Preventing Cancer in Dogs
Cancer is one of the biggest health problems amongst all dogs of all breeds. Not only can it, in many cases prove fatal, but it can also cause serious discomfort in your dogs’ bodies that will no longer allow them to live an active and healthy life.
While some kinds of cancer are hereditary and are almost unavoidable, some forms of cancer in dogs can actually be avoided or at the very least see its chances of taking hold greatly reduced.
Thus, as a dog owner, it is always useful to understand what you can do to help reduce the chances of cancer in your pup.
Common Types of Cancer in Dogs
Cancer is a disease that causes uncontrolled cell growth within the body’s cells. Able to affect almost every body system in dogs, uncontrolled cellular hyperplasia [cell multiplication and growth] of various kinds can affect almost all parts of the body.
Lymphoma in Dogs
Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell and are natural component of the immune system of the body in dogs.
When your dog has any form of lymphoma, these lymphocytes target and attack the body instead of just targeting foreign bodies and viruses that may cause diseases. It is mostly characterized by the swelling of the lymph nodes that can be found in and around the neck.
Melanoma in Dogs
Melanoma is also common in dogs. It is a kind of skin cancer in which dogs develop benign tumors that can spread all over the body, including the mouth area and the lungs. It affects the melanin in the skin of dogs.
Melanin, as in humans is a naturally occurring pigment which darkens the skin in response to and ensures protection from sunlight and UV rays. However, much like with any other body system and any other cells, uncontrolled growth is characterized by the formation of cancer.
Large breeds are also vulnerable to bone cancers such as osteosarcoma. This is often characterized by swollen joints and pain in the bones since the tumors target bone tissues.
Other common types of dog cancers are breast cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer, and brain tumor.
How To Prevent Cancer in Dogs
The first thing to do is to get to know more about your dog’s breed. Some breeds are more susceptible to some types of cancer. For example, breeds like Basset Hounds, Collies, and Dalmatians are prone to skin cancers. On the other hand, Great Danes, Irish Setters, and Golden Retrievers are more prone to bone cancer.
This way, you could tweak your dogs’ lifestyle to prevent the types of cancer their more likely to develop.
For example, if you have large dogs, it’s best to add glucosamine, MSM, yucca, and chondroitin to their diet. These nutrients prevent bone cancer. They promote faster cartilage repair, tendon elasticity, and arthritis protection. Your dogs can acquire them through red meats, seafood, and some hip and joint chews.
On the other hand, if you own dogs with thick coats and fur, it’s best that you give them a generous amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. These nutrients can improve the skin and coat condition of your dogs, making them less vulnerable to skin cancer.
Research has also shown that exposure to and inhalation of toxic chemicals can lead to the development of cancer or at the very least, increase the chances of one form of cancer or the other developing. This is why you should not expose your dogs to pesticides, paints, and even second-hand smoke.
Regular exercise can also help on the development of the muscles and body endurance of the dogs.
It’s also best to boost your dog’s immunity through a balanced diet. Aside from the dog food prescribed by your veterinarians, you can give them regulated amounts of vegetables, fruits, and meat.
However, when doing so, you should also introduce them to probiotics for dogs, which are effective digestive supplements. Dogs may have difficulty in digesting these kinds of foods, so they need additional amounts of probiotics. These good bacteria not only help them digest food but also ensures that their body will absorb the nutrients they need.
Treatment of cancer could be really expensive. Surely, you don’t want to shed money if you could actually prevent them.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard