Cancer is the same in both humans and pets in that it can be a fatal disease if not taken care of quickly. This disease does have very noticeable symptoms and a pet owner should be alert for any visible signs. Some of the more common cancers found in dogs are skin cancer, breast cancer, and bone cancer. Cats are susceptible to feline leukemia. Lymphoma, and feline skin tumors can also lead to the animal dying.
Cats don’t get cancer as often as dogs but cats hide their diseases better than a dog. An immediate warning sign are lumps under the skin of either the cat or the dog. If these are not going away, or if they are growing in size, then a biopsy may be needed to determine if the lump is cancerous. Bad breath or any foul odors could be a sign of mouth or anal cancer. Abdominal problems can come from diarrhea or vomiting. If a cat shows difficulty in breathing it is a possible sign of cancer because the tumor causes fluid buildup in the lungs. A bloated abdomen is also a sign that there are problems that may have cancer as the cause. Cancers always been associated with extreme weight loss and if the cat or dog appears to have drop pounds without reason, it is time to schedule a visit with the veterinarian.
There are some behavioral signs of problems as well. If a dog or cat that was once very active suddenly becomes lethargic it may be battling a tumor that is starting to grow. The dramatic loss of appetite is also a signal that something is wrong. If these behaviors are present for several days, the pet owner should not wait until the lumps or other physical signs appear. Cancer can be successfully treated in the early stages. There is no reason to delay a medical inspection.
Treatment of cancer in dogs has a number of options and surgery is only one of them. Immunotherapy tumor vaccines are used so that the immune system can destroy the cancer tumors. There is radiation therapy available in a few facilities and chemotherapy is used as well. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are also used in the treatment of cat cancers. Surgery remains a possibility that can be used. Cancer is not a cheap disease to cure; there is a sizable cost. A pet owner must expect to spend several thousand dollars in order to keep the pet from dying. A person who lives alone may have no problem making a decision for treatments, but an individual with heavy financial responsibilities may be forced to make a very painful decision. The possibility of cancer is a strong reason for buying pet insurance. The coverage helps in paying the bills.
Any therapy will of course require the animal get special treatment. The prescribed medicine must be taken as per orders of the veterinarian. A special diet may be recommended for the suffering animal and it should take the place of the ordinary meals. Water is going to be very important in any treatment or rehabilitation. The pet should have access to it without any difficulty. There may be some discomfort involved and pain management will have to be employed. A pet owner has to remember that his or her little friend cannot verbally communicate problems. The pet should be handled gently until the veterinarian indicates that the danger has successfully passed. This could be several weeks of treatment and recuperation.
The good news is that cancer is not an automatic death sentence for any pet. Veterinarian oncology has dramatically advanced in the last few years. Cancers and tumors that were once considered always fatal are not that way anymore. A cat or dog can make a successful recovery from this type of disease. Success is predicated on the pet owner being very observant of any early symptoms, and following carefully any recovery treatment is prescribed. It doesn’t take an awful lot of time or trouble, to check on the behavior of the pet. What the owner must realize is that lumps that do not go away will stay to bring on terminal conditions. If there’s a concern about cost, early diagnosis and treatment is always less expensive than a life or death situation where the cancer has gone into advanced stages.