Mammary Gland Tumours
The topic of breast cancer and the awareness that surrounds it can be a sensitive health issue for many people, and one that has no doubt touched the lives of many of our clients and their families. Pet health care professionals around the world want pet owners to be aware that breast cancer in humans and mammary cancer in companion animals are the same disease. It is a shock to learn that dogs, cats, and other domestic pets can get breast cancer.
Lumps and bumps are certainly more common and often a little more worrisome in older pets, but that’s not to say that those younger pets don’t get them - they do! Mammary Gland Tumours are the most common tumour in female dogs and the third most common tumour in female cats. This is a scary thought but it’s important to understand that not all mammary tumours are cancerous.
If a lump is detected it is advised that your veterinarian examine your pet and take a sample of the lump. Taking a sample of a lump on a pet is as easy as putting a needle into it to collect a few cells which is known as a fine needle aspirate. Sometimes it might be necessary to take a piece of lump under anaesthetic, otherwise known as a biopsy. These samples would then be examined to determine if the lump/mammary tumour is cancerous or not. Once the results have been confirmed your veterinarian would then advise the best treatment plan for your pet.
Fortunately, for our companion animals there are precautions that we can take to reduce the risk of a dog or cat getting Mammary Gland Tumours. The most important precaution of all is to have your pet desexed at the recommended age (5-6 months).
Become familiar with your pets body, just as you do your own body, and check your dog and cat on a regular basis. You can check your pet by running your fingers through their coat, lightly starting with the head, back, sides, down the legs, chest and the belly. If you feel something unusual, notice a new lump or notice a lump has changed in size and shape we recommend that you have it looked at by your local Greencross Vet.
CLICK HERE to learn more about mammary cancer and other lumps that you should be mindful of when it comes to your pet's health and wellbeing.