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Cure canine cancer

Causes of cancer are largely unknown, making prevention extremely difficult; but being aware of possible signs of disease in your dog greatly assists in early detection and finding the appropriate cure for recovery

Can cancer be diagnosed in dogs?

Cancer is on a steep rise in dogs and all domestic animals.

Common types of cancers that have been noticed in dogs include mast cancers, lipoma, osteosarcoma, oral melanoma, mammary gland carcinoma, primary lung tumor and thyroid carcinoma.

According to veterinary oncologist and former president of the Veterinary Cancer Society (US), Dave Ruslander, the signs of cancer in dogs are quite similar to those that show up for humans i.e., lumps, bumps, wounds that do not heal easily, unusual bleeding, any sort of lameness or swelling of the bones and enlarged lymph nodes.

At times, your pet may not exhibit precisely these signs, so you if you spot any indication that all is not well, including a sudden loss of weight, you should bring it to your vet's notice.

Occurrence of some cancers could have a genetic component. For instance, Golden Retrievers, Boxers and Bernese Mountain Dogs show a strong incidence of cancer, indicating a genetic link. However, the extent of environmental factors vs. genetics has not been determined.

A 2015 article by Dr. Joanne Intile puts forward pollution, pesticides and environmental tobacco smoke as three important environmental risk factors for cancer in pets. Other risk factors include your pet's neuter status and your pet's response to certain injections.

Dr. Intile suggests that regular physical checks at the vet (every six -12 months) help in the early identification of any signs of cancer. Early detection and assessment of any lumps or bumps on your pet's body contributes to a better prognosis.

Cancer in dogs is commonly treated by chemotherapy, surgery or radiation – one or more of these could be recommended in combination or on their own. Treatment really depends on each individual case and a veterinary oncologist will outline the course of treatment.

In India, the Advanced Centre in Treatment, Research, Education and Care of Cancer (ACTREC), located in Mumbai and affiliated to the Tata Memorial Hospital is dedicated to helping pets in need.

Can I feed my dog with sweet and sugary substances? Is it bad for its health? Or is it just a myth?

-Candy, gum and baked goods are sweetened by xylitol. It can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and even cause liver failure. Early symptoms are lethargy, coordination problems and vomiting which are followed by seizure and liver failure.

-The darker the chocolate and the smaller the dog, the more dangerous the combination. Chocolates have a toxin theobromine which is extremely dangerous for a dog.

-Even "sugar-free" gum, candy or cough drops have xylitol which can be deadly for the dog.

(Views expressed and informationprovided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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