Did You Know Cats & Dogs Can Get Breast Cancer?!

Listen to the interview below as Renee and Eliot Russman, President & CEO of Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, talk about the astonishing fact that breast cancer does indeed affect dogs and cats too. 

To Recap..

In Dogs:

  • Mammary tumors are the most common type of cancer in unspayed, female dogs
  • Typically, these tumors are diagnosed in older dogs of 10 – 11 years old, although the cancer may have been developing for some time
  • Approximately 50% of these tumors are malignant
  • Dogs fed a high-fat diet, or overweight at 1 year old, are at increased risk of developing mammary tumors.

In Cats:

  • Cancer afflicts about 30% to 40% of all cats, and one-third or so diagnoses involve the mammary glands
  • Mammary cancer typically presents in middle-aged or older cats, and the prognosis is not as positive as with dogs
  • Unfortunately, over 85 percent of mammary tumors in cats are malignant and they tend to grow and metastasize quickly
  • Like breast tumors in humans, these start as a small lump in a mammary gland, and often, more than one mammary gland is affected. 

What can responsible pet owners do to protect their animals?

  • It’s really easy to check for breast lumps in dogs and cats…just add an additional minute of careful petting and loving time with them.
  • Ask your veterinarian to check for tumors with every visit…appropriate early treatment, even if the tumor is malignant, is often curative.
  • In cats, this disease is preventable by having females spayed before six months of age.
  • And, fatty, human food is not a good treat for our dogs or cats. Also…don’t forget the male dogs and cats at home…although very rare, mammary cancer does occur.

To learn more about Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, or the Hartford Marathon, click here

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