NATIONAL PET CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in November. Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for domestic dogs and cats in the U.S., so this month, spread the word to help educate pet owners about how best to protect their furry family members. Cancer in these animals continues to increase over the years, but the good news is, there are advances being made in healthcare when it comes to early detection and treatment. There are several different types of cancers that your cat or dog could be at risk for. These are lymphoma, splenic (spleen) cancer, bone or joint cancer, hepatic (liver) cancer, thoracic (chest) cancer, bladder cancer, anal sac cancer, oral cancer, and brain or spinal cord cancer. We love our pets just like we love our family, so let’s do our best to keep them healthy.
HOW TO OBSERVE
If you have a cat or dog at home, consider scheduling them a medical appointment for a checkup, and keep your eyes open for some warning signs that your pet could have cancer. Some of these warning signs are:
- Loss of appetite or difficulty eating
- Rapid weight loss
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Loss of interest in playing or exercising
- Difficulty with stool or urination, or changes in stool frequency
- Abnormal stiffness
- Severe lethargy
- Unusually strong/foul odors
- Blood coming from mouth or rectum
- Increased thirst and urination
- Respiratory changes
- Abnormally firm swelling
- Masses along jaw or toothline
While a cancer diagnosis is scary, it’s not a death sentence for your dog or cat, particularly if it’s caught early.
A national provider of specialty vet care points out that cancer symptoms in pets are very similar to those in people. In fact, because cancers in dogs so closely resemble human cancer, there is ongoing research that might benefit both species.
Here are a few of the most common early warning signs of cancer to look for in pets:
Any change in bladder or bowel habits; urinating or defecating more or less frequently.
Unexplained weight loss.
A change in behavior, particularly if your dog or cat becomes more withdrawn than usual.
A lump that appears suddenly or grows rapidly. It’s helpful to take a digital photo of your pet to map out any lumps he or she may have. The picture can help you monitor for any potential growth in the masses and provides your veterinarian with valuable information.
Lameness or limping that doesn’t resolve with rest.
Any changes to your pet’s eating habits. For example, if a notorious chowhound suddenly shows less interest in dinner, that’s something that should be checked out.
Bad breath or a change in your dog’s bark or your cat’s purr could be an indication of oral masses.
If you notice any of these signs, you should make an appointment with your family veterinarian as soon as possible. Pets ages 7 or older should receive twice-yearly examinations.
This month, and in the months to follow, keep your eyes open for any of these signs. If you can catch cancer in your dog or cat early enough, you just might be able to save them.
National Pet Cancer Awareness Month started in 2005 and was created by Nationwide and the Animal Cancer Foundation with a goal in mind to raise money and increase awareness to fight the leading killer of pets.
We all love Happy Endings!
Discarded, mistreated and malnourished, Sunshine in need of a loving home!
On October 10th, Officer Gray responded to a call to pick up an abandoned dog on Avenue 21. Upon arrival, Officer Gray found a friendly, super skinny, but frightening looking medium sized dog. The paws were swollen, over half the hair was missing, the skin was oozing blood and covered in scabs. The dog smelled with the infection.
Upon closer inspection, this female dog was very young (less than a year) had one blue eye, one brown eye, and was very friendly. This friendly young dog was easily transferred to the Animal Services truck for transport to the Madera County Animal Shelter. Upon arrival, it was determined she was suffering from Demodectic Mange and a secondary skin infection.
Puppies and young dogs are more prone to Demodex than adult dogs. Dogs that are stressed, ill or have a compromised immune system, can develop demodex infections as well. The secondary bacterial infection subsequent to the demodex can be life threatening if not treated properly.
If you have a pet with skin problems, please contact your veterinarian immediately. The treatment is simple and effective. Prevent the suffering and help your pet that only wants to provide you with unconditional love.
Sunshine is a very lucky and loved dog today in foster care awaiting a new family. Her mange and skin infections are being treated, she is being well fed, and most importantly wanting to be adored and loved by a new owner.
THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN FOR WEATHER CHANGE
COLD WEATHER PET SAFETY TIPS!
Brrrrrr – Grrrrrrr
How cold is too cold for your pets? Since the cold weather is on its way, consider your pets as they are in need of extra attention. The rule of thumb is, when the temperature is below 50 degrees, your pet can be cold and needing help.
All animals are not created equal. Coat type is a big factor for enduring cold temperatures. Huskies, Samoyeds, and other double layered coats are more acclimated to cold temperatures. Greyhounds and Chihuahuas with short coats suffer the most in cold weather.
Color, size, weight, age, and health also factors into how cold tolerant a pet can be. Small animals and thin animals get colder quicker than larger heavier animals. Sick and aged animals get colder quicker as well.
Take into consideration, wind chill, dampness, and activity level to determine if your pet is comfortable outside as cold nights last longer.
How to help your pet: The best option is to bring animals into the house. Animals love to be with their owners, socialize, and snuggle in during cold damp weather.
For other animals not housebroken, a barn, garage, or other weather proof enclosure will help a lot. If the animal has a dog house, the house should have a solid floor and have soft bedding to snuggle into. Old blankets, towels, and straw all make good insulating bedding.
If you notice your pet shivering, acting anxious, whining, slowing down, searching warm location, holding up a paw, it’s time to get your pet inside, help them get warm, and show them the love they give you!
A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it's deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.
Madera Animal Services Mission
Madera County Animal Services is a county agency whose purpose is to provide humane and professional solutions for animal related problems, to encourage responsible behaviors, and to create a safer environment for people and animals to co-exist.
Through the collaborative and sustainable partnerships, we strive to improve the lives of the animals in our care through the community outreach and education, providing veterinary treatment and preventative care for animals in our shelter. Reuniting lost pets with their families and ensuring positive outcomes through adoption, rescue, or foster programs.
Check us out on Facebook at: Madera Animal Shelter