Cancer can be a scary diagnosis for any pet owner. At Malta Animal Hospital, we offer cancer diagnostics with both laboratory and imaging technology and a variety of treatment options for pet patients.
DOG AND CAT CANCER TREATMENT
Today, cancer is very treatable and the most curable of all the chronic diseases in pets. There are many kinds of advanced treatments available to our patients, with new therapies being developed all the time.
Dogs and cats respond quite well to cancer treatment without the many side effects we see in human patients. There is every hope that, when caught early, your pet will live a long and comfortable life.
DIAGNOSING PET CANCER
The first step is to become familiar with the signs of cancer in pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association offers these 10 common signs of cancer in small animals:
- Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
- Sores that do not heal
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
- Offensive odor
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
- Persistent lameness or stiffness
- Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating.
Of course, we hope to identify cancer early in the development of the disease, at your pet’s regular wellness visit.
Some of these symptoms are indicative of other problems, as well. Early diagnosis is key to successful treatment of pet cancer and many other veterinary conditions. Diagnostics may include X-ray, ultrasound, surgical biopsy, or fine needle aspirate performed in our hospital.
If you notice any of these indicators between wellness visits, contact our hospital at once.
CARING FOR YOUR PET WITH CANCER
The kind of treatment we provide will depend upon the type of cancer and the patient’s age and overall condition. While we perform cancer surgery and other oncological treatments in our hospital, we will make referrals for more complex treatments. Recovery treatment plans are individualized for the needs of each pet patient.
Some treatment plans, especially those for senior pets, will include lifestyle changes and palliative care. Pain management is essential to any cancer treatment plan and we are committed to the most humane care of your pet. We assist you in creating the best plan for you and your pet and supporting you throughout the process.
When treatment occurs during your pet’s end of life, we are here to provide guidance. Some patients are comforted by our hospice and home euthanasia services.
PET CANCER CARE RESOURCES
- The International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care is dedicated to promoting knowledge of, and developing guidelines for, comfort-oriented care to companion animals as they approach the end of life.
- The AAHA offers this overview of cancer risk in dogs.