In October you mostly likely realized it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness of this disease. In addition to raising awareness, it was also a reminder to be vigilant in self checking for any signs irregularities. You saw pink on football players, celebrities, media personalities, and your friends and neighbors as a great reminder that early detection is key.
Breast Cancer Awareness also includes our beloved dogs. While we do not refer to it as “Breast” cancer as they do not have breasts, it is called Mammary Cancer and it is very real. Cancer is the number one killer of dogs. It is estimated that 50% of dogs over the age of ten will experience some type of cancer. As with humans early detection is the key!
-Mammary gland tumors are greatly increased when your dog is not spayed. Ensure that when you get your pup you have her spayed ASAP.
-Look for lumps and bumps under or on the skin. Simply rub your hands over your dog while petting them, keeping an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
-Stick with good quality dog food and exercise. This will help the chances of your dog steering clear of tumors, as well as fatty deposits, which are quite often confused for tumors by concerned pet owners.
-Ensure you’re taking your dog in for regular checkups. Go no less then once or twice a year dependent upon your dogs situation. If you spot anything unusual, you should get in to see the vet immediately.
-Should a tumor be detected, work closely with your vet on options and treatments. Treatment options will rely heavily upon your dog’s age, current health and living situation. Most tumors can be treated by surgical removal.