NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- May is pet cancer awareness month. With more than 30% of older dogs succumbing to cancer, cancer is the leading canine killer, according to the Journal of Veterinary Medicine. Murphy Road Animal Hospital is using the month of May as an opportunity to raise awareness about the risk for cancer in pets, especially older pets. All dogs are at risk for canine cancer. The most common types include lymphoma, melanoma, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and mass cell tumors. Veterinarians at the animal hospital are educating pet owners about the warning symptoms for cancer and what they can do to reduce the risk of their pets.
With nearly a third of all older pets eventually succumbing to cancer, Murphy Road Animal Hospital is using May's "Pet Cancer Awareness" month to educate pet owners about the warning signs of cancer in their pets.
"Cancer can affect dogs and cats of all ages and breeds," said Dr. I. Craig Prior. "Typically, however, cancer strikes pets aged seven or older. By educating pet owners about the increased prevalence of cancer in pets, we are hoping for more early diagnosis and improved treatment outcomes."
The warning signs for cancer in dogs include unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, sores that do not heal, an abnormal swelling that persists or continues to grow, offensive odor, bleeding or discharge from any body opening, and difficult eating or swallowing.
Pet owners who are concerned about an unexplained change in their pets' health are advised to schedule a diagnostic appointment with a veterinary hospital. Dr. Prior recommends that senior pets have semi-annual wellness exams to assess their overall health, regardless of their risk for cancer.
During a senior pet wellness exam, the veterinary team conducts a "nose to tail" exam as well as running extensive blood work and a urinalysis. Dr. Prior says that veterinarians are looking for muscle loss, joint problems, body masses, diabetes, liver disease, possible organ failure and other anomalies.
"We call this our senior pet health exam because it truly encompasses all aspects of a pet's overall well-being and health," said Dr. Prior. "During this exam and testing we will look for the warning signs of pet cancer. However, we encourage pet owners to be vigilant and monitor their pets, especially as they age. If they see a suspicious change in appearance or behavior, I encourage them to schedule an appointment as soon as possible."
In conjunction with "Pet Cancer Awareness" month, Murphy Road Animal Hospital is offering pet owners 25% off a senior wellness exam (including the exam, Total Body Function Bloodwork and urinalysis). The offer is good for pets aged seven or older who have not had a recent wellness exam or are new to the animal hospital.
To learn more about pet cancer and the warning signs, visit http://murphyroadvet.com.
CONTACT: Murphy Road Animal Hospital, 615-383-4241Source:Murphy Road Animal Hospital