|TAKING THE FEAR OUT OF CANCER|
Grandview Animal Hospital is committed to taking the fear out of knowing that your pet has cancer; we replace fear with hope. We offer in-depth information, resources and expertise in the latest cancer treatments.
Gone are the days when pets with cancer were considered untreatable. Hope and a plan of action have replaced the fear and helplessness families once felt after their pet was diagnosed with cancer. Every day oncologists are developing new ways to effectively treat increasing numbers and varieties of pet cancers. At Grandview Animal Hospital we are leading the way toward a better quality of life, for more patients.
One of our primary goals is to help families understand how cancer affects our unique patients. Physically, pets with cancer respond to treatments differently than humans. For example, pets treated with chemotherapy do not lose their hair unless they are terriers, poodles or sheepdogs. Also, they do not typically experience nausea and are usually subject to milder side effects than their human counterparts.
Emotionally and mentally, pets are not consciously aware that they have cancer, and therefore, have a more positive outlook that plays a critical part in their recovery.
At Grandview Animal Hospital, we believe strongly that a carefully developed diet not only helps our patients in their fight with cancer, but also provides the nutrients essential for recovery. A nutritional diet tuned to our patients' specific needs is another tool - along with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or other active intervention - that can return your pet to health.
Our veterinarians review your pet's medical records individually, thoroughly examine your pet, and then discuss the biological behavior of your pet's disease with you. Treatment options will then be presented to you, including discussion of costs involved. When surgery alone is not enough, we will develop customized plans that combine multiple treatments including the latest chemotherapy protocols, radiation therapy, immune system support, and cutting-edge innovations. The goal is to attack the disease and add quality time to your pet's life.
What is the most common type of cancer in dogs and/or cats?
Lymphoma is the most common type of cancer.
What common factors heighten the risk of cancer?
There are certain breeds of dogs which are at a higher risk for certain types of cancer than other breeds. Regardless of the breed (mixed breeds included), you should watch for the signs of cancer and bring any concerns you may have to the attention of our veterinarians so they can then run the appropriate tests to determine if a diagnosis of cancer is established. We recommend a physical exam twice yearly, along with blood work and chest x-rays once your pet has reached the age of 7 years.
Is treatment expensive?
One of the most important decisions made is a course of action that will provide the best treatment possible for your pet. The recommended plan will depend on both the type and stage of cancer; additional diagnostics may be needed in order to provide the best treatment possible. Our veterinarians will work with you to come up with the most progressive and effective treatment for both you and your pet.
When pet insurance has already been purchased, out-of-pocket expenses for treatment can be greatly diminished. There are several pet insurance companies that offer policies for coverage. In addition, CareCredit is an alternative means of payment, if approved, and it is very convenient to apply online. CareCredit has a longer-term financing plan which can make it easier to make payments. We also accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and checks.
What are some warning signs of cancer?
The following information is written by Dr. Gerald S. Post. Dr. Post is a Board-Certified Specialist in Veterinary Oncology and the Founder and a past President of the Animal Cancer Foundation.
Below are 10 warning signs of cancer in both dogs and cats. Please understand that these are just potential warning signs and should not panic you, but prompt a visit to your veterinarian.
- Swollen lymph nodes: These "glands" are located all throughout the body but are most easily detected behind the jaw or behind the knee. When these lymph nodes are enlarged they can suggest a common form of cancer called lymphoma. A biopsy or cytology of these enlarged lymph nodes can aid in the diagnosis.
- An enlarging or changing lump: Any lump on a pet that is rapidly growing or changing in texture or shape should have a biopsy-the removal of a small piece of tissue for microscopic examination. Lumps belong in lab jars, not on pets.
- Abdominal distension: When the "stomach" or belly becomes rapidly enlarged, this may suggest a mass or tumor in the abdomen or it may indicate some bleeding is occurring in this area. A radiograph (X-ray) or an ultrasound of the abdomen can be very useful.
- Chronic weight loss: If your pet is losing weight and without a diet change, you should have your pet checked. This sign is not diagnostic for cancer, but can indicate that something is wrong. Many cancer patients have weight loss.
- Chronic vomiting or diarrhea: Unexplained vomiting or diarrhea should prompt further investigation. Often tumors of the gastrointestinal tract can cause chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea. Radiographs, ultrasound examinations and endoscopy are useful diagnostic tools when this occurs.
- Unexplained bleeding: Bleeding from the mouth, nose, penis, vagina or gums that is not due to trauma should be examined immediately. Although bleeding disorders do occur in pets, they usually are discovered while pets are young. If unexplained bleeding starts when a pet is old, a thorough work-up should be performed.
- Cough: A dry, non-productive cough in an older pet should prompt chest radiographs to be taken. This type of cough is the most common sign of lung cancer. Please remember there are many causes of cough in dogs and cats.
- Lameness: Unexplained difficulty walking-or the favoring of one limb over another, especially in large or giant breed dogs is a very common sign of bone cancer. Radiographs of the affected area are useful for detecting cancer of the bone.
- Straining to urinate: Straining to urinate and/or blood in the urine usually indicates a common urinary tract infection; if the straining and bleeding are not rapidly controlled with antibiotics or are recurrent, cancer of the bladder may be the underlying cause. Cystoscopy or other techniques that allow a veterinarian to take a biopsy of the bladder are useful and sometimes necessary to establish a definitive diagnosis in these cases.
- Oral odor: Oral tumors do occur in pets and can cause a pet to change its food preference (i.e. from hard to soft foods) or cause a pet to change the manner in which it chews its food. Many times a foul odor can be detected in pets with oral tumors. A thorough oral examination with radiographs or CT scan, necessitating anesthesia, is often needed to determine the cause of the problem.
|Back to Top ||