Save your dog, detect cancer early

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“…love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” – Kabil Gibran

This is one great lesson a dog or cat teaches a human when his/her pet crosses the rainbow bridge.

A pet’s life span is so short compared to humans, thus, it is when a pet dies that we learn yet again how every moment counts. A pet’s death wraps one  up in overwhelming sadness and loss, and reminds one to love everyone –human or  pet—more. 

Georgy, now 10-12 years old, is a cancer survivor.  She was rescued by  admin Joanne Zamora of Save Animals of Love and Light (Save ALL) more than three years ago and was treated for TVT cancer. 

Knowing that death is inevitable, it is imperative to lengthen the time we can spend with our pets.

For this reason, it is recommended that  we  follow  the advice vets and experts have been reminding us again and again: 

 • give  appropriate  healthy food depending on his age, 

• give  vitamins or supplements,

• provide vaccination against illnesses, 

• have your pet checked every year

• exercise your pet

• provide mental stimulation,

• and  most importantly, make your  pet feel loved always by hugging and kissing  your pet and telling your pet  you love him/her.

 It pays to also read up more on how to take better care of pets.

Chelsea, a 5-year-old rescue, survived cancer too. She underwent several chemotherapy sessions.

Be alert too, for warning signs of any illness, specially cancer.  Detecting a certain illness early can save your pet or buy you more time with your pet.  The cancer, in particular, may stop from spreading if medical intervention is immediately given. 

When you observe  some of the signs of a critical illness, please bring your pet to the vet immediately.

Justine Palmer, author of A Veterinarian Shares 10 Critical Warning Signs Of Cancer in Dogs,  provides the following signs from Dr. Kelly Ryan, DVM of the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America and Humane Society of Missouri:

 

Unusual Odors

“Dog breath” is common but watch out for  unusually foul odors from the mouth, nose or rectal area.  This may be due to a tumor.

 

Bumps or Lumps On or Under the Skin

Check your pet’s skin always. Check behind the ears and around the face.

Do not ignore even a very tiny lump or bump because cancer can grow  fast. Also check for a new lump or bump every now and then.  When you feel or see a lump or bump, please  bring your dog to the vet for assessment.

“If the bumps are bleeding or there is discharge, see a veterinarian immediately,” says Palmer.

 

Unusual Weight Loss

Bring your dog to the vet for a check-up if there is a sudden loss of weight.

 

Appetite Changes

Loss of appetite is never normal. There are many causes and cancer may be the culprit.

 

Lethargy

There are lazy dogs and there are lethargic dogs. Learn to tell the difference. You would know the difference because you know your dog better than anyone.

“If he doesn’t seem like himself and is spending more and more time sleeping, talk to your veterinarian. Dogs can get lung cancer, and some indicators could be coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath after very little exercise, “Palmer warns.

 

Respiratory Problems

The symptoms of  lung cancer in dogs are  coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath after very little exercise.

Behavior Changes

“Has your normally mellow dog been snapping? Is she spending more time away from you? She could be in pain. Also pay attention to how she is walking, eating and playing. If you notice any limping or struggling—it’s time to see the vet, “Palmer says.

 

Open Sores

Please ask a vet to assess you dog if he/she has an open sore or other wounds that are not  healing properly.

 

Vomiting and Diarrhea

It is not normal for a dog  to vomit frequently, and/or have diarrhea. Please bring him/her to a vet immediately, specially if this is accompanied  by any of the other symptoms listed here.

“Also check your dog’s abdomen for bloating and distension (stomach swelling),” Palmer says.

 

Pale Gums

Gums that are very pale could mean blood loss, and cancer  may be the cause.

Again, when you see one of these symptoms, please bring your dog to the vet  immediately.  It is better to be sure your dog is  is okay.  The effort and even the cost can not compare to  the  pain of losing your pet.

May all your pets be safe from cancer and all life-threatening illness. May you have more love-filled, fun-filled years with your pet. –DC

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