We know it can be difficult to discover that your pet has cancer. We’re here to help you every step of the way from diagnosis to treatment.
We know it can be extremely difficult to discover that your pet has cancer. We’re here to help you every step of the way from diagnosis to treatment.
We offer a range of treatment plans and tailor them to the needs of your pet in an effort to attack the disease they are fighting and maintain their lifestyle.
It comes as a surprise to many people that pets can get cancer, just like us. Unlike humans, where cardiovascular disease is the leading natural cause of death, cancer is the number one natural cause of death in geriatric cats and dogs, and it accounts for nearly 50 percent of pet deaths each year. However, when compared to other life-limiting diseases like congestive heart failure, kidney failure or diabetes, it is the most treatable of these diseases in pets.
If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, our team can help you decide on the best treatment plan. Depending on the specific type of cancer your pet has, treatment may include in the following (either stand alone or a combination of treatments):
Fortunately, many forms of cancer are curable. In addition, recent advancements in cancer treatment can dramatically extend the quality and length of life of many dogs and cats.
Surgery is often the most common definitive treatment for cancer we use; however, some forms of cancer can only be treated with chemotherapy. For some forms of cancer, chemotherapy following the surgical removal of the tumor is indicated to prevent its recurrence. Yet in other types of cancer, radiation therapy is used as either the sole source of treatment or as an additional treatment if surgery is not sufficient. We maintain good relationships with several oncology referral centers that provide this specialized form of treatment.
Our approach to chemotherapy is to treat cancer as a chronic disease for the duration of your pet’s life, rather than an overly aggressive approach to “cure” the cancer, which can result in severe and sometimes fatal adverse side effects. Our goal is to provide the longest duration of a good quality of life for your pet with the fewest unpleasant complications as possible. Although some temporary minor discomfort can occasionally occur, we always try to anticipate this and initiate preventive treatments to minimize any discomfort as a result of the treatment. Vomiting as a result of chemotherapy is an unacceptable complication to us and fortunately is fairly rare, and we do everything we can to prevent its occurrence.
We are available to discuss the options available to you and your pet if he or she is diagnosed with cancer.
You can help prevent some forms of cancer by having your pet spayed or neutered at an early age, but unfortunately most cancers cannot be prevented. This is why early detection is one of our best weapons against this disease.
Regular veterinary visits can help us keep track of what is normal for your pet, as well as detect anything suspicious. However, because we typically only see your dog or cat once or twice a year, we also rely on your knowledge of your pet to catch any potential issues early. Contact us right away if you note any of the top ten signs of cancer in your pet:
Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow.
Sores that do not heal.
Loss of appetite.
Bleeding or discharge from any body opening.
Difficulty eating or swallowing.
Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina.
Persistent lameness or stiffness.
Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating.
Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans. Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime.
Although cancer is not as common in cats as it is in dogs, the cancers found in cats tend to be more aggressive. Early detection is critical. This is why it is so important to have your pet examined regularly.
Spaying can largely reduce the threat of mammary cancer in both dogs and cat. The risk of this disease is limited considerably if the dog or cat is spayed before it has an opportunity to go into heat.
Not all tumors are cancerous. Benign (noncancerous) tumors do not spread to other parts of the body and, with very rare exceptions, are not life threatening.
Unexplained lameness especially in large or giant breed dogs is a very common sign of bone cancer. Radiographs of the affected area are useful for detecting cancer of the bone.
Lymph nodes are located throughout the body but are most easily detected behind the jaw or behind the knee. When these lymph nodes are enlarged they can suggest a common form of cancer called lymphoma.