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Pet Cancer Awareness

The word “cancer” sends a chill down everyone’s spine. Its prevalence and severity cannot be denied. In preparation for National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, which is observed annually in May, we want to share tips on preventing, recognizing, and addressing cancer if ever your cat or dog is diagnosed.

Pet Cancer Awareness: Most Common Cancers in Cats

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According to Colorado State University, one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in cats is Lymphoma: a cancer of the lymphocyte blood cells and lymphoid tissues. Lymphoma in cats can be caused by Feline Leukemia Virus, also referred to as FeLV, and is a risk factor for cats living with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Unfortunately, cats of all breeds, ages, and sexes can be affected by Lymphoma.

Other common feline cancers include Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Fibrosarcoma, and mammary tumors.

Pet Cancer Awareness: Most Common Cancers in Dogs

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While more common in cats than in dogs, Lymphoma also tops the charts as one of the most common cancers in dogs with approximately 24% of new canine cancer diagnoses being Lymphoma. Osteosarcoma or bone cancer is also increasingly common, accounting for 85% of skeletal tumors in dogs. Mast Cell tumors, Oral Melanomas, and Hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the cells lining blood vessels, are also becoming increasingly common in domesticated dogs. 

Pet Cancer Awareness: Preventing Cancer in Cats & Dogs

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Unfortunately, there is no cure for cancer. Even prevention is not a guarantee that our beloved pets will live out their days cancer-free.

That said, there are some simple ways in which we can reduce our pets’ risk of developing cancer. Cancer-prevention strategies include feeding a high-quality, species-appropriate diet, maintaining our pets’ weight through regular exercise and proper nutrition, and having our pets seen regularly by a veterinarian.

Pets can be highly affected by environmental toxins like asbestos, pesticides, and second-hand smoke therefore it’s also important to maintain a home environment in which we limit our cats’ and dogs’ exposure to toxins. And, it’s best to keep cats indoors to ensure they aren’t exposed to environmental toxins, viruses, and other dangers outside the home.

Pet Cancer Awareness: Recognizing Symptoms

Unfortunately, the symptoms of feline and canine cancers can be as varied as the cancers themselves. Our pets may also mask discomfort and pain quite well, as part of their survival instinct and self-preservation. It can therefore be difficult to recognize symptoms of cancer until it’s progressed. For this reason, it’s important to maintain regular veterinary visits to track your pet’s weight, activity levels, blood panels, etc. to recognize significant changes and alert care providers to concerns.

Pet Cancer Awareness: What To Do About A Cancer Diagnosis

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If ever you’re faced with a cancer diagnosis in your pet, we highly recommend you meet with a veterinary specialist to discuss your options.

Many pets have excellent prognoses after undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, etc. Of course, the pet’s overall health, age, and quality of life play a large part in the treatment options that are offered as well as the pet’s outcome. 

Pet Cancer Awareness: How to Pay for Cancer Treatment

Because approximately half of dogs over the age of 10 and one in 5 cats will develop cancer, it’s important that families be financially prepared for the possibility that their pet may develop cancer, especially in their later years. While pet insurance is a great option in these cases, pet-specific savings accounts can also help cover the significant expenses associated with pet cancer treatments.

house of paws pet care st, louis' most trusted pet care

At House of Paws Pet Care, our team of professional pet sitters and dog walkers is happy to help care for your pets, whether they are healthy as can be or undergoing aggressive cancer treatment.

To learn more about our dog walking, dog adventure, and pet sitting services, contact us at

(314) 690-5154 or email If you're ready to book services in one of our service areas submit a new client form to begin our registration process.

House of Paws proudly serves Eureka, Wildwood, Ballwin, Manchester, Maryland Heights, Des Peres, Fenton, Chesterfield, Valley Park, Ladue, Creve Couer, Town & Country, Kirkwood, Sunset Hills, Clayton, Webster Groves, Maplewood, The Hill, South City & Affton.

We look forward to caring for your paws-itively perfect pet(s)!


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