Cancer in Dogs and Cats: What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

Pet cancer treatments at GVS

November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and we want to share some vital information with you about cancer in dogs and cats.

First and foremost, we want to reassure you that we have more options—and more hope—for pets diagnosed with cancer than ever before. This means that many dogs and cats with cancer can be cured of their disease, while others may live with cancer while maintaining a good, or even excellent, quality of life.

Early Pet Cancer Warning Signs

However, just as in humans, one of the keys to the best possible outcome is early detection. Some early warning signs of cancer in dogs and cats to be aware of include:

  • An abnormal swelling or lump that doesn’t go away or continues to grow
  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite or difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Bleeding or discharge from the nose, mouth, or rectum
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating
  • Pale gums
  • Loss of stamina or reluctance to exercise
  • Offensive odor, especially from the mouth
  • Lameness or stiffness that doesn’t go away

You know your pet better than anyone. If you notice any changes in your pet, report them to your veterinarian right away. While it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cancer, getting your pet checked out is an essential step in early detection and timely treatment.

The 5 Most Common Cancers in Dogs and Cats

Cancer in cats tends to be about half as common as cancer in dogs. But in cats, cancer is often more aggressive—another reason to see your veterinarian right away if you notice any changes.

Common cancers in dogs 

  • Mast cell tumors (a type of skin cancer)
  • Melanoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
  • Hemangiosarcoma

Common cancers in cats

  • Lymphoma
  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
  • Mammary (breast) cancer
  • Squamous cell cancer (a type of skin cancer)
  • Fibrosarcoma

Veterinary Oncology Services at Guardian Veterinary Specialists

If your pet has recently been diagnosed with cancer- take a breath and trust in Guardian Veterinary Specialists.  Our oncology service is led by a board-certified veterinary oncologist with advanced clinical training in the cancer field, Joseph Impellizeri, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology), MRCVS.  He’s on the cutting edge of new treatments and is involved in clinical trials and innovative therapies that show great promise in fighting cancer in pets.

We offer more exclusive options for treating pets with cancer than any other resource in this region, making us the preferred choice for veterinary cancer care.

Advanced Pet Cancer Treatment Options

Among the advanced treatments we offer:

  • The latest chemotherapy protocols
  • Molecular tumor profiling, which enables us to tailor treatment to your pet’s genetic makeup
  • A melanoma vaccine that helps extend survival in dogs
  • Electrochemotherapy, which uses electrical pulses to open up cancer cells, so chemotherapy better targets these cells
  • Less-invasive interventional approaches that avoid conventional open surgery or offer a treatment option when surgery isn’t possible

We want to leave you with one important message: Pets with cancer can be treated effectively while maintaining their quality of life. We are so passionate about ensuring that pets receive optimal cancer care—and that you understand the treatment options available—that we offer free initial consultations. To schedule yours, call our veterinary oncology department at (914) 704-3400.

 

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