The worst nightmare for a dog owner is to hear six words: “Your dog has cancer.” But that is a gloomy situation for many people.
What is cancer?
First we have to understand what cancer is. Cancer is a disease in which cells grow out of control, invade surrounding tissue, and can spread. Moreover, just like in humans, cancers in pet dogs can take many forms. Besides, the disease may be localized (in one area) or generalized (spread throughout the body).
Scientist think cancer is multifactorial, but we can identify two of them as heredity and habitat.
According to the dog health fund of the American Breeding Association, some of the most common cancers in dogs include:
– Malignant osteoma
– Prostate cancer
– Transitional cell carcinoma as well as breast cancer
Although cancer can be treated (with different success rates) by surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunity, the best thing you can do is discover and treat early in the early stages. – before it spreads. Early detection is very important for successful treatment and recovery.
One of the most common ways to detect early cancer is to carefully check for abnormal tumors on pet dogs that are not often bothered by these tumors. It is important to clarify here, just because you find a tumor, does not mean it is cancer. However, when detected, the dog should be taken to a veterinarian for an early check-up.
Symptoms to detect
1. Unusual swelling that persists or continues to develop
2. Ulcers do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleed or discharge from any open part of the body
6. Bad smell
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Afraid to exercise or lose tolerance
9. Stretching or stiffening
10. Difficulty breathing, difficulty urinating or defecating.
If you find a tumor or your dog has any other symptoms as above, do not delay in medical treatment. In case you have confirmed your dog has cancer, it is necessary to get a second opinion – possibly by a veterinarian – to discuss your options.
Some cancers can be cured with one or a combination of treatments, but sadly, many people can only delay the inevitable. Some pet owners do not participate in complete treatment and instead help their dogs with pain control (palliative care) throughout the course of the disease.
Cancer prevention in dogs
Although not all cancers can be prevented, there are certain steps that pet owners can do to help their pet dogs have a lower risk of developing the disease. For example, after your dog is castrated at a young age, the risk of reproductive cancers is reduced. Some veterinary experts encourage dogs to supplement substances such as vitamin A, C, E, beta carotene, lycopene, and mineral selenium to help prevent cancer. Moreover, healthy nutrition and exercise can help prevent cancer from developing.