May 13, 2020 2 min read

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month! Cancer is a silent killer that has touched all of our lives in one way or another and it really takes a toll on everyone involved, from patients to caregivers. We take as many preventative measures as we can to avoid cancer, but what about protecting our dogs as well? 

Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10, and 50% of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer at some point in their lives. Although this number is alarming, half of all cancers seen in dogs are curable if caught early enough. With that being said, since our dogs can't tell us when something is wrong, it is up to us to monitor our furry family members to make sure that they are healthy and receive prompt care when needed.


Symptoms to Look For 

According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, symptoms of cancer to look for include, but are not limited to:

  • Lumps or abnormal swelling that persists/continues to grow
  • Sores that don't heal, even when treated with antibiotics
  • Loss of appetite and ultimate weight loss
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Bleeding and/or discharge from any body opening
  • Offensive odor 
  • Loss of stamina and overall reluctance to exercise 
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty using the restroom or breathing 


What You Can Do

There are a number of ways that you can both reduce your dog's risk of getting cancer and increase their chances of beating cancer if it can't be avoided. These easy steps include, but are not limited to: 

  • Spaying or neutering your dog
  • Minimizing excessive sun exposure
  • Keeping your dog at a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding your dog's exposure to toxins
  • Regularly checking your dog for symptoms 
  • Taking your dog to the vet for regular checkups 


Keeping our dogs healthy, happy, and cancer-free is at the top of all of our priority lists, year-round. However, there is no better time than Pet Cancer Awareness Month to take these couple of extra steps to ensure your dog's health for many tail waggin' years to come!


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