It’s early on a Thursday morning and you’re drinking your coffee, reading the news, about to wake the kids, and suddenly you hear the phone ring. It’s the call you’ve been dreading, it’s the vet. They’re calling to tell you that they’ve gotten your pet’s test results back and have diagnosed Fluffy with cancer. Your heart sinks.
It’s the news no pet owner ever wants to get but it’s the reality that so many of us have faced. Roughly 6 million dogs and another 6 million cats receive a new cancer diagnosis each year. The good news is that there has been a lot of research and testing done to advance the veterinarian field of oncology and the science is getting more advanced every day. With that, there’s more information available to us about what to watch for and what to do if you notice some of the typical signs of cancer.
So what do you do if you notice any combination of these symptoms? The first step should be to take your dog or cat to see the vet. Your vet will want to run some tests, potentially including blood tests, fecal or urine tests, rectal exams, and even MRI’s, x-rays, or ultrasounds.
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