Skin - Skin tumors are very common in
older dogs, but much
less common in cats. Most skin tumors in cats are malignant, but in
dogs they are often benign. Your veterinarian should examine all skin
tumors in a dog or cat to determine if any are malignant.
Breast - 50% of all breast tumors in
dogs and greater than
85% of all breast tumors in cats are malignant. Spaying your female pet
between 6 and 12 months of age will greatly reduce the risk of breast
cancer. Surgery is the treatment of choice for this type of cancer.
Follow up treatment may be recommended.
Head & Neck - Cancer of the mouth
is common in dogs and
less common in cats. Signs to watch for are a mass on the gums,
bleeding, odor, or difficulty eating. Since many swellings are
malignant, early, aggressive treatment is essential. Cancer may also
develop inside the nose of both cats and dogs. Bleeding from the nose,
breathing difficulty, or facial swelling are symptoms that may indicate
cancer and should be checked by your veterinarian.
Lymphoma - Lymphoma is a common form
of cancer in dogs and
cats. It is characterized by enlargement of one or many lymph nodes in
the body. A contagious feline leukemia virus can be the cause of
lymphoma in some cats. Chemotherapy is frequently effective in
controlling this type of cancer.
Feline Leukemia Complex - The feline
leukemia virus is
contagious among cats and will occasionally cause different types of
cancer. It is not contagious to humans. While a great deal of research
is ongoing, no consistently effective treatment is presently available
for virus-positive cats.
Testicles - Testicular tumors are rare
in cats and common
in dogs, especially those with retained testes. Most of these cancers
are preventable with castration (neutering) and curable with surgery if
done early in the disease process.
Abdominal Tumors - Tumors inside the
abdomen are common but
it is difficult to make an early diagnosis. Weight loss or abdominal
enlargement are signs of these tumors.
Bone - Bone tumors are most often seen
in large breed dogs
and rarely in cats. The leg bones, near joints, are the most common
sites. Persistent pain, lameness, and swelling in the affected area are
common symptoms of the disease.
of the above signs are also seen with noncancerous conditions
but they still warrant prompt attention by a veterinarian to determine
the cause. Cancer is frequently treatable and early diagnosis will aid
your veterinarian in delivering the best care possible.