Thursday, 31 October 2013

Cancer in cats and dogs

Cancer isn't just a devastating diagnosis in people - in fact, more than half of pets will get it during their lifetime.

Fortunately, there are vets who specialize in cancer treatment in pets.

"If you get it in time, I think they have a good chance of surviving," says Betty Conway.

Conway saw a bump on her 5-year-old yellow lab's lip, so she took Lucy to the vet to have her checked out. "I thought it was a tick, so I took her to the vet, and that's where they found out it was a tumor."

Luckily, it was a tumor that could be treated and removed.  Dr. Kerry Rissetto, a vet oncologist, says pet owners should be aware that cancer is the number one disease-related killer in cats and dogs - especially those over the age of 7.

"Now we are being proactive with our pets just like if we find a lump or bump on us or children we would bring them to the doctor," said Dr. Rissetto.

Dr. Rissetto says skin tumors and tumors of the lymph nodes are the most common tumors she treats. "The biggest thing that I see is lumps that are ignored, and most are benign, but then once and a while you will get one that's malignant."

Dr. Rissetto says being proactive is key. "The earlier you diagnose it, treat it, remove it, the better your chances your animal has of being cured even if it is cancer you can cure it with surgery."

In Lucy's case, she has a good outlook and will begin chemo to prevent the cancer from spreading to other areas of her body.

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