Health related problems are a part of life. Though it’s something every pet parent would rather avoid thinking about, it’s important to educate ourselves about the conditions, illnesses or diseases our pets may suffer from in their lifetime.
There are pet social apps like PetsForever where pet parents can get information on a myriad of pet topics. You can interact on this Australian app and get professional advice on pet ailments, home remedies and other pet related issues. There is also a Q&A section where you can ask specific questions you may have. To access this world of information, simply download the PetsForever app on PlayStore for your android and AppStore for apple.
There are many costly illnesses and conditions pets can suffer from in life. Some may be common and not too costly to treat while others can surprisingly be very costly. Some of these diseases can range from major to minor surgeries, whereas others may require continued treatment, sometimes for the rest of your pets life.
Here’s a look at some of these ailments or diseases and their costs.
Table courtesy of https://www.finder.com.au/pet-surgery-cost
Unlike many other species of animals, dogs are susceptible to the same types of cancer as humans. Felines are also subject to some cancers. Cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells in the body. These cells may originate in any of the body’s tissues. If not discovered and arrested in time, the cancer can expand and spread to the circulatory or lymph systems, or spread to other tissues or organs in the body. Canine cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs aged 10 years and above. The good thing is that half of all cancer in dogs is treatable if arrested in the early stages.
Unfortunately, the life-saving cancer treatment for cats and dogs isn’t cheap. The average cancer treatment for your pet can cost $10,000 or more. This might include everything from tumor removal surgeries to, X-rays, blood work, medication and the required special dietary needs.
Just like in humans, catching the cancer early is the most important thing. It is important to be on the lookout for any unusual spots or lumps on your pet’s skin, eyes and ears.
The most common types of cancer in pets are:
- Mast Cell Tumors
- Bladder Cancer
- Brain Tumors
- Squamous Cell Carcinomas
- Malignant Histiocytosis
- Mammary Carcinoma
- Mouth and Nose Cancer
Symptoms and signs of cancer in cats and dogs
- Bumps or lumps underneath the skin
- Abdominal swelling
- Abnormal odors from the ears, mouth or any other part of the body
- Abnormal discharge from the mouth,eyes or rectum
- Sudden weight loss
- Non-healing wounds or sores
- Difficulty breathing
- Change in appetite
- Depression or lethargy
- Evident pain
- Changes in bathroom habits
Diagnosing Canine and Feline Cancer
Only a veterinarian can accurately diagnose your pet with cancer. This is the reason why it is important to regularly schedule wellness exams for your pet. Your vet can check for signs of canine or feline cancer in your pet and treat it before it advances.
Treatment Options For Pets With Cancer
There are several factors that influence cancer treatment decisions for dogs and cats with cancer. These factors may include;
- Age of the pet
- General health
- Tumor type
- The biological behavior of the tumor
- The cancer stage
The pets overall health condition plays a major role in therapy choices for cats and dogs with cancer. This includes their ability to tolerate cancer treatment. Life expectancy should also be taken into consideration. For a slow-growing tumor in an older dog, for example, treatment drawbacks might outweigh potential benefits.
Treatments for dogs and cats with cancer are similar to human therapies. They can include:
- Radiation therapy
- Herbal or Holistic therapy
Arthritis is mostly common in older dogs and cats. 1 in 5 Australian dogs suffer from arthritis at some point during their lives.
If your pet has arthritis,you’ll notice that they are slower on their feet. This is more noticeable in the morning or during cooler weather. Your pet will be slower and far less active than usual. It is not easy to tell if your pet is suffering from arthritis, so a trip to the vet is necessary if you have any suspicion of the same. Arthritis is very painful for your pet even though they won’t show much sign of complaint.
Weight control, exercise and anti-arthritic drugs can go a long way in helping your pet overcome the pain of arthritis.
Foreign Body Ingestion
Dogs and cats are curious by nature. They love to investigate new smells, sights and tastes. Unfortunately, this kind of curiosity can land them into trouble. Dogs are especially notorious for swallowing foreign objects. Whereas some of these objects will easily pass through their intestinal tract without a problem, it is common for pet parents to find all sorts of objects in their pet’s stool or vomit.
Just like toddlers, pets have a tendency to chew anything they can fit into their mouths. When swallowed, some objects can become a serious and potentially life-threatening problem. Ingesting a long string or ribbon can develop a linear foreign body which is even more dangerous to your pet.
Nationwide pet insurance reports foreign body ingestion as one of its most common claims, demonstrating the severity of this pet safety issue. In 2018, policyholders filed more than $11.5 million in claims for foreign body ingestion for dogs and cats combined.
Symptoms of Foreign Body Ingestion
One common and potentially life-threatening condition seen in veterinary practice is foreign body obstruction. Although some foreign bodies can pass uneventfully through your pet’s intestinal tract, if an obstruction occurs, surgical removal of that object is the only treatment.
Pets with ingested foreign bodies often stop eating and/or look unwell or act depressed. Some cases with intestinal foreign bodies may initially present themselves as diarrhea or vomiting.
If your pet ingests a foreign object and suffers from complete blockage, they may be unable to keep anything down, including liquids. The longer the blockage lasts, the more critical the animal’s condition becomes
How do I know if my dog has eaten a foreign body?
If you suspect that your pet is suffering from blockage from a foreign object, it is best to take them to the vet for assessment and/or treatment.
Clinical signs that your pet has ingested a foreign body include;
- abdominal tenderness or pain
- decreased appetite
- straining to defecate
- producing very small amounts of feces
- Growling or biting when handled around the abdomen
How is an intestinal foreign body treated?
If your veterinary doctor suspects or diagnoses a foreign body obstruction, they may recommend exploratory surgery for your pet. Time is critical since an intestinal or stomach obstruction may compromise or cut off the blood supply to vital tissues. If the blood supply is interrupted for more than a few hours, your pet may suffer from irreparable damage. In some instances, the foreign body may be able to pass on its own. In this event, your vet may recommend hospitalization of your pet for close observation. They may also perform follow-up radiographs to track the progress of the foreign object.
If there are any clinical signs related to an underlying condition, or if diagnostic testing indicates that your pet has compromised organ systems, these abnormalities will also require treatment.
What is the prognosis?
The prognosis is based on:
- the duration of the obstruction
- the location of the foreign body
- the health status of your pet before foreign body ingestion
- the size, shape, and characteristics of the foreign body
Your veterinarian will provide you with detailed diagnostic and treatment plans as well an accurate prognosis based on your pet’s condition.
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