Cancer is a common disease found in senior dogs and cats alike. It promotes abnormal growth and division of cells in the body, causing bleeding, dysfunctional bones, and tumors.
It is a chronic disease that causes an immense amount of pain to pets and their parents and can be extremely expensive to treat and diagnose without cat insurance or dog insurance. However, thanks to technology and growing medical advancements, half of the cancers in pets are curable and preventable if caught at an early stage.
Cancer treatment for dogs and cats can be a costly affair for a pet parent as it requires regular visits to a licensed veterinarian, medical assistance for ongoing treatment, and healthcare facilities.
Many pet parents struggle to provide necessary medical care and treatment to their feline friends because of long medical vet bills and expenses incurred with veterinarian fees. In such cases, pet insurance for dogs and cats comes to the rescue with annual deductibles and providing pet insurance coverage. It helps pet parents bear the cost of their veterinary care and provides their pets with all the resources they need to treat cancer.
Common Types of Cancer Found in Cats and Dogs
There are different types of cancers (both curable and critical) that can affect the health and well-being of your pet. Let’s look at the common symptoms, how they are diagnosed, and how pet parents can spot them early on and seek treatment.
Lymphoma is a common type of cancer found in both cats and dogs. It extensively affects the blood cells and lymphoid tissues (found in the kidney, bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, and liver) of pets.
Cats get affected by lymphoma between the age of 2 to 6, whereas dogs get it when they turn between 8-to 11-years-old.
Lymphoma is caused due to the spread of the feline leukemia virus, which is preventable through vaccination at an early stage. Lymphoma is not curable, but you can add to the life of your pet through chemotherapy and other treatments.
Common symptoms: Loss of appetite, swollen lymph nodes, abnormal bleeding, gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea.
How to diagnose: After examining the symptoms, your veterinarian may ask to take a blood sample for testing. They may also remove a lymph node to undergo a biopsy procedure to understand the severity of the cancer. Several imaging tests and physical exams may follow this.
Mammary or Breast Tumor
It is a condition that develops in senior female dogs and cats. Though it is a rare type of cancer for male pets, they can still be affected by it. Breast cancer is just as serious as the rest, and it has the potential to spread across the whole body with time. Depending upon the size of the tumor, it is treated through surgeries at an early stage or chemotherapy when the condition is critical.
Common symptoms: Swollen or painful breasts, blood and pus discharge from the nipples, ulceration, wounds, and a change in appetite.
How to diagnose: The most reliable way to diagnose a mammary tumor is through a biopsy, and bringing your pet in if they have swollen mammary glands for an extended period of time while NOT in heat. This will help to determine the condition, stage, and nature of the disease.
Mast Cell Tumor
MCT is a common type of skin tumor found in both cats and dogs. Mast cells react and respond to allergies, and they are a type of white blood cell present in a dog or cat's body. Veterinarians often do not have an answer regarding how and what causes mast cell tumors, but it severely affects the functioning of a body. It causes inflammation on the skin along with irritation and itchiness.
Common symptoms: Biting and scratching in one area on the body, abnormal stool color or bloody stool, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.
How to diagnose: Veterinarians may take a sample of the affected skin or a lymph node to send it for biopsy. It may also need necessary blood work, abdominal ultrasound, and urine sampling.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Skin Cancer
SCC is another common skin cancer type that critically affects your pets. The normal areas to examine SCC are the eyelids, ears, and nose. The increased exposure to the sun and harmful ultraviolet rays causes unpigmented skin, which results in SCC. This skin cancer is fatal if it remains unnoticed because it can spread to other body parts. You may also find oral SCC in cats, a common oral tumor.
Common symptoms: Loss of hair, ulcers, and patches on the skin. In oral SCC, you may find symptoms like bad breath, drooling, and abnormal bleeding from the mouth.
How to diagnose: Your veterinarian may take a sample or cut out part of the affected skin for biopsy. The condition of your pet decides what type of biopsy it requires.
It is a remarkably similar kind of bone tumor found in humans. Osteosarcoma occurs due to the increasing number of abnormal cells in your pet’s body. It majorly hits the leg bone of both cats and dogs, leaving malignant effects on the spine, ribs, pelvis, and skull. Osteosarcoma majorly affects older dogs and cats.
Common symptoms: Dysfunctional bones, limbs, swelling, lethargy, decreased appetite, and excessive pain.
How to diagnose: You may ask to get X-rays of your pet's affected area followed by blood tests. If need be, your pet may also undergo a biopsy.
Why Do You Need Pet Health Insurance To Help With Cancer?
Irrespective of the type of cancer, you need good pet insurance for your dog or cat as it helps you bear the cost of the cancer treatment and insurance covers cancer treatment, emergency visits, medication and more.
As mentioned above, to diagnose different types of cancer, you may require to take your pet to various clinics and pay substantial fees for X-rays, biopsy, blood tests, imaging scans, and urine tests. In such cases, dog health insurance or pet insurance for cats helps you budget and cover the cost.
Both pet insurance for dog and cat help you provide necessary care to your pet, including routine veterinarian visits, medical assistance, medical care, and treatments.
If you are a cat parent, pet insurance for cats can help you get to an experienced veterinarian that provides quality services and assistance to treat cancer. Similarly, cost-effective pet insurance for dogs helps you reach out to a medical professional specializing in treating cancers in dogs.
A pet insurance plan offers an ideal way to become a committed and loyal pet parent. You remain well-informed about the condition of your pets at every stage as you take them to their doctors regularly.
The recovery procedure, post-surgery period, and chemotherapy become a lot easier and more convenient with a pet insurance plan. You don’t have to worry about any incurred costs because everything is covered under your dog's health insurance or pet insurance for your cat.
If your pet is suffering from cancer and you are worried about its treatment, visit Wagmo. Wagmo offers customizable dog health insurance and pet insurance for cats at an affordable price.
You can take a test and find out the best pet health insurance plan that suits your budget and the condition of your furry friend.