November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know?
-Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year
-One in four dogs die of cancer.
-Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime.
-Just like in humans, cancer can occur in any part of your dog’s body.

Are you aware that November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month? Run your hands over your pet and feel for any unusual lumps or bumps. If you feel something new or unusual, let’s take a look at it. Dogs and cats can get benign lumps such as lipomas and sebaceous cysts, but they can also get much more serious tumors, like mast cell tumors, melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and many others. Many of these can be diagnosed with a simple in-office procedure involving a needle aspirate and then a microscopic exam of the cells obtained. A fine needle aspirate is generally less painful than a vaccination, so don’t hesitate to get that lump checked out. The importance of annual check-ups regardless of the age of your pet is critical in the prevention of cancer. 

Here are the top 10 early warning signs of pet cancer listed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
6. Offensive odor
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

Better to be safe than sorry, and much better to catch something sooner rather than later!