Sunday, October 23, 2011

Puppy Up!

In 2008 Luke Robinson and his two dogs Murphy and Hudson walked 2,000 miles from Austin TX to Boston to raise awareness about canine cancer. Luke had lost his beloved dog Malcolm to cancer and promised to dedicate his life to raising awareness and funding for canine cancer and comparative oncology.  Luke had a vision that if 2 dogs could walk 2,000 miles, 2 million dogs could walk 2 miles. The 2 Million Dogs Foundation and walk is the grass roots campaign that resulted and 2011 is its inaugural year. 

Cancer is a big problem in pets. According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation it affects one in three dogs and is the cause of nearly half the deaths in dogs older than 10. It's also similar to cancers found in humans and the field of comparative oncology relies on a pet-people partnership to research causes and treatments. 

From the Puppy Up! web site, learn the 10 L's of canine cancer:

  • Lumps
    Not all lumps and bumps are cancerous in dogs. There are sebaceous cysts, lipomas, and warts all of which are benign but if you detect a growth on your dog it’s important to have it checked out by a veterinarian and if warranted, aspirated and biopsied.
  • Lesions
    Scratches and abscesses are not uncommon for the normal, active dog but the sores that don’t heal can be of concern.
  • Lameness
    Bone cancer is typically found in larger breed dogs like Great Danes, Bernese Mountain dogs, Rottweilers, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, and Great Pyrenees and the primary early indication is prolonged limping or favoring a limb or side. Other types of cancers can also cause persistent lameness.
  • Appetite Loss
    If your dog shows no interest in eating or their daily consumption has declined for several days, take them to a vet.
  • Lethargy
    Tiring out easily, unwillingness to exercise and loss of interest in normal daily activities can be an early sign of cancer.
  • Weight Loss
    Not to be confused with loss of appetite. Cachexia, or emaciation, is often associated with cancer and can occur even if your dog is still eating normally. So if your dog is inexplicably losing weight, consult a veterinarian.
  • Loud Odor
    A very strong and offensive smell can sometimes be a byproduct of tumors in the mouth and nasal cavity.
  • Loss of Normal Body Functions
    Dogs having difficulty voiding or defecation or unusual urine or feces should be looked at.
  • Bleeding or Bloody Discharge
    Blood present in vomit, stool, and nasal discharge are cause for serious concern and although not always telltale signs of cancer, your dog should be examined as soon as possible.
  • Labored Breathing
    Abnormal respiration or respiratory distress can be a symptom of cancers in dogs.

Check your dog often for lumps and ask your groomer to report anything they find. We touch every part of your dog during a groom and can assist you in keeping an eye out for any suspicious lumps or lesions.

Aussie Pet Mobile will be walking on Nov 6th in Plymouth in honor of our beloved Lucky, who died this fall. No sweeter dog ever lived. If you'd like to join us, post on our Facebook page and we'll figure out logistics.

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