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Update: Pet Cancer Awareness

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With two days to go Blue Buffalo announced they have reached their goal of $2 million in their Pet Cancer Awareness fund raiser. Don’t let that put you off donating during the final days as every dollar counts. Through June 1 you can still visit any Petco store and either choose a donation amount at the register or purchase any bag of Blue dog or cat food and Blue Buffalo will donate $1 toward the fight against pet cancer (up to $100,000). You can also make a donation directly at PetCancerAwareness.org.

In addition to supporting universities and clinics that are conducting research on the causes, prevention and treatment of canine and feline cancers, part of this year's donations will be going to the Riedel & Cody Fund. The foundation helps cat and dog caregivers who are unable to cover the high costs of treating their animal companion’s cancer on their own.

Pet Cancer Awareness is devoted to improving the early detection of pet cancer; the #1 disease-related cause of death for dog and cat companions. To help raise awareness of the warning signs of cancer, and to know the steps you need to take to protect and keep your cat or dog healthy, Pet Cancer Awareness’ Dr. Gerald S. Post offers the following advice:

Some of the warning signs that could indicate your cat or dog may have cancer and needs to see your vet.

  • Swollen “glands”, the nodule clusters found throughout the body but most easily detected behind the jaw or knee become swollen.
  • Any lump on a cat or dog that is rapidly growing, oozing, or changing in texture or shape should be assessed.
  • A stomach or abdomen that becomes rapidly and suddenly enlarged may suggest a mass, tumor or bleeding in this area.
  • Chronic weight loss may or may not be a sign of cancer but, whatever the cause it needs to be checked. If you have your furry companion on a diet, weight loss should be gradual, not sudden and rapid as that can cause medical issues.
  • Unexplained chronic vomiting or diarrhea need to be urgently checked by a vet regardless of cause.
  • Unexplained bleeding that is not due to trauma and occurs from the mouth, nose, penis, vagina or gums. There are other reasons for bleeding disorders in cats and dogs; all should be checked out.
  • A dry, non-productive cough in an older pet is the most common sign of lung cancer. But be aware, there are many other causes of cough in dogs and cats.
  • Unexplained lameness is a common sign of bone cancer but injury and arthritis also needs to be ruled out.
  • Straining to pass small amounts of urine with or without noticeable blood in it usually indicates a common urinary tract infection. If these symptoms are not rapidly controlled with antibiotics or the problem keeps recurring, the underlying cause may be cancer of the bladder.
  • Oral tumors are a possibility if your furry companion changes its food preference (i.e. from hard to soft foods) or the way it chews its food. Often a foul odor is noticeable too. This could be a bad tooth but that needs to be taken care of too.

Find out more about cat and dog cancers on the Pet Cancer Awareness site.

Remember; every dollar counts!

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