Pet Cancer Awareness
November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, created by the ACF to raise awareness of the prevalence, symptoms and treatments for cancer in our companion animals. Cancer awareness is especially important to us at Las Tablas Animal Hospital—did you know that Dr. David Edsall, our amazing, brilliant and brave veterinarian, is a cancer survivor himself? He is an inspiration to us all and living proof that this terrible illness can be overcome (check out our Paint Your Pet event to find out how you can support the Cancer Support Community of the California Central Coast!).
Just as with people, the longer your pet lives, the higher their risk is of developing some form of the disease. The most common types of cancer in dogs include lymphoma, mast cell tumors in skin and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Some of these cancers have subtle symptoms or may appear simply as an enlargement or lump that a pet owner might just attribute to aging. In many cases, those bumps may be a benign lipoma (fatty tumor), but it’s much better to be safe than sorry.
That’s why it’s important that pets have annual wellness checks—and for pets over seven, Las Tablas Animal Hospital recommends once yearly wellness exams and blood testing. It’s especially crucial for cats, who are experts at hiding illness but often have more aggressive cancers than dogs. Many types of pet cancers are treatable, but the earlier they’re caught, the better your pet’s chances are of a good outcome, so if you detect a lump or bump, schedule an appointment.