Pet Cancer - A Growing Epidemic
"You look back 50 years ago, where some will say that the cancer rate may have been one in 100 dogs. Today, according to PhDs, the dog has the highest rate of cancer of any mammal on the planet. Literally, from last year, them saying one in two, to this year, one in 1.65 dogs will succumb to cancer...and one in three cats." - The Truth About PET Cancer
We all dread hearing the C word. Especially when it involves loved ones, including our furry friends.
Cancer is rising in both humans and our pets. It is a terrifying reality to face for pet owners today. Cancer causes nearly half the deaths of dogs and about a third for cats.
It is important to know the signs of cancer and learn ways to avoid this dreaded disease.
Here are some warning signs of cancer in your pet:
- swollen lymph nodes
- a growing or changing lump
- distended abdomen
- unexplained weight loss
- unexplained lameness
- excessive vomiting or diarrhea
- straining to urinate
- oral odor
There are several studies pointing to causes of pet cancer which includes both genetic and environmental influences. Genetically, we cannot control what kind of genes our pets are inherited with especially with pure bred dogs. Dogs that are bred for a specific breed, like Golden Retrievers, have a higher risk of cancer due to the limited gene pool they have been exposed to. On the other hand, mixed breed dogs have a higher gene pool so they do not have a limited number of genes that have been continually passed down, which decreases the risk of passing down a cancer causing gene.
One way pet owners can prevent cancer in our pets would be to take control of the environmental and lifestyle factors they are exposed to. Most importantly, nutrition should be at the top of the list. What we feed our pets has a great impact on their health since this is what they are feeding on daily to fuel their bodies. Processed kibble is stripped of most nutrients since they undergo high temperatures during cooking and then synthetic nutrients are sprayed on to try and add back some nutritional value to their feed. If your pet continues to eat this kibble on a daily basis, eventually their health will begin to diminish as they age and their bodies will become depleted of the fresh and nutritious food they need to thrive. A fresh food diet can help pets from the inside out because fresh diets provide the nutrients, minerals and antioxidants needed to neutralize and fight the cancer causing free radicals absorbed from our environment.
Other causes of cancer could stem from over vaccination and exposure to chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. All of these elements contain carcinogens that are linked to cancer in both humans and pets. A lot of pet owners are starting to steer away from harmful, chemical products and using more natural products and remedies to avoid any kind of exposure to these carcinogens. A natural and holistic approach to curing ailments is a much safer alternative to chemical or synthetic medications. For pet owners, the best possible advice suggests maintaining immune systems at optimum levels through nutrition, weight control, and regular exercise.