Dogs Health Problems and Cancer

One of the scariest diagnoses for your dog is cancer. Dogs health problems are always difficult, but when the investigation leads to cancer, it is very stressful and emotionally draining for everyone involved. Unfortunately, cancer is fairly prevalent in dogs over ten years of age with 50% of deaths being cancer related. The clinical signs of some types of cancer mimic other illness making it hard to determine the causes of many dogs health problems. If only your puppy could tell you where it hurts, right? Since they can't, here are some specific things to keep an eye out for allowing for early detection and a better chance of survival. Signs to Watch For * A new growth or change in an existing lump * Vomiting or diarrhea * Problems going potty * Bleeding or unusual drainage * Loss of appetite or lethargy * Change in gait or balance Just like humans, cancer can involve any of your dog's systems such as gastrointestinal, skin, blood, lymph nodes, etc. Certain breeds seem to be more susceptible than others to specific types of the disease. Cocker Spaniels, Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and large or giant breed dogs are some of the more affected breeds, but there is also a genetic influence with dogs health problems. Genetic Research and Dogs The ongoing battle with cancer hits home with many people. Most of us know of someone who has struggled with this horrible disease, many times even a family member. Those of us who consider our pets as part of the family know all too well that dogs can be affected by cancer too. Dogs have strong genetic similarities to humans, meaning they can get the same types of cancers with corresponding symptoms and responses to cancer-fighting treatments. Because a dog's life-span is so much shorter than a human, once they are diagnosed with cancer, their survival time period is also shorter. This is very heart-wrenching when it's your furry family member, but it has also brought about some new possibilities with cancer drug research. Since the disease progresses faster in dogs, reactions to treatments can be studied in a much more compressed time line. After running out of viable options, many pet owners are looking for answers and are willing to enroll their dog in clinical trials for testing cancer drugs. Because scientists have already analyzed the hereditary information or genome of different breeds of dogs, these studies may be able to unlock clues for one of the most dreaded of all dogs health problems and in turn, help humans find answers as well. When you see an unusual symptom with your dog, keep in mind that there are other health issues that have similar symptoms. Don't panic. Contact your vet to have a check up to help ease your mind and relieve any issues your dog might be having.