“The passion that moves forward is from experiencing what Cancer really does to the ones we love. We are driven because there is a hole in our soul where once was the love of our dog.” Gary D. Nice
“Cancer” – a word that can give the worst nightmares to any person and is not only intact to humans but is spreading towards dogs also.
“Your dog has cancer”, this particular phrase no pet parent would want to hear. But as per its increasing pace, the phrase is getting frequent. What exactly it is when it comes to dogs? What are the symptoms? What are the safety measures? What are the treatments? Many questions start revolving around when the word cancer pops up. One research says one out of three dogs develops cancer. It can occur in mix breed, pure breed, any age but often in old dogs. The most common breeds that are prone to this bug are saint bernard, great dane, boxer, golden retriever.
Let me define Cancer first – A disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body.
Like in humans, it occurs in several forms, it’s nowhere alike for dogs. The bug can grow in any single area of the body or can be in a generalized manner ie; can spread throughout the body.
COMMON TYPES OF CANCER :
- Lymphoma – the most common type of cancer, occurs in any age or any breed.
- Hemangiosarcoma – it is a tumor that develops from cells that line blood vessels, occurs in middle-aged and old dog breeds.
- Osteosarcoma – common type of primary bone tumor in a dog (mostly long bones), occurs between 7 to 9 years.
- Mast Cell Tumor – it can be found throughout the body resulting in allergic reactions.
- Melanoma – a tumor made up of pigmented or dark skin cells that can be formed anywhere.
Take a look at the most regular symptoms that can be easily visible or we can say alarming times:-
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Breathing difficulty
- Limping (walking difficulty)
- Digestive problems (persistent)
- Difficulty in eating
- Foul odor
- Continuous bleeding
- Sores that don’t heal
EARLY DETECTION :
It is suggested to take your dog to the vet, the time you see a lump on the surface of their skin. A sore which is not healing must also be examined by the vet. Above symptoms can indicate any other illness, but as it said: “ prevention is better than cure”. A mere lump itself doesn’t replicate that it is cancer. It is suggested to examine rather than ignore.
Though cancer is a slow budding disease and it is somewhat difficult to point out by a pet owner whereas taking some extra concern may save your dog from the upcoming threat.
In the first instance, a vet cannot say is it cancer or not? There is a process to be followed:-
- Initial tests – blood samples, tests, X- rays are often required to detect it.
- MRI or Ultrasound – a noninvasive medical diagnosis to check whether cancer is in one part of the body or is spreading.
- Biopsy – then comes this which means examining a removed tissue from a living body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease.
A mere delay in providing the treatment can result in the disease getting inevitable. As then the disease can not be cured or can become integrated. As all cancers cannot be cured is a depressing fact but some can be cured with the combinations of methods.
It depends on the kind of cancer. With the boom in medical technology, there are various treatments available for a dog suffering from cancer.
The basic treatment is of three kinds:-
- Surgery– this treatment is chosen in case of tumors of the skin. It gives relief from the pain though the chances of recurrence are slightly high.
- Chemotherapy – this treatment is used not to cure cancer but to reduce pain and growing symptoms. Though it has some serious side effects due to the dosage difference which is a little higher than that of humans. But is considered appropriate for some types of cancers.
- Radiotherapy – a very few treatment centers provide this treatment. It requires a regular visit to the specialists. It also does not cure but reduces the growth of the disease.
Apart from these, there are some advanced techniques to overcome cancers they are Photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy.
Cancer is really a deadly disease and is painful too. You need to be alarmed of the upcoming drawbacks. Here, I am pressuring the aspect of pain. There are some gestures which will be visible to you in your dog. Some of them I am mentioning here:-
- Change in routine ( no more interested in walking)
- Reluctant behaviour
- Loss of appetite
Time has changed and now people are taking more and more care of their canines. Availability of advanced treatment, vaccines, extra care, balanced and nutritious diets are some of the reasons for the hale and hearty growth of the canine leading to a prolonged life. Cancer is dangerous but nothing is impossible. There are many cancer fighters cheerfully wagging their tails.
“You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life”.