Cancer is a serious and worrisome illness that has plagued countless people in their lifetime. Like human beings, cats and dogs also suffer from similar forms of cancer. However, it becomes complicated in the case of pets as they cannot directly communicate any pain or discomfort they may be facing. This makes it all the more important to pay attention to your pet’s behaviour and to take them on routine veterinary health checks without fail.

Much like their human counterparts, pets suffer from different types of cancer including breast cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, osteosarcoma, mastocytoma, and carcinoma. Be sure to check your pet’s skin for lumps that may change shape or size. While it is understood that cancer is the outcome of genetic damage to cells, there is no clear reason as to why it happens. Extended exposure to cancer-causing elements like sunlight, chemicals, and cigarette smoke could possibly make pets susceptible to developing cancer later on. However, it is also important to note that some pet breeds are genetically predisposed to cancer. Other possible factors include obesity, infection, inflammation, and / or hormone-related problems.

Although cancer is not transmissible for the most part, there are certain carriers like fleas or ticks whose bite can cause cancer in pets. For example, Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) can potentially cause blood and lymphoid cancers in cats. But it is more commonly spread by being in close proximity with an infected cat.

You must monitor your pets for symptoms such as persistent abnormal swelling, unhealed lesions, loss of appetite, weight loss, enlarged abdomen, lameness or stiffness, pale gums, oral odor, lack of stamina, and trouble breathing, urinating or defecating. Additionally, they may also find it difficult to exercise, eat or swallow food. There are many treatment options in place to treat pets with cancer. Of these, surgery and radiation therapy are among the most popular treatment methods. Others include traditional chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Additionally, traditional Chinese Medicine (which involves acupuncture) is also used to provide a holistic and well-rounded approach to cancer treatment in pets.

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