Aboard Noah's Blog

News, information, and chatter about collectible items with animal themes, as well as some facts, figures and fun related to pets and wildlife.

Location: Mentor, Ohio, United States
Noah's Blog Sponsors

Friday, July 28, 2006

Melanoma Awareness For Pets

Source: http://keyetv.com/seenon/local_story_209181842.html

(CBS 42) While you know the importance of checking yourself and your kids for melanoma to make sure you're all cancer free, experts say there's one member of the family you may be skipping.

Pet lover Lesly Beck rushed her pug Tarzan to the vet after finding blood in his water bowl.

"I was scared, I was really scared," Beck said.

An exam showed Tarzan had a mass in his mouth.

"It was oral melanoma. The worst of the worst,” Beck said. “I didn't know they could get melanoma."

While it's shocking to many pet owners, it's actually not that uncommon.

Veterinary oncologist Mary Kay Klein says she sees it all the time, and melanoma can be just as deadly in pets as in people.

"The most common site for dogs and cats to develop malignant melanoma is in the oral cavity and in the nail beds," Klein said.

Then it can spread to the lymph nodes and lungs. As with all cancers, early detection is crucial. Klein says pet owners need to regularly check for lumps.

"Go ahead and get your hands all over them,” Klein said. “Take a look in their oral cavity when they're playing with their toys."

Lumps are either flesh tone or black. Other warning signs are blood in the water bowl or unusually bad breath. If you find anything suspicious, go to the vet right away.

"When we treat our melanomas aggressively, we can still have our patients live a very long time," Klein said.

Tarzan had surgery to remove the tumor along with several chemotherapy treatments. He's doing just fine now, but Beck does everything she can to keep a close watch on her precious pug.

"We keep our fingers crossed,” Beck said. “Now it's up to him to stay healthy."

Klein says, unlike in humans, the sun is not thought to be a major risk factor since pets usually get melanoma in areas that don't get much sun exposure.


Post a Comment

<< Home