Monday, May 5, 2014

Cancer Awareness

By: Dr. Kevin Fuller

With the advancement of preventative medicine and disease control, the pet population now has a longevity that exceeds that of ever before. With a higher percentage of the population being in the geriatric ranges, the incidence of cancer has increased as well. It is estimated that nearly 1 out of 4 pets will have some form of
cancer during their lifetime, and that nearly 50% of pets over the age of 10 may have cancer related diseases. This may seem staggering, but the likelihood for cancer in dogs is similar to that of humans. All of us know someone, or someone’s pet that has been affected by this illness. This has made oncology and chemotherapy an ever-expanding field in veterinary medicine with overlap into human medicine and vise-versa. The treatments for cancer in pets vary depending on the type of cancer a pet has, and can range from palliative care (quality of life care) to complete remissions or cures. Treatments may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or any combination of the three.

            Some of the earliest warning signs of cancer in the dog and cat population include sudden unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, change in personality, weakness, and fatigue. Remember that cancer is not just a disease of older pets, but may affect all life stages. If your pet is experiencing any of them symptoms, please contact us for more information.

The photo above is of Belle and her owner Tom Prather of Georgetown.  Belle is a 12 year old Labrador Retriever who has been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and has received her 2nd round of chemotherapy treatment.

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