Did you know that November is cancer awareness month? Also, that cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10? Cancer has become more common in pets, ranging from malignant lymphoma, skin cancer, breast cancer, and even bone cancer. Although seemingly tragic, cancer is treatable and there are many forms of treatment for pets with cancer in todays world. The best option for possible cancer treatment in pets is the surgical removal of a cancerous mass that has not spread. However, there are other options available for different cases:
Chemotherapy- uses drugs to kill the cancer cells with the least amout of damage to the normal cells. Side effects include nasuea, lowered immunity, and bleeding problems. Although not very damaging, not all pets are susceptible to chemotherapy.
Radiation- uses special X-ray therapy to damage and destroy cancer cells. Anesthesia is required through this process and the treatment is only available at veterinary referral centers.
Diet- controlling and modifying a pet’s diet has proven to be helpful in controlling cancer. The goal is a diet with limited simple sugars, moderate amounts of complex sugars like carbohydrates, highly digestible protein in moderate amounts, and set amounts of certain types of fat. These dietary modifications tend to “starve” the cancerous cells, making them weaker, and make the normal cells healthier. Modifying diet is a good compliment to other treatments.
Immunotherapy- uses immune reactions to fight off cancerous cells. This method may use a non specific immune modifier, like vaccines and medication. Kinavet CA-1 is the first approved anti-cancer drug in veterinary medicine. Its cutting edge technology works directly at the origin of the tumor. Kinavet CA-1 is available for both dogs and cats and can be purchased at a low price on Allivet.com
The word “cancer” is very heavy, but in today’s world, treatements for cancer are becoming more and more advanced for both humans and pets. Being informed is the first step down the path of a solution.