May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month
Cancer is a word that no pet parent wants to hear. Our pets are members of our family and the thought of losing them in any way, especially to an illness is heart-wrenching. That’s why animal advocates have dedicated the month of May to pets. May has been deemed as “Pet Cancer Awareness Month”, with the goal of informing pet parents on the latest treatments and dispelling any myths and rumors surrounding pet cancer. There are some important factors that come into play: separating fact from fiction, key signs for early detection, and knowing which breeds are more susceptible to developing cancer.
“Cancer will affect 1 out of every 4 dogs and 1 out of every 5 cats accounting for nearly 50 percent of all disease-related pet deaths each year. Six million dogs and nearly the same number of cats are impacted by cancer each year,” explains an article from ABC. While any pet can get cancer, certain breeds are more likely to develop it within their lifetime: Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers are at a higher risk than most other dog breeds.
But, cancer doesn’t have to be an end-all. Each case is different, so it’s important not to jump to conclusions about your pet’s illness. Once your pet has been diagnosed, learn as much as you can about the specific condition your pet has, and see a specialist. You want to make sure that doctor treating your pet is an expert in their field, as they will have the most experience with the condition and first-hand knowledge of the latest, most-innovative treatments that could help your pet. If you don’t already have pet insurance, you aren’t alone and there are other options, there are certain foundations that raise money yearly to help pet parents who can’t afford expensive treatments.
Companies like Petco and Blue Buffalo are running awareness campaigns throughout May, not only to raise money to fund vital research in the fight against pet cancer, but, also to educate pet parents on the “10 warning signs”. Unfortunately, 8 out 10 pet parents are unaware of the warning signs of pet cancer. But, the good news is that you can change that instantly. With a little research, you can become informed, and knowledge can make all the difference.
As with human cancer, early detection is key in regards to the survival chances of your pet. It’s important to know the risk factors, such as: lawn pesticides and obesity. Annual check-ups with your veterinarian are also incredibly important so your vet can track any abnormal changes in your pet.
So make sure this May to educate yourself on pet cancer, so you can be prepared if life takes an unexpected turn.