What You Need to Know About Pet Cancer



A cancer diagnosis for a loved one is always devastating, even if that loved one has four legs and a furry tail. And while cancer cannot be fully prevented, knowledge is a powerful tool.


Since November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, here are a few crucial facts to share with your customers this season.



Diagnosis Facts

• Approximately 6 million dogs and 6 million cats are diagnosed with cancer annually.


• Cancer is the leading cause of non-accidental death in dogs (47 percent) according to the Veterinary Cancer Society.


• Some of the most common pet cancers include lymphoma, skin cancer, osteosarcoma (bone cancer), mammary gland and soft tissue sarcomas.


• The most common spot to find tumors is the skin; about one-third of all tumors in dogs are skin tumors.


• About half of breast tumors in canines and more than 85 percent in cats are malignant.



Symptoms to Look Out For

Parents should talk to their veterinarian if their pet displays any of the following symptoms:


• abnormal, persistent swelling


• swollen glands


• unusual lumps


• sores that don’t heal


• rapid weight loss or appetite loss


• low stamina or lack of interest in play


• difficulty eating, breathing, urinating or defecating



Preventative Tips

• Spaying female pets before they reach 12 months old can significantly reduce their risk of mammary gland cancer.


• Regular check ups with a veterinarian can help ensure any issues, such as cancer, are caught before they become untreatable.


• Avoid exposing pets to known carcinogens, such as second-hand smoke, asbestos, pesticides or insecticides.


• Protect pets from the sun’s harmful rays with access to shade, protective clothing or non-toxic pet sunscreen. 


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