Cancer. Can’t lie, I hate everything about this word. This disease has taken far too much away from me and fellow board members, as I’m sure it’s taken from you as well. (Not to mention, losing a beloved pup to the Big C is why Fur Kids Foundation exhists.)
I learned today in an email from Doggy Loot that May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. This email also said that 1 in 4 dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. And, that cancer accounts for 50 percent of all disease-related pet deaths each year.
I’ve been following a group on Facebook called the Puppy Up Foundation. Every month, they encourage their followers to do a monthly feel of their dog(s). And they do it with flair—check out April’s post:
Much like women are encouraged to do monthly breast self-examinations to help find cancer early, Puppy Up is encouraging you to do the same. I’d venture that most of you take your dog to a yearly visit with your veterinarian—puppies and older dogs should be seen more frequently. At this visit, your vet will perform a physical examination of your dog, as well as ask you questions about your dog’s diet, habits, lifestyle and general health. But, once or twice a year is a long time to go for your dog to be examined. To help keep your dog healthy, you need to be more involved in their care. Early detection, just like regular visits to your vet's office for vaccinations and other preventative care measures, will help keep your pup healthy longer.
And, we have a great example. Recently, FKF board member Tara did a monthly feel on her pooch, Sasha. During that feel, she found a lump and decided it was time to take Sasha in to have it looked at. The vet had the lump biopsied, tested, and later, they removed the entire lump and little extra for good measure. Thankfully, Sasha is on the mend (though, we now call her Franken-butt), and will likely be healthy for a long, long time. Thanks to Tara’s monthly feel.
Fur Kids Foundation believes that early detection saves lives. We encourage you to take 10 minutes once a month to feel and look for lumps, bumps, swellings and any discolorations on your pet. Check them from head to toe, including the inside of their mouth and ears. Keep a record of growths, so you can keep track of anything you think may be suspicious, or new. And, if you do find something, watch your dog for any unusual behavior or change in attitude, as this may also be an indicator that something may be wrong with their health. Be sure to follow up with your vet if you believe that anything is wrong.
If you get a minute, type #FeelYourDog into the search bar on Facebook and see what comes up. The Puppy Up Foundation has lots of great information for you to read and share. And, if you’re looking for more information on cancer, check out the following resources below:
· Animal Cancer Foundation
· The Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research
· Canine Journal: What are the signs of Cancer in dogs?
· The Grey Muzzle Organization - Cancer Wellness
· Puppy Up Foundation
· Puppy Up Foundation - Early Warning Signs: Love your dog? Learn the 10 L’s
Created in November 2011, the Fur Kids Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of animals in Campbell County.
Your donation saves lives. It goes to work helping animals in Campbell County receive adequate veterinary care during a time when their family may not be able to afford it. Please contact the Foundation to learn more or donate now using PayPal.