Buffalo Companion Animal Clinic

1214 Hwy 25 N

Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: (763) 682-2181

OFFICE HOURS

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 7 am - 8 pm

Wed & Friday: 7 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 8 am - 12 pm

Appointment Request

Carlos’ Corner

It's Pet Cancer Awareness Month

 

When we hide our pain and sickness, it's not to make things more difficult for you. It's just in our DNA to never show weakness. That's why my fellow cats and my dog friends need you to look for the signs of cancer, especially in our golden years. Although your pet could be really sick, the good people at Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital will do whatever they can to make him feel better and live longer.

With appreciation,

Carlos

 

A diagnosis of cancer often takes pet owners by surprise. Because of this, Veterinary Pet Insurance decided to launch Pet Cancer Awareness Month in November of 2005. The good news is that awareness has increased significantly since that time. The bad news is that cancer is still the most common fatality for dogs and cats nationwide. It is so prominent that the Veterinary Cancer Center indicates that half of all dogs and cats who die from a disease had cancer. 

Although this deadly disease is diagnosed more often in dogs, it tends to act more aggressively in cats. The earlier your pet receives a diagnosis, the better her chances of beating cancer.

Indications Your Pet Could Have Cancer
Dogs and cats are notorious for hiding their sickness and pain. While certain things may be obvious, such as vomiting or an offensive odor, others require you to pay close attention to your pet’s routine to notice that something is wrong. We encourage you to contact Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital right away if you notice any of these symptoms:
  • Vocalizations when trying to eliminate
  • Eating less than usual
  • Stiff or unusual gait
  • Problems chewing or swallowing food
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Slow-healing sores
  • Fatigue
  • Bleeding without an obvious injury
  • Swelling anywhere on the body that gets more pronounced over time
It doesn’t necessarily mean your pet has cancer if he displays some of these symptoms. However, they typically mean something isn’t right and that your pet needs some form of treatment.

Common Forms of Cancer in Dogs and Cats
 
The following types of cancer are most common in household pets:

Feline Leukemia: Kittens receive this diagnosis more frequently than older cats since they can inherit it from their mother before birth. You may want to consider a feline leukemia vaccine if your cat goes outside or if you have two or more cats.

Canine Lymphoma: Specific to dogs, this cancer grows in the white blood cells, bone marrow, and intestinal tract.

Osteosarcoma (Bone): Most common in large dogs, bone cancer typically appears in the leg bone or ribs. It’s uncommon in small dogs and in cats.

Oral: Most common in dogs, this cancer typically presents with bleeding from the nose or a noticeable challenge in eating. 

Abdominal: Abdominal cancer can include tumors founds in the intestines, liver, kidneys, and spleen. Unfortunately, your pet’s swollen belly can disguise them for a long time.

Breast: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer of female dogs. With cats, tumors turn malignant more than 80 percent of the time. 

Bladder: Pets who live in homes with smokers tend to develop this type of cancer more often.

Skin: Skin cancer is the easiest to treat because it’s visible. The biggest risk factor is spending a lot of time in the sun.

Prostate/Testicular: These are aggressive types of cancer found in male dogs and cats. Your pet may have trouble defecating because of a tumor pressing on his lower colon. Testicular cancer shows up most often in pets who haven’t received treatment for a parasite infection or who live near many environmental toxins.

Preventive Care Can Help You Stay Ahead of Cancer
Since cancer is especially prevalent in older pets, it’s important to bring your pet in for regular preventive care exams. Cancer is a devastating diagnosis, but your pet has a better chance of avoiding it or overcoming it with proper nutrition, exercise, a healthy and stimulating home environment, and regular check-ups at Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital.

Photo Credit: Tverkhovinets / Getty Images

 

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It's National Animal Safety and Protection Month

Even if you're not blessed to share your home with a pet, there's plenty you can do to look after the welfare of animals. There's even a special month dedicated to the cause.
 
- Carlos
 
Several years ago, the PALS Foundation launched National Animal Safety and Protection Month in October to encourage people to care for and handle animals in a safe and respectful manner. Through this campaign, the PALS Foundation hopes to encourage better treatment of both domestic and wild animals. The organization believes that animals and people can and should live together in peace.

What You Can Do as a Pet Owner
One way to get into the spirit of National Animal Safety and Protection Month is to continue to take excellent care of the pets with whom you share a life and home. If your dog or cat doesn’t have microchip identification yet, we encourage you to schedule this simple procedure. This allows anyone who finds your pet to take her to the nearest veterinary clinic or animal shelter to scan for a chip. 

While we also recommend a tag and collar, these can easily become caught on something or fall off. Taking the added step of getting a microchip for your pet provides you with valuable peace of mind. Here are some other steps you can take to ensure your pet’s health and safety:
  • Place potential toxins such as cleaning solution and rodent traps out of your pet’s reach
  • Keep your pet at a healthy weight by feeding him nutritious food, making sure that he gets enough exercise, and limiting treats
  • Consider how you would continue to care for your pet in an emergency and put a disaster plan in writing
  • Remember to interact with your pet each day as it’s important for her emotional health
  • Schedule a preventive care exam at Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital at least once a year or more frequently for kittens, puppies, and senior pets
  • When you bring home a new pet, commit to providing a home for the rest of his life
You Don’t Have to Be a Pet Owner to Help Animals
Many people love pets and want to help them, but can’t offer them a lifetime commitment. If that describes you, consider providing foster care for dogs and cats as they wait for their forever family to find them. Local animal shelters always appreciate donations of time and supplies. They typically need food, bedding, and toys the most.

Caring about animals also includes those in zoos and in the wild. Teach the children in your life to care for and respect animals from a young age by visiting the zoo and nature centers often. You can also let as many people as possible know about National Animal Safety and Protection Month.

Your Partner in Animal Care
Buffalo Companion Animal Hospital is proud to care for animals in our community. Please contact us at 763-682-2181 with questions or to schedule an appointment.
 
Photo Credit: Kosamatu / Getty Images
 
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