avoids interaction, seems weaker than usual, or suddenly collapse, it could mean a tumor of the spleen is beginning to grow inside. This happens more frequently in large dogs. They may fall down, and immediately get better the next day. This is definitely not a good sign, says Dr. Jake Z. of a New York animal hospital.
Brain tumors, on the other hands, can show through seizures. This is when they suddenly burst into chomping, chewing, or their legs start to jerk out of control and foams formed in the mouth.
- Bumps & Lumps or Open sores
Every time you give your dog a bath or brush his furs, make sure you check all over his skin, especially the areas behind the ears or around his face. A lump or bump does not always mean cancer. However, these lumps are signs of dangerous conditions if they bleed or discharge. If these sores, as well as other wounds, do not heal, take him to the vet right away
- Strange symptoms in the mouth
Dogs always have their doggy breath, however, oral cancer can show through strange odor from his breath. This odor may go together with sore, lumps, bleeding and especially unusual color of the gum.
Experts advise that you brush your dog’s teeth daily, while looking for strange signs, otherwise, the uncaught oral cancers can get advanced and out of hand.
- Discharges from the nose or ear
Persistent discharge from the nose could be a sign of facial tumors, and from the eye could be a sign of nose tumor. This also applies true with nosebleeds.
- Unusual bathroom activities
Dogs often get diarrhea, but if it persists then it could be a potential signal of cancer. Other symptoms include constantly go to the bathroom, difficulty in peeing or pooping, as well as blood in excrement.
Should any of the mentioned symptoms happen or persist, make sure you check with the vet to see if your dog has cancer. It is best that you check for these signs frequently. The better you find out the disease, the more likely your pet will be cured.
PREVENT CANCER PROACTIVELY
As we discussed, cancer is caused by many factors and we can not prevent them totally, but there are measures can be made to lower their risk of developing dangerous medical issues. You can prevent reproductive cancers by having your dog neutered at a young age. Frequently teeth brushing to ward tartar off their teeth can lower the chance of infections in their mouths. Experts encourage dog owners to supply them with anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, C, E and mineral selenium to improve their immune system and fight with cancer roots. All in all, balanced nutrition intake and a good amount of exercise helps the most.
As we are more accustomed to welcome dogs as family members, they are treated better and likely to live longer than the old days. In case you want the dog to be a life long partner (which I believe every reader of this article do), be proactive in preventing and curing their illness.
Featured image credit : Bob Wilsey