Did you’ve ever heard of breast cancer in pets? I guess, not, but they too, can get breast cancer. In fact, it is one of the most common tumor found in dogs and cats, it is also the number – 1 cause of natural death. But it can be treated and pet owners can save their beloved pet’s life with little knowledge of the breast cancer. But many of us don’t realize that our loving pets can also suffer from such a life – taking and hazardous disease. We refer to dogs and cats having mammary glands instead of breast.
You may be feel a little tensed after knowing that this type of hazardous disease exists in dogs or cats but you need not to worry as veterinarians have plenty of treatment and your pet can be completely fine after the treatment.
HOW DO I CHECK MY PET FOR MAMMARY GLANDS TUMORS ?
Now , this is the first question that comes into your mind. Run your hands along their neck, head, back, sides and down the legs to check for masses or any lumps. People have only two breasts so its easy to find lumps but cats/dogs have many mammary glands so it can be tricky. The lump can vary size to size. Some malignant tumors can also cause ulceration and bleeding. But even if your pet does not show any of these signs, it does not mean your pet is free from mammary glands tumor as small tumor can grows with time and the cancerous cells spread can spread to other body parts. So you see, even a small lump can take your pet’s life so if you find any lumps or masses, immediately contact the veterinarian who will perform a biopsy after examining your pet. If you detect the lumps earlier, the treatment will be more successful so you can check weekly your pet by running hands along their body as I told you above.
You should monitor your pet if they are developing any other symptoms too, like weight loss, appetite loss, bleeding from any body opening, sores which do not heal etc.
Also I suggest you to do the full body checkup of your pet once or twice in a year by the vet in order to make surety.
AFTER FINDING LUMP:-
If you have found lump on your pet’s body then do not panic and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, the more you will delay, the more it will be dangerous for your pet. Don’t wait to see if that lump grows any longer. If you want the best result then you must treat your pet early.
At this time, the main and the only treatment is the surgical removal of lump. The tumor that is removed will be sent out to lap for biopsy. After that, the vet will tell you if the tumor is malignant or benign. Your veterinarian may refer you to oncologist veterinary for further consultation.
Mammary glands in dogs and cats are quite different from human beings as in the pets, they are outside of the muscle so surgery is not much radical as compared to humans.
You must spay your pet. As I have already told you about spaying pet in one of my previous articles. This is the most important thing you can do in order to prevent from mammary gland tumors. You must spay your pet before their first heat cycle. Many report says that cats who has been spayed prior to six months of age have 91% less chances, to develop the malignant breast cancer. The numbers are even more impressive when it comes to dog who has been spayed before their first cycle.
If you have adopted a pet and you are unsure if they have been spayed or not. You can go to the vet as they can help you in determining whether they are spayed or not. However shelters DO spayed their pets but you must be sure. Also even they are spayed, you must take them to the vet in order to do full body checkup.
Exercise can also play an important role in reducing the risk of mammary gland. Expert states that the pets who has a healthy body mass index have less likely to develop the mammary gland tumors. Although have to understand that exercise alone is not the way of reducing the chances of this tumor. You have to take all the things into consideration in order to prevent from tumor.
Regular visits to vet, once or twice in a year can help veterinarian to notice any unusual things. Also.you must feed your pet nutritious food.
Always remember the early treatment and diagnosis are the key to giving the chance of kicking out the cancer and live longer, healthier and happier life.