November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

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Just like their owners, pooches face the dangerous threat of cancer that can cut their lives short. November marks the fifth annual National Pet Cancer Awareness Month to spread knowledge about the leading disease-related killer of dogs.

Pet cancer claims millions of canines and felines each year, causing

numerous organizations to get involved in the awareness campaign

. Blue Buffalo Company established the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research and the Pet Cancer Awareness Program in 2003 to provide owners with necessary information about cancer, raise awareness on the issue and help find a cure.While clinical research is expensive, groups like Blue Buffalo and the Animal Cancer Foundation help fund facilities that investigate and develop potential oncology treatments.

Recognizing signs of pet cancer

According to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, roughly

30 percent of older dogs die from cancer

. All pooches, whether purebred or mixed-breed, are susceptible to cancer development. Because of this, it's important for owners to be able to identify various symptoms that might indicate the presence of a malignancy.

  • Changes in activity level: For the most part, pups are naturally energetic during their younger years. They might slow down as they age, but sudden changes in physical movement are red flags that something is wrong, PawNation explained. Malignant tumors can have side effects that make your furry friend sluggish almost overnight. If you notice these changes, it's critical to take him to the veterinarian right away.
  • Big belly: Much like humans, it's natural for canines to put on some extra weight as they get older. But Fido shouldn't suddenly wake up one day with a bulging belly. Ruptured or growing tumors in the midriff can result in enlarged bellies for dogs.
  • Hindered movement: Due to deteriorating cartilage and joints, canines can start to limp as their legs become stiff. They can even walk with a small hitch after vigorous activity and require some rest, according to PawNation. But any limping that lasts more than a week should be evaluated by a vet, as it could be complications from pet cancer.
  • Sudden collapse: If your canine falls to the ground without warning and can't get up, he needs immediate medical attention. This could mean a tumor has ruptured or your pooch has heart disease.

For owners who have pooches living with pet cancer,

PetPlus

has treatment plans and products available at discounted prices that can improve their quality of life.

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