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What are the Causes of Cancer in Pets?

January 21, 2022

Cancer isn’t a new disease, nor is it shocking to find in pets.

We understand the risk factors and can even determine the direct causes of cancer in pets in some cases. Cancer is relatively well-understood due to many generations of research. Even though they are separate fields, pet cancer research has significantly benefited from human cancer research due to the similarities between the conditions.

Here at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines, we aim to be on the frontlines of cancer treatment. Our holistic approach to veterinary medicine ensures that we understand the latest research into the root causes of cancer in pets and how to prevent it.

  1. Age

    It’s no secret that as they become older, our pets become more susceptible to developing cancer. Researchers are not entirely sure why this is the case. However, one of the leading theories is that aging immune systems become weaker and cannot control mutated cells that might become malignant. No matter the reason, age is a significant factor in pets developing cancer, so older pets should undergo regular exams to detect the presence of cancer.

  2. Genetic Factors

    Pets are often at greater risk of developing cancer due to certain genetic factors. Thanks to the regular breeding of domesticated dogs and recordkeeping, we’ve been able to identify which dog breeds might be susceptible to which forms of cancer. For example, Rottweilers are at an exceptionally high risk of developing various cancers such as lymphoma and bone cancer.

    Even if your pet is not of a breed that is particularly susceptible to cancer, it’s still wise to consider checking their family history. Like humans, pets may carry genetic traits from their parents that place them at a higher risk of developing cancer.

  3. Environmental Factors

    Of course, environmental factors can always play a part in cancer development. For instance, exposure to UV radiation, pest control products, urban air pollution, and similar carcinogens can increase your pet’s risk of developing cancer.

    Of particular note is the part that secondhand smoke can play in a pet’s cancer development. A common reason why dogs and cats alike get nose and lung cancer is due to their exposure to the various carcinogens released from cigarettes as they are smoked. For the sake of their pets, smokers would do well to quit the habit, or at least avoid smoking when their pets are around.

  4. Viral Infection

    Finally, there are even certain forms of cancer caused by viruses. For example, feline leukemia virus is currently the most prevalent form of cancer in cats. Bodily fluids spread the virus through bites, grooming sessions, and even litter box usage. Thankfully, education on the topic, advanced testing methods, and even a relatively effective vaccine have helped lessen the chances of infection.

Worried That Your Pet May Be Suffering From Cancer?

If you’re concerned that your pet may be suffering from cancer, then do not hesitate to bring them to Animal Care Center of Castle Pines. Our holistic approach to treating cancer in pets ensures that your pet receives the best testing possible. If cancer is detected, your pet will receive the highest quality care—we are at the forefront of treatment options, including ozone therapy. Contact us today at 303-688-3660 to schedule an appointment that your pet will thank you for.