Cancer and your pets
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), by age two, most pets have already reached adulthood. By the time a pet reaches the age of five, it's considered middle age. At the age of seven, a dog has started its senior years. And when it comes to their health care, a visit to the veterinarian every year is equivalent to people seeing their physician or dentist every seven years!!
Dr. Frick believes pets live longer due to more prevention in diseases, vaccinations, early treatments, and recognition of problems. But with the growing age of the pet population, we also see more cancer in our pets. Just like in humans, cancer can occur at any age in pets. Here are some tips to help with cancer prevention or early treatment of some types of cancer. There are also options for pets with cancer to prevent animal suffering or slow the progression.
Every pet should have a 6-MONTH EXAM to stay on top of changes and prevent problems. Some pets may need to be seen more often for an ongoing medical condition. Dr. Frick may perform diagnostic tests, blood work, urinalysis, X-rays, ultrasound or further specialized imaging and tests to find the problem and make a proper diagnosis, and help your pet enjoy their golden years.
Early screening exams will diagnose conditions but also establish a baseline of normal values. It is important that individual baseline of your pet's health be established before their senior years as it can be used in the future to detect changes in bodily functions that could signal a health problem.
SPAYING your female pets reduce the chance of developing breast/mammary cancer later in life. If spayed before the 1st heat cycle, you pet has a 0.5% chance of developing mammary cancer. If spayed after the 1st heat cycle, the risk increases to 8%, after the 2nd heat cycle, the risk increases to 23%. After the 3rd heat cycle, there is a 100% risk of mammary cancer. Spaying is removal of the ovaries and uterus which will prevent cancer in these organs.
NEUTERING you male pet eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, the second most common tumor in male dogs. This surgery will reduce the risk of prostate cancer, perianal tumors and eliminates sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Frick recommends spaying and neutering dogs and cats at 6 months old to reduce cancer and other health benefits.
Check animal's body for any lumps, bumps or masses. Pet owners need to check animals weekly to find new lumps or changes in size. Have them checked by Dr. Frick to determine masses that need to be removed.
Recognize any changes with your animal that may be early signs of cancer including any changes in appetite, drinking habits, loss of weight, changes in hair coat, decrease activity level, licking joints, bloated abdomen, raspy cough, or panting. Some cancers to not show clinical signs and Dr. Frick would need to do 6-month check ups or blood work or other screening. Often, by the time your notice symptoms, the disease may have advanced to the point of being difficult and expensive to treat.
Horses, cattle, goats, sheep and many exotic animals can be diagnosed with cancer. The same early detection and monitoring clinical signs apply to any animal that your family may have.
There are many possible causes of cancer and it is hard to keep animals away from everything. Early diagnosis can increase your pet's life expectancy. Thanks to exciting advancements in veterinary medicine and put nutrition your pet can enjoy a longer, healthier, and happier life.
Call Frick Veterinary Services for an appointment for your pet's 6-month check-up. Have a Happy and Safe Fall.