Archive for the ‘Dogs Health’ Category

Thanksgiving Foods Your Dog Can And Cannot Eat!

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Are you and your dog ready for Thanksgiving? Here are some foods your dog can and cannot eat!

Thanksgiving is only a few days away! All loving dog owners include their dogs in the celebration, but not all traditional Thanksgiving food is healthy for dogs.


According to a survey in PetMD, 56% of respondents said they share Thanksgiving table scraps with their pets.

While this is a wonderful way to share the Thanksgiving spirit with our pooches, there are also hidden dangers in it.

Here are some Thanksgiving foods your dog can and cannot eat.

Mashed Potatoes:

Potatoes on their own arefine for dogs. Just be aware of additional ingredients used when making this food. Mashed potatoes may contain cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravy which can be dangerous for your dogs and other pets.


Turkey is great source of lean protein. Just make sure to stick with white meat and remove any excess skin or fat. Also, do not give your dogturkey bones.

Cranberry Sauce:

Cranberry sauce is generally okay for dogs but make sure to watch the amount of sugar in it.

Macaroni and Cheese:

If your dog’s stomach handles lactose just fine, macaroni and cheese is a safe to share. To be safe, you can always give your dog plain macaroni.

Green Beans:

Plain green beans are a healthy vegetable treat you can give your dog. But if the green beans are mixed with the casserole, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.

Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Or Any Allium:

Don’t give your dog anything with alliums. It may be true that small, well-cooked portions can be okay.  But ingesting these foods in large quantities can lead to toxic anemia in dogs.

Grapes and Raisins:

Many people do not know how toxic grapes and raisins are to dogs. The fruit has been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs.


In the new age of food handling, artificial sweeteners are used as a substitute for sugar. It may be a healthier choice for humans, but it is terribly fatal for dogs.


Humans love chocolate and it seems that dogs cannot resist it too. While we always make sure to keep chocolates away from out dogs, mishaps happen. During the holidays, baking chocolate is often used in recipes and sometimes forgotten about by the time the dishes are served on the table.

To keep your dog safe, make sure your dog does not eat anything with chocolate, especially the baking kind.


Never give your dog any food with alcohol – even in little amounts. What humans consider a small amount can be toxic for dogs. Bear in mind that alcohol poisoning can be present in foods like fruit cake and unbaked bread.

Article reposted from:

What To Do If Your Dog Is Diagnosed With Canine Cancer

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

The dreaded “C” word. When your veterinarian comes to you and says it, it feels like time has stopped. You may even deny it at first. But, unfortunately, it’s a bitter truth that many pet owners are faced with – their dog has been diagnosed with cancer. Now’s the time, however, for action. Once your dog has been diagnosed, there are things you should do to make your pet as comfortable as possible, give you peace of mind, and may even increase your dog’s chance of survival.

#1 – Follow Instructions

Make sure you do everything your vet tells you to. The vet that diagnosed it will give you specific recommendation in regards to timely rechecks, medication, etc., and you need to follow them, says Dr. Kathryn Primm, owner of Applebrook Animal Hospital and the “Animal Stuff You Wonder About” blog.

#2 – Healthy Diet

Dr. Prim also says now it even more important that your dog is on a healthy diet. Speak to your vet about the best food you could possibly be giving him and make sure you those recommendations.

Image source: @Dixiewells via Flickr

#3 – Continue Exercising

Your dog will have a better chance at fighting his cancer if you keep him healthy. That includes exercise to keep a healthy weight, which Dr. Primm says is “very important.”

#4 – See an Oncologist

There are canine oncologists and if you would feel better about it, ask to be referred to one for treatment of your dog’s cancer. It never hurts to cover all your bases and they may have access to treatments your regular vet does not, like this scanner.

Image source: @KOMUNews via Flickr

#5 – Second Opinion

This is a scary time in the life of a pet owner. If you aren’t sure about what your vet says, or don’t feel the options she has to offer are right for you and your dog, it’s okay to go another vet and see what they say. Peace of mind is important at this time and you should do all you can to get it.

Image source: @RyanO’Connell via Flickr

#6 – Cherish Your Time

Don’t forget to take time and cherish the moments you have with your pet while he is still feeling good. In the early stages, you can often continue to do all the things the two of you love, and you should do so for as long as possible.

#7 – Create a Bucket List

A lot of pet owners are finding peace by creating and carrying out a bucket list for their best friend. It may include eating things you would not normally give him (like that fattening hot dog, just once), or taking a trip to his favorite place, getting professional pictures taken (I am so thankful for the ones I got of my childhood dog), etc.

Article reposted from:
By Kristina Lotz

Your pets don't have to live in pain

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

During many years of veterinary practice, I’ve often had people ask me how I diagnose what is hurting in their pet, when the pet cannot talk and shows no apparent signs of pain.

Indeed, in the past we used to believe that animals did not feel pain like we do, or were very stoic. Now, however, we know that all animals do feel pain as much as we do, but show it differently from humans.

Many of us complain and whine very quickly if we experience discomfort or pain. If you have a whiner for a pet, then count yourself lucky. “Pet whiners” are not as common as the “silent type,” but fortunately if these cats or dogs are in pain, they let you know. This prompts earlier attention by the owner, and the pet is often brought to the veterinarian rapidly. Pain, as you know, indicates a health problem, just like in humans.

“Dog whiners” will vocalize either by whining, barking or growling, panting and pacing. Cat whiners may yowl, hiss or meow oddly, yet rarely pant or pace. Cats having difficulty urinating often vocalize very loudly as they strain in their litter box — a sound you will never forget. Sometimes pain is localized, and you may see squinting, rubbing, chewing, intense scratching, licking or shaking of the head with either dogs or cats.

Many pets show few pain signs, even with intense pain. Subtle signs with “silent type dogs” are restlessness, eating and playing less, sleeping more, and not jumping up onto furniture they normally did. “Silent type cats” encompass about 90% of all cats, and may react like a classic fear response: crouching and hiding. Often their pupils will be dilated, and they will not sleep. Sometimes, when picked up, these cats may become very vocal. Although rare, a few cats will purr continuously right through pain — quite an amazing thing to see.

Pain can result from trouble in the following areas: joints, muscles, eyes, ears, skin, back, limbs and teeth. Dental problems in particular are very difficult to pick up, making the annual veterinary visit very important. Diseased teeth can be extremely painful, but because pets are food driven, they will continue to eat, even with rotting teeth.

If you think your pet is in pain, don’t give them human medications. Tylenol (acetaminophen) is deadly to cats and too much can cause problems in dogs. Aspirin is used in low doses for dogs and cats for specific disease conditions but should only under the direction of a veterinarian.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are used in dogs and cats but don’t give human NSAIDs to your pets. There are effective NSAIDS that have been researched and developed for pets such as Deramaxx, Metacam, Onsior, and Previcox. Your veterinarian will select the appropriate product and dosage for the pet’s pain and health condition so that side effects will be minimal.

Side effects from NSAIDs include lack of appetite, nausea (drooling and salivating excessively), vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and lots of noises from your pet’s belly. If any of these side effects occur, stop the medication and call your veterinarian.

Sometimes your veterinarian may prescribe narcotics to help control pain, particularly post-surgically. Always follow directions carefully so the maximum pain relief can be felt by your pet.

All drugs are dangerous so keep them stored out of reach from both your pets and your children. Some medications for pets are flavoured to ease the administration. Always keep a poison control hot line available should accidental ingestion occur.

One alarming side fact is that poison centres and veterinarians across North America are seeing more marijuana poisonings in cats and dogs. The Pet Poison Hotline, which accepts calls from Canada and the U.S., has seen a 200 per cent increase in these calls in the last five years. This is due to more legalization of marijuana, and availability of it for medicinal use. Unfortunately, our pets do not have the liver enzymes to break up the THC, and when marijuana is combined with chocolate in tempting cookies and brownies, they get two toxic ingredients: chocolate and marijuana. Again, keep your medications out of reach of your pets.

Sometimes pain comes gradually with age, but do not allow yourself to accept the statement that “your pet is just old.” Being old is not a disease and not a reason to accept pain.

We certainly do not accept living in pain ourselves, and will reach for some type of pain-control medication (or the good bottle of scotch) very quickly or make a visit to the dentist, doctor, or urgent-care centre. Don’t allow your pet to live in pain either.

Your pet is part of your life. Watch carefully for subtle signs of pain and seek veterinary care if necessary. A pain-free life means a longer life for your pet.

Article reposted from:
By Dr. Ron Mergl

Tips for National Pet Wellness Month October

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

October is National Pet Wellness Month and it’s a great time to remind pet owners that preventive care is the easiest way to help pets live longer and healthier lives. National Pet Wellness Month is a nationwide educational campaign sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and Fort Dodge Animal Health. Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, senior veterinary advisor for Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) offers pet owners the following tips for you to keep in mind as you help clients care for their furry family members throughout the year:

Annual exams:

Pets should visit the veterinarian at least once a year. Annual exams are a great opportunity to check on the overall health. You should also review the vaccination status and program most appropriate for clients’ pets at this time.


Not only do the procedures prevent individual medical problems such as mammary and testicular tumors and uterine infections, spaying or neutering also helps curb pet overpopulation and reduces the number of unwanted pets who are euthanized every day. Spay and neuter surgeries can be safely performed as early as 8-12 weeks of age.

Weight management:

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, veterinarians classified 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats were classified as overweight or obese. Prevention is much easier to accomplish than treatment, so help pets get on the right diet and exercise regimen.

Balanced diet:

Commercial dog and cat foods make it easy to provide a nutritionally balanced and complete diet. Dog and cat foods contain all of the different nutrients pets need in the appropriate quantities. Remind clients that it’s very difficult to create a balanced and complete diet from people foods.

Dental care:

Evaluate teeth and oral health annually. And encourage clients to brush their pets’ teeth. Unchecked, dental disease can lead to kidney problems or nutritional issues if the pet cannot adequately chew and digest food.

Senior pets:

As animals age, their dietary requirements and their ability to digest certain foods changes. When pets grow older, they lose some ability to concentrate urine so they need to produce more, and therefore need more water intake. Clients can help by feeding pets better quality proteins and avoiding red meats like beef and beef by-products. Doing this will decrease the workload on the kidneys and help prevent diseases and health issues from developing.

Article reposted from:
By staff

Breast Cancer in pets

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but chances are dog owners have no idea that their dogs can actually get breast cancer.

The bad news is that breast cancer in dogs is common, but the good news is that there are ways to prevent your furry friend from getting sick.

Vets say the best prevention method is to spay your pet before her first heat cycle.

The risk of developing the cancer is 8 percent after one heat and it jumps to a 26 percent chance after two.

If you have a pet that was spayed later in life, vets suggest performing monthly mammary exams.

“You just palpate along their mammary chain and if they have a breast lump, you’ll feel it right away, it feels like a little Beebe under the skin and the sooner you find it, the better because often times surgery to remove the lump can be curative,” said Associate Veterinarian Laura Klar, who works at the Animal Medical Center of Marquette.

Cats can also develop breast cancer, and unfortunately, there’s a greater chance a feline’s tumor will be malignant so it’s important they receive monthly exams as well.

Article reposted from:
By Rachel Droze

Help pet live a healthy life

Monday, October 5th, 2015

While pet owners often think they are providing a healthy and happy life for their furry friends, it is important to know there is much more to raising a dog than feeding it quality pet food and scratching Rover behind the ears.

Dr. Elisabeth Giedt, director of Continuing Education, Extension and Community Engagement at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University, said while a pet owner’s intentions may be good, some practices they are doing may not be in the best interest of their dog.

“Our busy lifestyles can cause us to overlook some simple measures that will help ensure you are taking the best care possible of man’s best friend,” Giedt said. “Just as it’s unhealthy for people to gain too much weight, the same is true for dogs. It’s currently estimated about 53 percent of dogs are overweight. Dogs don’t process foods the way humans do. Closely monitor the amount of pet food and don’t overdo it on the treats. Think of treats the same way you do candy bars. Parents probably aren’t letting their child eat four or five candy bars a day, so don’t give your pet multiple treats each day.”

Alternatively choose some low-calorie treats such as green beans or carrots. Some dogs enjoy fruits such as banana slices, berries, watermelon or apple slices. Be sure to remove the seeds. Plain rice cakes broken into pieces also can provide a low calorie treat.

Gum disease is common in dogs and it is estimated about 85 percent of canines over 5 years of age suffer from gum disease. This condition develops after food and bacteria collect along the gum line and form plaque in a dog’s mouth. If left untreated, this can lead to other health problems. The solution is to brush your dog’s teeth as often as possible. There also are chew toys and bones that help to reduce plaque. Your veterinarian can assess gum and teeth health during an annual exam. Your dog may benefit from a professional cleaning by your veterinarian.

Just as most people get regular health checkups, dogs also need a health exam, even if they act completely healthy. This exam could very likely diagnose a health problem before any symptoms arise.

“Depending on the illness, it’s sometimes too late to do much to help by the time some symptoms become noticeable,” she said. “Getting treatment started early is one way to improve your pet’s quality and quantity of life.”

Regular heartworm medication, along with flea and tick control, is vital for your pet’s optimum health. Fleas and ticks spread several diseases, some of which can be life threatening. Consult with your veterinarian for the best way to control these pests.

Daily exercise is important for both people and pets. Exercise not only helps keep the weight off, it also provides mental stimulation for your furry family member. It also is a great way for your pet to expel energy.

“You don’t have to load up your dog and go to the dog park. Walk around your neighborhood or toss the ball in your yard,” she said. “Everyone’s schedule is busy, but exercising with your pet is beneficial for both of you. Be aware, however, small and toy dog breeds, along with short-nosed breeds, have different exercise requirements than other types of dogs.”

Second-hand smoke can be detrimental to your pet and cause various ailments. The best option is to quit smoking altogether, but for those dog owners who cannot do this, keep your pet inside while you step outside to light up.

Although it can be cute for Fido or Rover to beg as you are eating your meals, fatty table foods can increase the risk of pancreatitis. Pet owners who have a hard time saying no to those big, pleading eyes may want to consider feeding the dog in another room while the family eats.

“Some foods, such as garlic and chocolate, can be toxic for pets. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the various types of foods that are dangerous for dogs to consume,” Giedt said.

Good parents do not let their children run around unsupervised, and the same holds true for responsible dog owners. Do not let your pet roam free, even if they are tagged or microchipped. When your pet needs to be outside, make sure to enclose them in a fenced yard. Always keep your pet on a leash when out for a stroll.

Giedt said forgoing spaying and neutering can be a danger to your dog’s health. This is still one of the best ways to reduce the risk of various cancers. Each heat cycle a female dog goes through makes her more prone to the development of mammary cancer. In addition, intact males are more likely to develop prostatic diseases and testicular cancer than neutered dogs.

“Keeping these things in mind is the first step to ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life,” she said.

Article reposted from:
By Trisha Gedon

7 Signs Your Dog Definitely Needs More Exercise

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Sufficient exercise is important for all dogs, but some require more than others. Toy breeds are fine with a regular daily walk, while working breeds might need an hour or so of running. Regardless of your dog’s breed, their individual needs will vary as well. If you think your dog is getting enough exercise but you’re seeing some of the telltale signs of inadequate activity we’ve listed here, your dog probably needs to get out a little bit more.

#1 – Obesity

Probably the easiest sign that your dog isn’t getting enough exercise is their weight. Overweight dogs need more exercise (and probably less food intake), because maintaining a healthy weight is very important. Just like people, obesity in dogs causes a wide range of health problems.

#2 – Destructive Behavior

Most destructive behavior happens when dogs are bored. A tired dog is a good dog, as the saying goes, and a bored dog that needs to burn energy will likely take it out on your furniture, walls, gardens and precious belongings. If you have an overly destructive dog, consider that a lack of adequate exercise might be the sole cause.

#3 – Excessive Barking

Many dogs will begin barking when they are bored, especially if you aren’t home. Dogs only have so many ways to communicate their feelings with us and constant barking is a great way to get our attention. Often, all they want to tell us is that they want to go outside and play! Bottled up energy almost always comes out in the form of vocalization.

#4 – Constant Rough Play

Do you have a dog that just can’t play nice? While some owners enjoy wrestling with their dogs, a dog that can’t play without being overly active is often a sign of a dog that has extra energy to burn. If they have too much cooped up energy, they’ll likely have too little self control to play softly.

#5 – Restlessness & Anxiety

Many owners note that their dogs never sleep through the night or constantly keep everyone awake as they wander around the house. Any dog that doesn’t get enough exercise is likely to be restless and if they aren’t given the opportunity to burn their energy, they will get overly anxious and begin pacing. A lack of exercise is just as bad for your dogs mind as it is their body.

#6 – Pulling On Leash

You might have a nice, obedient dog inside the house, but if their overly excited and out of control outside you might not be taking them out enough. Pulling on leash isn’t always bad behavior, it could mean that your dog just really has a lot of energy to burn and needs a nice run rather than a slow stroll. While dogs can and should be trained to behave themselves outside, it’s often not fair to ask them to be controlled when they aren’t given the opportunity to burn their energy elsewhere.

#7 – Attention Seeking

While most dogs will bother their owners from time to time, some dogs are overly obnoxious and are constantly bugging their owners. Whether they’re pushing their nose into you, dropping toys in your lap, whining and barking or just wandering around aimlessly, a dog that is actively seeking attention all day long is likely a dog that isn’t getting enough exercise.

Article reposted from:
By Katie Finlay

UW researchers testing drug as 'fountain of youth' for pet dogs

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Merlin is a black lab who works wonders as Leila Jones’ service dog. If there was a pill that could magically make Merlin live longer, Jones is buying.

“If I could extend his life a couple more years that would be great,” said Jones, who considers Merlin her only child.

Merlin may be in luck. Researchers at the University of Washington Medical Center are looking for the fountain of youth for dogs, trying to increase their lifespan by 1 to 4 years.

“We’re not turning back time, what we’re really trying to do is slow the aging process,” said Professor of Pathology, Matt Kaeberlein who is heading up the Dog Aging Project.

Bella is an 8-year-old rescue dog, a mix of Australian Shepard and Border Collie. She is among 32 older dogs participating in clinical trials, receiving doses of a drug called Rapamycin.

The pets will be monitored to see if the drug delays diseases that come with age. “Dogs also get a lot of the same diseases as people do when they get older, dogs get cancer, they get heart disease, they get dementia,” said Kaeberlein.

Researchers have studied Rapamycin’s impact on worms, yeast, fruit flies, and mice and say it’s extended the lifespan in several organisms with few side effects.

What would take 30 years to test in humans, takes 3 years to identify in dogs.

“What we’ll learn from this study will be important in applying these discoveries to human aging, but the primary goal for me personally is to improve the quality of life for pet dogs,” said Kaeberlein, who has two dogs of her own.

Bella’s owner says she signed up for clinical trials out of selfish reasons. A pet’s quality of life has a direct impact on the owner’s quality of life.

“If she didn’t greet me at the door saying it’s time to play, I probably wouldn’t go out running every night,” said Lynn Gemmell.

Article reposted from:
By Elisa Jaffe

The Amazing Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Another natural remedy that’s crossed over from humans to canines, apple cider vinegar for dogs offers a number of health benefits. Not only can this liquid be used to improve your dog’s digestion and to clear skin infections, but it can also help to repel fleas and other biting insects. There are many ways to use apple cider vinegar for your dog and his health.

Potential Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs

Apple cider vinegar can be used in a number of herbal remedies for dogs as well as humans. Some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar for dogs include:

  • Improving digestive health
  • Clearing urinary tract infections and preventing kidney/bladder stones
  • Treating bacterial and fungal skin infections
  • Repairing flaky, dry skin
  • Repelling fleas, ticks, and other biting insects
  • Increasing the body’s alkalinity to prevent bacterial and viral diseases
  • Improving ability to tolerate cold temperatures
  • Restoring health skin and coat appearance
  • Cleaning ears and preventing ear infections

Tips for Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Giving your dog apple cider vinegar orally can help to repel insects, to improve digestion, and to restore his body’s pH balance. To start treating your dog with apple cider vinegar, begin by giving him one teaspoon daily mixed with his food. This is the dosage for a 50-60 pound dog – for a smaller dog (10-25 pounds), a half teaspoon is sufficient, while for a larger dog (75 pounds and over), you can double the dosage to two teaspoons.

To use apple cider vinegar to treat skin infections or to improve your dog’s skin and coat, you can apply it directly to your dog’s skin as a spot treatment. For larger areas, mix apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and work it into your dog’s skin and coat by hand during his next bath. To repel fleas and ticks, or to deal with an existing infection, bathe your dog then apply a solution of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar.

Using apple cider vinegar to improve your dog’s health is as easy as adding a teaspoon or so to his food once a day. Apple cider vinegar itself is not particularly rich in nutrients, but it contains compounds that increase the body’s ability to absorb and assimilate other nutrients. For example, acetic acid can help to increase the ability of your dog’s body to absorb calcium. Apple cider vinegar also provides antiseptic benefits – it will help to prevent the growth of pathogenic viruses and bacteria in your dog’s digestive tract which will also boost the immune system.

Apple cider vinegar for dogs is a simple but effective natural remedy for a variety of conditions and health problems. Before you start using it for your dog, however, you should check with your veterinarian to make sure it’s right for your pooch.

Do you already use apple cider vinegar with your dog? Have you seen any changes or improvements? Let us know in the comment section below.

Article reposted from:
By Kate Barrington

How to keep your dog from dying of cancer?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

As a veterinarian, I’ve seen lots of cancers: lymphoma. Melanoma. Osteosarcoma. Hemangiosarcoma. Mast cell tumors. Wait, those are just my own dogs I’m talking about. When I factor in my clients, I think I’ve seen it all.

Dogs get cancer, at very high rates: about 50% of senior dogs die of it, if the statistics are to be believed. Why? Well, if you read overly simplified, graphics-intensive websites by people who really don’t know what they’re talking about, they will tell you that they know why cancer happens: GMOs. Preservatives. Kibble. Microwaves.

I wish it were that simple. It’s not. And the reason that line of thought drives me nuts is that it has sent so many lovely people into spirals of depression when their dog dies and someone on the internet convinced them it was their fault because they, the owner, did something terrible like feed their dog kibble or use a plastic bowl. People end up in therapy because of things like this.

Cancer is not a singular diagnosis; the type and breath of neoplastic disease means there’s often little resemblance from case to case; a transmissible venereal tumor bears very little resemblance to a splenic hemangiosarcoma. If we could pinpoint cancer to one cause, we’d all be rich. And yet, with all this secret knowledge, overall cancer rates aren’t budging.

Because I love a breed known for having one of the highest rates of cancer (is it the fact that Golden Retriever owners feed worse food overall? Or is it genetics?) I watch Brody pretty closely. Knowing that 60% of Goldens get cancer in their lifetime, I spend a lot of time inspecting him for lumps. As we speak, the largest observational study of its kind is currently underway to help us better understand what’s going on. In the meantime, you do the best you can but truthfully, there’s not a whole lot of ability to predict and prevent cancer. Even for the people who home cook organic food (sorry. Do it because you want to, not because it will make your dog live forever.)

You can save money (and life expectancy) by doing some simple things:

Knowing he is an at-risk breed, I do what I can to try and keep Brody healthy. When he gained too much weight on his food, I got the weight off. Obesity is thought to be a risk factor for cancer. Just as importantly, I get his bumps evaluated and when I find one, I don’t mess around.

The dog eats like a king; I give him the good stuff because I care about quality ingredients, though not enough to condemn people who can’t afford it. But even with his high end diets, at age 6, he’s on his second cancer. The first one, a melanoma, was excised two years ago and has yet to recur- because we caught it early. And now we have this: a little teeny ear lump.

I thought it was no big deal, but I got it evaluated anyway. See? We vets do it too. A lump is a lump is a lump. Until you get it microscopically evaluated, you just don’t know. I just got the call last week: it’s a mast cell tumor.

I’m thrilled we got this diagnosis

Am I thrilled Brody has a mast cell tumor? Of course not. They stink. Despite the fact that the visible mass is only half a centimeter, this type of tumor has tons of microscopic disease and is notorious for requiring huge surgical margins for a complete excision. For that little tiny tic-tac mass on his ear, he is very likely going to need to lose his entire pinna. (I’m getting a surgical consult this week.)

However, losing an ear is minor compared to where these things end up when people wait. You can lose an ear, but you can’t lose an entire head, for example. This is small beans compared to what lots of pets need to go through later in the game when masses grow. If we get a complete excision, this should be a closed case. And guess what? It’s so much cheaper than tons of radiation and chemo and massive surgeries. Win-win for the dog and your wallet. I’m not happy he has it, but I’m happy I know now, early.

Why wait? Aspirate that shizz!!

What one thing can you do to guarantee your pet won’t get cancer? There isn’t one.

What you can do is maximize their chances of survival and recovery: Don’t mess around. Dr. Sue Ettinger, veterinary oncologist and all-around brilliant person, has an initiative called Why Wait Aspirate that is as simple as can be: when a vet tells you that a lump is ok to “just watch”, what does that mean? When do you do more than watch it? Here’s Dr. Sue’s guidelines*:


Easy peasy, no pun intended. Of all the things you can do to help your pet live long and live healthy, none matters more than early detection.

Article reposted from:
By Dr. V
*Photo Credits: Calendar by Michael Hyde, Flickr Creative Commons license; Peas by Isabel Eyre, Flickr Creative Commons License