By now most of you are aware that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. What you may not realize is that the disease is not just for humans. In fact, nearly 1 out of 3 unspayed female dogs between the ages of 5-10 are susceptible for developing mammary tumors with half dying from malignancies. While the best way to prevent the risk is to have your dog spayed before her first heat, breeds considered to be at the greatest risk for developing breast cancer include Boston terriers, bull dogs, golden retrievers, cocker spaniels, Rottweilers, boxers and Bernese mountain dogs, as well as Scotties.
Spaying can also help prevent breast cancer in cats, especially if it is done before the kittens are six months old. In fact, it has been reported that cats who are spayed by then have “a 91% reduction in their risk of developing the disease, while those who have the operation before they are a year old have an 86% reduction.” Most malignancies will begin to appear in unspayed felines around the age of 10 or 12.
Pet owners should check their animals’ teats for any changes or lumps on a regular basis, especially when rubbing their tummies. Any irregularities should be reported to your vet at once.
For more information contact your family vet. Connecticut readers can also contact the CT Veterinary Medical Association at 100 Roscommon Dr., Middle Town, CT 06457 860 635-7770.