cancer

Review: Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond

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You’re probably just as surprised as Allegra looks in the photo above, wondering why you’re seeing a book with a dog on the cover on The Conscious Cat. Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond, is definitely a bit of a departure from our usual book reviews, but I believe that this is an important book and I want to bring it to a wider audience than the one it was intended for. Even though this book is first and foremost a unique text book for veterinarians, veterinary students, interns residents, attending doctors and nursing staff, it is also a fantastic resource for cat parents who are faced with a cancer diagnosis.Continue Reading

Is Chemotherapy the Right Choice for Your Cat?

chemotherapy-cat

Updated May 2022

Finding out that a beloved cat has cancer is heartbreaking for cat parents. The sad reality is that cancer is one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States along. However, a cancer diagnosis does not have to be the end of the road. In fact, just like with humans, treatment is often possible, and chemotherapy may be one option that can allow your cat to live comfortably for many months and even years.Continue Reading

Protect Your Cats from Secondhand Smoke

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The health risks of secondhand smoke for humans are well known, but have you ever thought about how it can also affect your cats? Cats’ lungs are much smaller and have less reserve than human lungs. Additionally, cats will also be affected by the residue of cigarette smoke that ends up on their fur and skin and on furniture and carpets even after the air has cleared. This is known as thirdhand smoke, and it causes its own set of dangerous problems.Continue Reading

Studies Offer Hope for Treating Oral Cancer in Cats

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Oral cancers account for about 10% of all feline cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common oral cancers. It is a very aggressive cancer with a very poor prognosis. Even though these cancers can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation, survival time is poor, with a median survival time of three months, and an only 10% one-year survival rate.Continue Reading

The Right Diet for Cats with Cancer

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While cancer in cats is not as common as it in dogs, it is still one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States along. And because cats are masters at masking illness, it is often harder to detect.

Cancer used to be a death sentence for cats, but recent advances in feline cancer research have made treatment possible in many cases. Just like with human cancers, early detection is key to successful treatment. Depending on the type of cancer, treatment options may include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.Continue Reading

Watch Cat Videos and Help Fight Cancer

catsvscancer.org

Thanks to a new charity, you no longer have to feel guilty for watching cat videos online when you should perhaps be doing something a little more productive, like feeding your cats. Cats vs. Cancer is the brainchild of two Georgetown University graduates, Tom O’Connor and Eddie Peña. This innovative charity raises money through advertising; a portion of those dollars earned by Cats vs. Cancer, along with all direct donations, go to one of the non-profit’s cancer-fighting partners.Continue Reading

Cats Against Cancer: Precious Cat Litter Wants to Leave Cancer in the Dust

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When it comes to cat litter, I have yet to find a litter I like better than Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat. This litter has been our go to litter for many years. It clumps better than any other clay litter, it has virtually no dust, and, most importantly, my cats like it. And yes, I’m well aware of the controversy around clay litter, but I’ve found that many cats don’t like the alternative litters – certainly, none of mine ever have. And no matter how much the human “in charge” may like the idea of these more environmentally friendly litters, ultimately, the cat calls the shots.Continue Reading

Lymphoma in Cats

lymphoma_in_cats

Updated May 2022

Lymphoma, also known as lymphosarcoma, is one of the most common cancers in cats. It accounts for 90% of all blood cancers in cats, and for about a third of all tumors overall in cats. Lymphoma affects the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that plays a critical role in the immune system.

Since the lymphatic system transports lymph fluid throughout the cat’s system, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells, lymphoma can appear almost anywhere and affect different organs.Continue Reading

A Team Approach to Caring for Cats with Cancer

calico_cat

While cancer in cats is not as common as it in dogs, it is still one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States along. And because cats are masters at masking illness, it is often harder to detect.

Cancer used to be a death sentence for cats, but recent advances in feline cancer research have made treatment possible in many cases. Just like with human cancers, early detection is key to successful treatment. Depending on the type of cancer, treatment options may include sugery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Whether you choose aggressive treatment for your cat’s cancer, or whether you elect to provide palliative care, which focuses on providing quality of life for the ill cat as well as the cat’s caregiver, caring for the feline cancer patient is a team effort that involves the cat’s guardian, her veterinarian and staff, and, if needed, a social worker or bereavement counselor.

I recently had a chance to speak with Conor J. McNeill, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM (Oncology), an oncolgist at the Hope Center for Advanced Veterinary MedicineContinue Reading

Mammary Cancer in Cats

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An estimated 30 percent to 40 percent of all cats will be affected by cancer. Mammary (breast) cancer is the third most common cancer in cats, after lymphoma and skin cancer. More than 90% of the victims are female cats older than 10 years of age. Early detection of this type of cancer is critical and greatly improves chances of survival for affected cats.

Symptoms

Mammary tumors often appear as small, hard lumps the size of a pebble or pea. They may be moveable, or may be firmly attached to the skin or underlying muscle. The most common locations for these tumors are the first front sets of mammary glands, but they can occur anywhere near the cat’s nipples. In its initial stage, the tumor may be hard to feel, it’s not painful, and there won’t be any obvious clinical signs. It can be months before a growth is noticed.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is obtained by surgically removing the growthContinue Reading

Palliative Care for the Feline Cancer Patient

Buckley_November_2008

While cancer in cats is not as common as it in dogs, it is still one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States along. And because cats are masters at masking illness, it is often harder to detect.

Cancer used to be a death sentence for cats, but recent advances in feline cancer research have made treatment possible in many cases. Just like with human cancers, early detection is key to successful treatment. Depending on the type of cancer, treatment options may include sugery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

How and whether to treat cancer can be a big decision for cat parents, and factors such as the cat’s age, general health status, temperament all come into play. So do finances: cancer therapies can be expensive.

Sometimes, the right answer may be no treatment, and keeping the cat comfortable with good quality of life for as long as possible may be an appropriate choice.Continue Reading