Our felines and canines aren’t simply pets; they’re a part of the family. To help promote their wellness, our furry friends take the spotlight each May during Pet Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Veterinary Oncology & Hematology Center, cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year. It’s also the number one natural cause of death in older pets.
The cause of cancer in pets, just like people, is largely unknown. Early detection is critical. That’s why it’s imperative that pet parents watch for signs while maintaining regular visits to the veterinarian.
The Veterinary Cancer Society notes that early pet cancer warning signs include:
- Loss of weight
- · Offensive odor
- · Persistent, abnormal swelling
- · Loss of appetite
- · Difficulty eating or swallowing
- · Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
- · Sores that don’t heal
- · Discharge or bleeding from any body opening
- · Loss of stamina or hesitation to exercise
- · Persistent stiffness or lameness
If your dog or cat displays any of these early warning signs, take it to your veterinarian as soon as possible for a complete examination.
As with human cancers, specific causes are often unknown. However, many cancers have been linked to genetics through improper breeding. Boxers, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Labrador Retrievers are especially prone. Always question the breeder regarding the incidence of feline or canine cancer in the line. And never purchase animals that are "mass" bred in kitten and puppy farms or "mills."
Some experts site over-vaccination as another problem. Cats can suffer from "Vaccine Induced Fibro Sarcoma," a specific type of feline cancer that develops at the vaccine site on the skin as a direct side effect of over-vaccination. While initial kitten and puppy inoculations are necessary, you may choose to ask your veterinarian about vaccinating for only those diseases prevailing in the area where you live.
Screen your home and review warning labels to replace toxic items with safer products. Common household items that contribute to hazards within your pets environment are cleaners, detergents and lawn fertilizers.
As with humans, a pure diet is vital to maintaining health. All of Evanger's pet foods are made with human-grade, highly palatable and nutritious ingredients that satisfy even the most finicky pets. Free of soy, corn, wheat, artificial ingredients, harmful additives, preservatives or by-products, Evanger's canned meals such as 100% Grain Free Sweet Potato make an excellent mixer to Evanger’s Pheasant & Whitefish dry food for cats or Evanger’s Grain-Free Meat Lover’s Medley dry food for dogs. Chelated vitamins and minerals are blended with all-natural, U.S.A. sourced meats and farm fresh produce for completely balanced meals appropriate for all life stages, ages and breeds.