Golden retrievers are beautiful, loyal dogs that can be a great friend or addition to the family. However, they're also more likely to develop cancer. According to The Wall Street Journal, purebred golden retrievers have a 60 percent chance of developing canine cancer
and dying from it, which is nearly twice as high as the average among canines.Many breeds have specific health concerns tied to them, but one of the scariest things about cancer is how abruptly it can affect a golden retriever."A dog can be literally chasing a ball in the backyard, come in for a drink of water and collapse and be dead within minutes," Rhonda Hovan, a research facilitator for the Golden Retriever Club of America, told the Journal.Luckily, this isn't the fate of every dog who develops this chronic disease. Although cancer is incurable, it can be treated to help your beloved dog live a fuller, longer life. The first thing you should do is look out for the warning signs of cancer in your golden retriever and act as quickly as possible.Cancer symptoms
The earlier you notice an issue with your canine companion, the more options you'll have for treatment. Be on the lookout for bumps or tumors that may be cancer. If you are petting your pooch and notice something out of the ordinary, bring them to the vet for a follow-up appointment.Similarly, significant changes in behavior, appetite, odor, and bathroom habits can signal serious health trouble. If your dog doesn't eat, play, or move as much any more, this could also be a sign of cancer or another health problem. Inexplicable lesions and cuts are also cause for concern. Whatever you notice, call your veterinarian immediately. He or she will be able to test your golden retriever for more insight.Treatment options
If your dog does have cancer, there are multiple treatment options. Veterinarians may use one or a combination of medication, radiation, surgery, and therapy. Among the most common medications are leukeran, methotrexate, and cyclophosphamide.
- Leukeran is a generic form of the drug Chlorambucil, which is a form of chemotherapy. It's a common treatment for leukemia, ovarian cancer, and lymphoma in dogs.
- Methotrexate is an injectable, prescription medication that's used to treat neoplastic diseases and lymphoma, as well as contain the unrestricted growth of cancerous cells.
- Cyclophosphamide is a prescription pill and the generic form of Cytoxan, which can be used to treat an array of canine cancers. It is legal for treatment for dogs, although not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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