November – Pet Cancer Awareness Month

One in four dogs die of cancer. It’s the number one disease related death in pets and cancer accounts for almost half the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at about the same rate as humans, while cats get fewer cancers.

American Veterinarian Medical Association’s 10 Warning Signs of Canine Cancer
-Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow

-Sores that do not heal
-Weight loss
-Loss of appetite
-Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
-Offensive odor
-Difficulty eating or swallowing
-Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
-Persistent lameness or stiffness
-Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating
The AVMA explains neoplasia, cancer and tumors as such:
Neoplasia is the uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells or tissues in the body, and the abnormal growth itself is called a neoplasm or tumor. It can be benign or malignant. Benign neoplasms do not grow aggressively, do not invade the surrounding body tissues, and do not spread throughout the body. Malignant neoplasms, on the other hand, tend to grow rapidly, invade the tissues around them, and spread, or metastasize to other parts of the body.
The word “tumor” or “mass” is often used to describe the actual swelling or other physical appearance of a neoplasm. The word “cancer” is often confused with neoplasia, but only malignant neoplasms are truly cancers.
Common Types of Neoplasia In Pets:
– skin tumors are more common in dogs than cats. However in cats they are often malignant.
Mammary Gland – ½ of all breast tumors in dogs and over 85% in cats are malignant. Spay your female cat before she’s a year old and help reduce her risk.
Head and Neck – More common in dogs than cats – look for mass or tumor on the gums, bleeding, odor, or difficulty eating.
Lymphoma – this is a common form in both dogs and cats. Look for an enlargement of the lymph node. A contagious feline leukemia virus can be the cause of lymphoma in cats.
Abdominal – weight loss or swelling are the signs here. This Neoplasia is common, but hard to detect early.
Bone – more common in large breed dogs and dogs older than 7 years and rarely in cats. The leg bones near the joints are the most common spot. Look for lameness, persistent pain, and swelling.

Neoplasia is frequently treatable. Early diagnosis will aid your vet in giving the best care possible.

If your vet determines your pet has cancer, send him to The Pet Cancer Foundation is an independent, non-profit effort established to provide you, as a dog or cat owner, with a resource for learning about your pet’s cancer, receiving a free consultation with a cancer specialist and being informed of the available treatment options in partnership with your veterinarian. The foundation is sponsored by Pets Best Insurance, working to better the lives of pets and pet owners.

I want to thank Michelle Trent from twitter who pointed me in this direction. Johann the dog is a great blogger and deserves all the kudos! Visit his blog (see below) and vote for him for best animal blog. My three cats; Twin, Bandit and Stutz Bearcat thank you!


  1. Johann The Dog on November 3, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing this important info!

    Woofs, Johann

  2. Deb Brown on November 8, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    you are welcome! Please visit my blog again and read Samantha’s story (angels all around us).

    Any suggestions you may have are greatly appreciated.

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