November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

National Cancer Foundation: 1 in 4 dogs, 1 in 5 cats will get cancer in their lifetimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s gut-wrenching to think about your cat or dog being diagnosed with cancer. How can such an adorable creature be stricken by such an awful disease? Difficult as it may be to imagine, pet cancer is also a topic that demands your attention.

What better time to discuss the risks and warning signs of cancer than during Pet Cancer Awareness Month? Broadening your knowledge of pet cancer could very well save your beloved buddy’s life down the road. The purpose of this article isn’t to raise alarm but rather awareness about the facts, symptoms, forms and treatments associated with pet cancer.

Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, according to the AVMA

A Growing Concern

With advances in medicine, cats and dogs are living longer than ever before. An aging population of pets has also led to a sharp increase in cancer diagnoses. As a matter of fact, roughly six million cats and dogs will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Furthermore, cancer is also the leading cause of death in dogs and afflicts more than half of dogs over 10 years old.

There are nearly 100 types of animal cancers

Symptoms of Pet Cancer

  • Abnormal swelling
  • Wounds that won’t heal
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing or urinating
  • Lameness, stiffness and lethargy
  • Bleeding or discharge
  • Persistent odor

Common Forms of Pet Cancer

Mammary Gland Tumors – The most common form of benign and malignant tumors in dogs. Not common in cats. Consult a vet to examine your pet to determine if a tumor is malignant.

Skin – Skin tumors are common in older dogs, but are often benign. Tumors tend to be malignant in cats. Let your vet examine skin tumors to determine if they’re cancerous.

Head and Neck – Neoplasia (abnormal tissue growth) of the mouth is more common in dogs. Warning signs include bleeding, difficulty eating or a tumor on the gums. Both cats and dogs are susceptible to neoplasia inside the nose. Warning signs are difficulty breathing, bleeding and facial swelling

Lymphoma –  Common form of neoplasia in cats and dogs. Lymphoma is a cancer occurring in the white blood cells and it’s characterized by enlargement of the lymph nodes, lethargy, weight loss and lack of appetite.

Osteosarcoma – Better known as bone cancer, it’s much more common in large breed dogs over seven years old. Bone cancer is rare in cats. Signs include pain, lameness or swelling of the bone or joints.

Abdominal tumors – It’s a challenge to make an early diagnosis but weight loss and swelling are symptoms typically associated with abdominal tumors.

Happy, healthy and active!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Prevention and Preparation 

You might not be able to prevent cancer altogether but you can certainly do your part. We encourage all pet parents to practice good nutrition and general care to help your pet live a long, healthy and happy lifestyle.

  • Spay or neuter your pet to significantly reduce the risk of testicular or mammary gland cancer.
  • Feed your pet a nutritious diet. Obesity in cats and dogs is one of the major risk factors for cancer. Avoid giving your pet too many treats or table scraps to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise. Get out there and have some fun with your pup. Go for long walks or hiking excursions to stretch your dog’s legs. Regular exercise can help reduce your pet’s risk of obesity, diabetes and cancer.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Regularly brush your pet’s teeth and practice good oral hygiene to decrease incidence of oral cancers.

Nearly half of all cancers are curable if caught in time. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), early detection is a critical part of curing cancer in pets. Fortunately, a cancer diagnosis isn’t a death sentence. The majority of cancers can be treated surgically while chemotherapy and radiation are options. Your vet will help you obtain a definitive diagnosis and develop a treatment plan to restore your pet’s health.

Bring Your Dog on the Road and Leave Stress at Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s generally accepted that dogs love car rides, right? Just picture a dog with his ears flapping in the breeze. But, that’s not always the case. Truth be told, many dogs endure travel-related stress that results in diarrhea, loss of appetite and anxiety.

Can’t imagine leaving your fur ball home but hate the stress of travel? Driving, flying or moving with a dog doesn’t have to be a stressful experience for you or your four-legged friend.

Whether it’s a road trip or cross-country flight, you can help assuage your dog’s stress and prepare him for the long and winding road ahead. Here are a few tried and true tips to help keep stress at bay during your next trip:

5 Ways to Reduce Pet Stress on the Road

  • Don’t leave home without it Pack a dog travel kit that includes essentials like food, medication, plastic bags, toys, treats and beyond. These familiar objects will provide comfort away from home.
  • Are we there yet? Take frequent bathroom breaks so your dog can stretch its legs and expend energy. Long walks will help bring calm to car rides and hotel stays.
  • Check your luggage You’ll have to use a carrying case if you’re flying with a dog in tow. Give your dog plenty of time in advance to get familiar with the case. That’ll reduce stress during air travel.
  • Try Composure™ Supplements like Composure™ represent an alternative to traditional medicine. Give your dog a Composure to alleviate stress when travelling. It’s safe to double and triple dosage when necessary.
  • Home Sweet Home Sometimes you have to leave your dog home. Don’t force it if your dog isn’t up for a long trip. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

5 Tips for Reducing Your Dog’s Stress During Vet Visits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s no secret that dogs hate vet and grooming visits. Can you blame them? Getting poked and prodded certainly upsets the daily routine of eating, sleeping and playing. Vet trips are similar to how we feel about dental exams: uncomfortable and inconvenient but absolutely necessary.

Every pet owner knows that annual check-ups and vaccinations are critical to a dog’s long-term health. Unfortunately, providing the best care for your dog requires an anxiety-laden trip to the vet’s office every once in a while.

But, vet and grooming appointments don’t need to be such traumatic experiences for pets or pet parents. Follow our advice below to alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with vet visits:

How to Enjoy Stress-Free Vet and Grooming Visits

  • Treats Galore Bring plenty of treats to reward your dog’s good behavior from the waiting room to the exam table. Keep meals light to help maintain an appetite.
  • Bring Toys, too Does your dog get nervous or anxious in strange environments? In that case, bring a favorite toy to provide a familiar scent and dose of comfort at the vet’s office.
  • Happy Visits Bring your dog to the vet clinic before the appointment. Many clinics encourage “happy visits” where the staff pets your dog and feeds him treats. This will help your dog relax during vet exams.
  • Joy Rides Take your vet on car rides that end with a walk in the park. That way, your dog won’t associate the car with only vet appointments.
  • Use Supplements Give your dog a Composure™ chew to promote calm behavior before a vet visit. It’s safe to double and triple dosage when necessary. An added bonus is that Composure™ tastes like a treat!

Help to Relieve Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve all been there before. You’re trying to leave for work but your dog won’t let you go. Scratching, clawing and barking. Your best buddy will do just about anything for you to stay home and play. Unfortunately, getting out of the house is only part of the problem.

While you’re at work, your dog engages in destructive behavior like ripping a pillow to shreds or gnawing on your favorite shoes. Incessant barking and howling draw complaints from irritated neighbors. You spend much of the day worrying about your furry friend. Get home after a long day’s work and your dog is a relentless ball of energy.

Any of that sound familiar? If so, your dog demonstrates the classic signs of separation anxiety and boredom. It’s simply your dog’s reaction to being left alone all day. Separation anxiety isn’t only hard on your best buddy; it’s hard on you!

But, you can intervene before symptoms worsen and behavior becomes harder to manage. Follow these tips to alleviate separation anxiety and take back your work day:

How to Prevent Separation Anxiety in Dogs

  • Get Exercise What better way to expend all of that energy then with a long walk or game of fetch? Your dog won’t have the energy to act destructively after you head out the door.
  • Favorite Toys Right before you leave, give your pup a treat-filled toy to distract him from your imminent exit.
  • Keep it Simple Don’t make a big deal about your departure. Your dog will take its emotional cues from your own behavior and react in kind. Stay calm and keep your entrances and exits low-key.
  • Try Supplements Try using naturally sourced supplements like Composure™ to alleviate stress. Give one Composure™ chew 30 minutes before leaving to encourage relaxed behavior without side effects.
  • Consult Your Vet Still can’t find a solution? Helps starts by talking to your vet today. Let a trained expert determine the best way to handle your pet’s separation anxiety and boredom.

Introduction to DockDogs: The Fastest Growing Sport on Four Legs

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…dog?

DockDogs, the world’s premier canine aquatics competition, tests the ability of dogs to run, jump and swim in three uniquely challenging disciplines. Participating dogs must channel their inner Olympian to be crowned as a DockDogs champion.

But, it’s not all about taking home the gold. DockDogs is just plain fun and it’s a great way for pet parents to bond with their pups in the spirit of competition.

How does it work?

Dogs of varying ages, sizes and breeds compete in three disciplines: Big Air, Speed Retrieve and Extreme Vertical. Every dog is led by a designated handler, who must be at least seven years old to compete. Dogs of all skill levels are encouraged to get involved and compete!

Faster, Higher, Stronger

Originally, DockDogs started with a jumping event called Big Air, which remains its signature and most popular discipline. Essentially, Big Air is like a long jump with a splash at the end!

Dogs take a running start and leap off a 40-foot dock into the water. Distance is measured by the point in which the base of a dog’s tail breaks the water. Whichever dog jumps the farthest takes home the Big Air title!

Speed Retrieve is a race against the clock! Introduced most recently, dogs jump into the water and swim to a toy raised two feet above the water. Dogs must rely on their running, jumping and swimming skills to emerge as a Speed Retrieve champion.

Lastly, Extreme Vertical is a high jump for dogs. Each dog jumps off a 20-foot dock to snag a bumper that’s suspended above the water. The handler chooses a height for the bumper before each round. The highest jumping dog takes home the prize!

Team GlycoFlex

All these skills will be showcased during the upcoming DockDogs World Championships from October 26-29th in Knoxville, TN. As proud sponsors of Team GlycoFlex, VetriScience will give you an inside look at the event through the eyes of dogs and their handlers.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about Team GlycoFlex and catch all of the action during next week’s DockDogs World Championships!

A boy, his dog and their adventures on the dock.

Written by Logan Eure

Logan and Bella show off the spoils of all their hard work!

Logan and Bella show off the spoils of all their hard work!

VetriScience Laboratories has been sponsoring dockdogs teams for the last 8 years. This year the VetriScience sponsorship program through DockDogs grew to 20 teams! If you are unfamiliar with dockdogs, you may be missing out on one of the most exciting dog activities out there! We asked Logan Eure, one of our GlycoFlex sponsored youth handlers to tell us in his own words about his adventures as a dockdogs competitor. Check out his story below and you too will see why, we are so proud to have Logan jumping for #TeamGlycoFlex.

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The adventures of Rook! One dog’s road to TPLO recovery.

Written by Tracy Burlingame

There are so many wonderful experiences that we have as sporting and competition dog owners, but always looming in the back of our minds is fear of injury. This is especially true if our dogs are “Weekend Warriors”. We try our best to balance our dog’s energy, drive and genetics with the inherent risk that comes with high-level activity, but sometimes despite our best efforts and intentions – things happen. We feed them the best food and supplements (VetriScience products of course), keep them lean, in tip-top condition and monitor every little detail of their health; but, they can be hurt jumping off the couch just as they can by landing a jump wrong on the agility course.

Unfortunately, our dog Rook ruptured the CCL (cranial cruciate ligament) in his knee while running a few weeks ago.  He had experienced minor lameness here and there for a month or so prior with no definitive diagnosis (knee problems prior to a complete rupture can be hard to diagnose without arthroscopy) so it’s likely that the ligament was already damaged.Rook - Bubble cone 5-2016

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BlogPaws Nashville 2015 Recap

Whew! Now that we’re all settled in, we’re ready to talk about our fantastic week at BlogPaws in Nashville. Not only did we have amazing conversations with people who truly love all pets and sharing their own pet stories with the world, but we also took home a boatload of knowledge about how we can offer even better support for all pets’ health needs.

We started the week with a BlogPaws Twitter chat and were able to answer a lot of common questions about our supplements and about healthy summer activities for your pets. We also had the opportunity to meet many new friends as we were gleefully bombarded with photographs of beloved pets. The next day saw our team waiting for a delayed flight, but we made it into Nashville just in time to set up for the event. Our living room was a big hit with animals and humans:

BlogPaws VetriScience

The first day of BlogPaws was chock full of the sweetest and most well-behaved dogs and cats. We were thrilled the animals all seemed to get along. (We brought along plenty of samples of Composure Chews for those animals experiencing slightly more stress than their friends, just in case!)

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Missing Out on Blog Paws? Join Our Twitter Chat!

We’re thrilled to be sponsoring and attending Blog Paws in Nashville, TN this week. If you can’t make it to the conference this year, but still want to connect and discuss animal health, please join us tonight on Twitter for a start time of 8 pm EDT. (You can jump in any time – we’ll be chatting until 10!)

We’ll be using #BlogPawsChat to talk about how to keep your pets healthy and active all summer long. The Blog Paws team will also be asking quiz questions – so you can win awesome prizes from VetriScience. Follow us @VetriScience and follow our friends @BlogPaws. We’re looking forward to chatting with you!