Happy Cats

Coping With Your Cat’s Cancer Diagnosis

It wasn’t that long ago that the typical reaction of a pet owner to the news that their cat or dog has cancer would be to make plans to euthanize the pet. The reason behind this radical and tragic move was that the treatment for cancer was not effective enough for animals. Because of this, there was a reluctance to put a beloved dog or cat through extended and exhausting cancer treatment. This kind of treatment is often difficult for human beings to endure. As such, it may be perceived that cancer treatment for animals would be more challenging, since they do not understand what is going on. Just as human lives have been extended because of cancer treatment, animals are living longer as well, thanks to advanced techniques for treating the disease. A cancer diagnosis does not necessarily entail bringing an animal to be euthanized, there is a stronger likelihood of survival from feline cancer than ever before.

If you are aware of the signs of feline cancer and catch it early, you and your cat have significant advantages. As felines age and reach seven or 10 years, the risk of cancer increases. Regularly feeling your cat for lumps is a good strategy to troubleshoot potential problems. The cat should be brought to veterinarian if there any signs of cancer or other diseases. Through x-rays or ultrasounds, your veterinarian will determine what kind of cancer your cat has and what phase it is in. The veterinarian will look for signs of metastasis or tumors that grow in several places.

 

 

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Depending on what kind of cancer your cat has and how far along it is, the veterinarian will recommend a certain course of treatment. Surgery is often the first step for removing the tumor. Although, in many cases it cannot completely eliminate all cancer growths in the body. Surgery is often followed up with chemotherapy or radiation. As the name suggests, chemotherapy involves the administration of powerful chemicals that kill cancer cells. Radiation involves directing beams from a machine to the kill cancer cells. The objective of these treatments is to destroy malignant growths while leaving healthy cells alone. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to avoid accidentally killing some of the healthy cells. These treatments often lead to fatigue and a disruption in eating and sleeping patterns. Symptoms should subside after treatment, but talk to your veterinarian if they continue or if they lead to more severe symptoms such as vomiting and dizziness.

Cats and dogs are living longer than ever before. This means owners have to be more vigilant when it comes to troubleshooting for diseases and illnesses that can affect older cats. The risk of cancer increases as the cats gets older. So, be sure to check your pet for lumps or growths, and take your cat for annual exams with the veterinarian. If caught early, feline cancer is treatable and many cats have remained in remission following treatments such as radiation. The technology is sufficiently advanced to make cancer survival in pets more possible and likely.

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