Unfortunately, sometimes our pets have to deal with one of the deadliest diseases that threatens humans: cancer. Specifically, the breast tumor is the most common in bitches and the third most common in cats. But, Can breast cancer in pets be prevented? Maybe not always, but we can do something for them.
Longer life, but more chances of getting sick
Advances in research, health, food, etc. in the pet sector have made it possible for our faithful furry friends to enjoy, today, a much longer life expectancy than centuries or even decades ago.
However, that long life has also made pets develop certain problems that appear with age. One of them is the breast cancer
In addition, specifically in this type of tumor, half of the cases or more tend to be malignant.
Can breast cancer in pets be prevented?
It cannot always be avoided 100%, but there are certain factors that can help in the prevention of breast cancer in your pet.
The early sterilization (before two years) is one of the most effective ways to prevent our dog or cat from suffering from this type of tumor.
In the specific case of bitches, if spaying or neutering is carried out before the first heat, the risk of having a tumor in their breasts is less than 1%.
If a later sterilization is carried out, for example, after the second heat, the risk is lower than if it were never intervened, but it already reaches a 26% chance.
Spaying or neutering pets has many advantages. Not only is an unwanted pregnancy in the animal avoided, but it can also intervene in the improvement of certain behaviors, prevent psychological pregnancies in pets and some diseases related to the reproductive organs.
That the animal leads a healthy life where it consumes a good nutrition and get the necessary daily exercise It can also help, in a way, to prevent breast cancer in pets.
This is so because it has been shown that problems such as obesity or unbalanced and high-fat diets increase the chances of a breast tumor developing.
Although detecting already implies the fact that the tumor is present, the fact of doing it very soon will reduce risk of the disease developing to the point of ending the life of the pet.
The breast palpation can help you detect a lump under the skin to tell you the problem. That is why it is very important to do it with a certain frequency.
Other symptoms that could give you clues about this disease are:
- A abnormal swelling or ulceration breast tissue.
- Secretions strange mammary glands.
- Swelling of the breasts.
- And other broader symptoms like loss of appetite, pain, or weakness.
Of course, before any of these signs it will be your duty to go to a veterinary center so that the professional performs an examination and the relevant tests.
Is there a treatment for breast cancer in pets?
If we have not been able to prevent breast cancer in pets, but it has been caught in time, there are treatments that can save your pet.
In treating breast cancer in pets, surgery is the first option, since the removal of the tumor is very important. Furthermore, in this type of tumor, it is not one of the most complex interventions.
On the other hand is chemotherapy. This treatment is quite invasive at the direct level, since either orally (drugs) or intravenously, certain substances are administered to kill cancer cells.
Finally, there may also be cases in which the cancer is advanced and for this purpose radiotherapy.