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More than half of all dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer at some time in their lives. While cancer is not quite as common in cats, it still affects a number of felines. Our Decatur veterinarian shares information about tumors in pets, and the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in dogs and cats.
Cancerous tumors are masses of unhealthy tissue that develop when cells divide more rapidly than normal. Cancer may also develop when the cells do not die when they should.
The most common type of cancer in dogs is lymphoma, which affects lymph nodes, spleen or bone marrow in the immune system. Most dogs with lymphoma respond quickly to chemotherapy and treatment. Another common type of cancer is hemangiosarcoma, which develops in the cells lining the blood vessels. It is most common in Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. Osteosarcoma is a type of bone tumor that often affects giant breeds of dogs, like Great Danes. Mast cell tumors typically develop on the skin, affecting boxers and bulldogs most commonly.
Cats do not develop cancer as frequently as dogs but, since cats tend to hide disease, tumors can be more difficult to detect in kitties. Lymphoma is also common in cats and is associated with feline leukemia virus (FeLV).
Signs of cancer in cats and dogs include abnormal swelling, sores that do not heal, difficulty eating or swallowing, loss of appetite and weight loss, discharge or bleeding from a body opening, and foul odor.
While cancer is common in pets, veterinary care including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can reduce tumors and save lives. If our Decatur veterinarian suspects your pet has a tumor, we will run blood tests, take x-rays and perform other exams that look for signs of cancer.
If you worry about cancer in your pet, make an appointment with Fairview Hospital for Animals, conveniently located at 090 W South Side Dr. Decatur, IL. Call 217-428-7709 for an appointment today.
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I visit Fairview Animal Hospital at least once a week for a few of my fur-babies to receive laser therapy and the ENTIRE staff always shows genuine concern for my babies as well as me. They are always completely honest in the care they believe my pets need and only suggest treatments that they firmly believe would help my babies comfort. I have six dogs and two cats who all have their own issues and they know them all by name, know what their problems are and cater to their individual needs. The best part of this staff, is that every single one of my babies thoroughly enjoys their visits which is most important to me.
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