Mm - we're with dr. Jen witt of the peoria area veterinarian association talking about a topic that's tough for any of us to think about, cancer, especially when it comes to our pets. What kinds of cancer can affect dogs and cats?
Dr - there are many different kinds of cancer, just like in people. Some of the most common ones we see are skin cancers, like mass cell tumors or melanomas, oral cancers, bone cancers (osteocarcoma), reproductive cancers like mammary cancer, testicular cancer. Then like any other cancers associated with your organs, liver, bladder, pancreatic cancer. The list goes on and on.
Mm - it can reallt affect all different parts of the body. So, what are some of the risk factors dogs and cats may have?
Dr - there are a few risk factors you could think of. One is breed pre-disposition. There are breeds that are a little more likely of having a higher incidence of getthing cancer, like boxers or golden retrievers. Age can be a factor. Older animals. Also not having your pet spayed or nuetered at an early age can pre-dispose them to your mammary cancers and testicular cancers. Also, hereditary. If it's been in that line, it can be passed down that line, potentially.
Mm - just like with humans, it can be genetic. Are there certain signs or symptoms we should be looking out for with our dogs and cats?
Dr - it can be hard with cancer because cancer can look just like anything else. Some of the biggest things to look for is any potential skin masses you find should always be checked by your veterinarian. If any rapid or unexplained weight loss happens pretty quickly. Other vague symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, swelling, lameness, it can go on and on. But the bottom line is, if your pet is not acting like him or herself, you should always have them checked out by a veterinarian.
Mm - so, if we find out out dog or cat is diagnosed with cancer, is there something that can be done for them?
Dr - yes, just like in human medicine, veterinary medicine offers a full range of treatments, which could involve staging to find out how advanced it is. Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery. Then also, pain management. Some of them could potentially be cured, depending on what they are, so it's important to get a diagnosis. With chemotherapy and radiation, if it can't be cured, it can at least be...
Mm - control their pain.
Dr. Right. Control their pain and have a better quality of life.
Mm - thank you so much, dr. Jen witt, for providing us with that information. Make sure you tune in again next week for more tips from pet check.