• Observe Pet Cancer Awareness Month Every November

     

    Pet Cancer Awareness Month reminds us pets get cancer too

    November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month
    Photo credit: User:Ohnoitsjamie~commonswiki; CC-BY-2.5

     

    You love your furry babies, and you want them to stay happy and healthy. But they do get sick. And we do whatever we can to help them.

    It’s hard to think about, but pets can get cancer too.

    Pet Cancer Awareness Month shines a light on this sad reality. It also helps raise funds to treat this disease … and offer hope for fighting it.

    The issue is so important to pet parents, that there’s actually two Pet Cancer Awareness Months.

    This one, in November, is sponsored by Nationwide—which founded the month in 2005—and the Animal Cancer Foundation.

    The other one is in May. It’s sponsored by Blue Buffalo and the Petco Foundation.

     

    Things to Know About Pet Cancer

     
    1 in 5 cats and 1 in 5 dogs will develop cancer in their lifetime. And almost 50% of disease-related pet deaths is from cancer.

    Of course, pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling, so we have to figure it out. If your pet has sudden changes in appetite or bathroom habits, get them checked out. There can be many reasons for these changes, but cancer is one possibility.

    Other common signs of cancer in pets includes these:

    • Wounds that won’t heal
    • Lumps/bumps that don’t go away
    • Weight loss (assuming they’re eating their usual amount of food)
    • Trouble breathing
    • Coughing
    • Vomiting or diarrhea
    • Lethargy/lack of interest in exercise or play
    • Abnormal odors

     

    Learn more about these signs in PetMD’s Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Pets.
     

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    As you pet gets older, it’s a good idea to pay closer attention, especially for things easy to miss. Like lumps and bumps. They may be hidden by fur. So while petting your pet, stroke slowly and try to notice anything unusual.

    Some of the most common pet cancers include:

    • Lymphosarcoma or Lymphoma (the most common and most expensive)
    • Skin cancer
    • Liver cancer
    • Spleen cancer
    • Bone cancer

     

    Treatment for cancer in pets is the same as in humans, and the specific treatment will depend on the kind of cancer. The good news is pets get lower doses of things like chemotherapy, so there are fewer side effects.

    You can learn more about pet cancer and other pet health conditions at Nationwide’s Pet Health Zone.
     

    Scroll down for some ideas on celebrating this unofficial/official holiday
     

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    Ideas for Observing Pet Cancer Awareness Month

     
    Learn more about Nationwide’s mission to #CurePetCancer.

    If you have a story of a pet who faced cancer, share it. See Nationwide Pet’s Facebook page for more information. Don’t forget to tag it with #CurePetCancer.

    In 2015 Nationwide donated $5 for every tagged share, giving the Animal Cancer Foundation $30,000.

    See recent posts and pictures here.

    You can also just donate to the Animal Cancer Foundation yourself. If you’d like, you may designate the donation as a tribute. Or dedicate your donation to a pet. You can even include some information about your pet.

    Investigate if pet insurance is the right choice for you and your furry family member. It might be just what you need to have peace of mind … just in case. Or it might not be, but it never hurts to have all the information so you can make an informed choice.

    Do you have any other ideas for observing Pet Cancer Awareness Month?

     

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