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Cancer in Dogs and Cats

by | March 10, 2020 | Pet Care

Cat and dog lying on plants

Cancer in pets is something that no pet owner should have to worry about. If you’ve heard about cancer in dogs and cats, as a pet owner, you may be worried your beloved furry family member might be diagnosed with cancer. Although you don’t want to worry unnecessarily, sometimes having medical information on a topic will help you worry less and feel more in control. Therefore, here’s some information on cancer in cats and dogs. Hopefully, you never need to use it but it’s always good to be knowledgeable. 

What Breeds Are Susceptible to Cancer?

Cat and dog on the couch

All breeds of dogs and cats can get cancer. However, there are certain dog and cat breeds that might be more susceptible to this disease than others. Keep in mind, just because your dog or cat falls within one of these breed categories, this does not mean that your pet will develop cancer. These are just breeds that have seen a higher rate of cancer in the past. Dog breeds that may have a higher susceptibility to cancer include:

As for cats, certain breeds of cats might also be more susceptible to cancer. One cat breed that sees a higher rate of cancer diagnoses is the Siamese cat.

What Are the Symptoms of Cancer in Pets?

Cat and dog at the beach

Symptoms of cancer in cats and dogs are wide and varied. They also vary in degree of seriousness and differ based on the type of cancer the animal has. In general, signs of cancer in dogs and signs of cancer in cats may include:

  • Abnormal swelling that continues to grow (bumps, lumps, etc.)
  • Non-healing sores
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing or eating
  • Bleeding or discharge from an opening in the body
  • Offensive odor
  • Reluctant to exercise
  • Loss of stamina
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Persistent lameness
  • Persistent stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, defecating or urinating

Your pet may experience one or two of these symptoms or quite a few of them. A discussion of symptoms will help the veterinarian to properly diagnose your pet.

How Do You Treat Cancer in Pets?

Ruby Cavalier dog sniffing cat

The exact treatment method depends on the type of cancer your dog or cat is diagnosed with. There are four types of cancers cats can get, including lymphoma, squamous cell carcinoma, mast cell tumor, and bone cancer. With one in five cats being diagnosed with cancer, it is important to know how this medical condition is treated. As for treatments, common treatment methods include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

As for dogs, you may wonder what the most common cancer in dogs is. The types of cancers most often seen in this pet include malignant lymphoma, mast cell tumors, mammary gland tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, and bone cancer. Cancer is often more common in dogs than cats. To answer the question as to how many dogs get cancer, 50% of dogs over ten years of age develop cancer. As with cats, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the most frequently used treatment methods.

It’s important to note that any questions you have regarding potential cancer in pets, such as signs of liver cancer in cats or signs of lung cancer in cats, should always be directed to your pet’s veterinarian. As for how many dogs die of cancer, statistics compiled by The Veterinary Cancer Society show that cancer is ranked as the leading cause of death with 47% of dogs. As for cats, cancer is stated to be the leading cause of death in 32% of felines.

Recovery and Caring for Dogs and Cats with Cancer

White puppy and white cat sleeping next each other

If your beloved pet is battling cancer, you want to make sure, first and foremost, that your pet is as comfortable as possible. Make sure their bedding is cozy for them, they get their favorite treats and toys, and that the veterinarian’s recommendations are followed carefully.

And, if you’re wondering can cancer in dogs be cured, the answer is sometimes. The same is valid for cats. It depends on many factors that your veterinarian will go over with you when you bring your pet in for treatment.

The recovery process will vary depending on the treatment received. If your dog or cat has gone through surgery to remove a cancerous tumor or bump, make sure you follow the discharge instructions closely and ensure your pet won’t chew on the wound site and make sure it’s properly covered. You may also want to ask your veterinarian if cancer in dogs causes hair loss or if cancer in dogs can cause seizures along with any other concerns that are on your mind. This will help you know what to expect during the treatment and recovery periods. Also, do what you can to help your pet to relax and not overexert themselves, no matter the treatment regimen they’re going through.

Average Cost of Cancer Treatments

White puppy kitty on blue cushion

When wondering how much does dog or cat cancer treatment cost, the cost will vary depending on various factors, including the type of treatment, length of treatment, location, pet medical facility, and other factors. Chemotherapy can cost up to $10,000, radiation therapy can equate with up to $7,000 being spent, and surgery might cost anywhere between $2,500 to $6,000. If you have a pet insurance policy in effect when your pet is diagnosed with cancer, you can save quite a bit of money on your pet’s medical bills.

Protect Your Dog and Cat with Pet Insurance

Cat licks dog's face

Now’s the time to safeguard your pets in the case of future high medical bills. By purchasing a dog insurance policy or cat insurance policy, you can rest easy knowing that your loving four-legged family member will get the treatment they need, should a medical condition arise.

Prudent Pet offers pet insurance policies to suit your needs. When you have a pet insurance policy in place, you feel reassured knowing your pet is covered. The best way to explore your pet insurance options is to get a quote.

Some people may not think about pet insurance when their pets are healthy and only start when their precious pets are ill. But, it’s essential to think ahead and have this safety device in place that comes in handy if you need it. Hopefully, you won’t, but if you do, you have peace of mind knowing that your pet will be well taken care of and you’ll be able to pay for your sweet pet’s medical treatments.

Find out more about what is and what isn’t covered by pet insurance and be well informed regarding your pet’s wellbeing and necessary care.

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Alice

Alice is the proud mama to her beautiful 3-year-old Labrador Retriever, Bella. Bella loves to cuddle up with Alice when she's reading a book on a cold Chicago night. No matter what the occasion is, Bella is always ready to pounce at the closest squirrel or rabbit when Alice runs with her along Lake Michigan in the summertime. When Bella's not tracking down random animals, she's taking a cozy nap or destroying toys left and right.