Help, I Think My Dog or Cat Has Cancer!
Pet cancer is devastating. Whether your pet has been diagnosed, or you think your pet might have cancer, you’ve come to the right place. Did you know that 12 million cats and dogs are diagnosed with cancer every year? There are many pet owners experiencing the same feelings of uncertainty, fear, and stress that you are, and PetCure Oncology is here to help. We believe that the more you know about pet cancer and pet cancer treatment options, the better it is for you, your family and your pet.
How Can I Tell If My Pet Has Cancer?
Be observant to any changes in your pet’s physical appearance and behavior. However, not all warning signs are that obvious.
Here are the top 10 warning signs of cancer in cats and dogs, adapted from the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you notice any of these, contact your veterinarian to check things out as soon as possible. Depending on the cancer type and stage, your pet’s health can deteriorate very quickly, so it’s always best to get an exam. When in doubt, get it checked out.
- Enlarged or changing lumps and bumps
- Sores that do not heal
- Chronic weight loss or weight gain
- Change in appetite
- A persistent cough
- Persistent lameness or stiffness
- Unpleasant odor from the mouth
- Difficulty breathing, eating or swallowing
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
- Bleeding or discharge from any opening
Regular wellness exams will provide your veterinarian the opportunity to check for signs of cancer, but you can take a more proactive approach to your pet’s health by looking for these warning signs regularly.
What Do I Need to Know About Pet Cancer?
Pets are just as susceptible to cancer as people and can see similar types of cancers that affect humans. Cancer is the number one cause of disease-related deaths in older cats and dogs and finding it early can make all the difference. Although cancer is not as common in cats as it is in dogs, the cancers found in cats tend to be more aggressive.
For young and adult pets, schedule annual visits with your family veterinarian for a full checkup. Be sure to consider pet insurance for your pets prior to a cancer diagnosis, as many cancer treatment options and therapies are covered.
For older or senior pets, schedule checkups every six months. Animals age at a faster rate than humans do, so even though it may be one year in our time, it may be equivalent to several years for them.
Our client care representatives can help you understand all fees and payment options relating to your pet’s cancer treatment. They are also available to assist with submitting claims for insurance or to apply for financing. Many pet insurance companies provide coverage for cancer care, although the policy must be in place before a cancer diagnosis is made. The PetCure Oncology national network also offers financing options through CareCredit.