Dress in Blue for Colon Cancer Awareness
Today is dress in blue day for Colon Cancer Awareness. Over 200,000 people are diagnosed with Colon cancer every year. But did you know that Dogs and cats can also get colon cancer?
Colon cancer in dogs and cats is very rare and is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are the same as IBS and colitis. There are 2 kind of colon cancers that affect dogs. lymphoma and adenocarcinoma, are the 2 types. Lymphoma affects the tissue or walls of the intestinal tract, and adenocarcinoma is a tumor that grows on the apocrine glands found on the anus. These are the glands that sometimes need to be expressed in dogs and rarely in cats.
Colon cancer in cats is slow growing and symptoms do not show up right away. The symptoms for this type of cancer are similar to the symptoms of gastric blockage or gastrointestinal infection. These include painful defecation, frequent defecation and straining to defecate. These symptoms are also the same as some viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, so it is usually not diagnosed in cats until it is too late.
Don’t get all freaked out if your dog or cat has a bout of constipation. This type of cancer does not usually manifest until later in life. If you are lucky enough to catch it early, it can be surgically removed and treated with Chemotherapy. Unfortunately, though it is normally not diagnosed until it is too late. Palliative care can allow you more time with your fur kid but once symptoms start to show it is usually the beginning of the end.
For more information here are some links to some articles on the subject. If you are concerned about your fur kid, please talk to your veterinarian or get a second opinion.
Colon Cancer Feline (cat-health-guide.org)
Colon Cancer in Dogs (vetinfo.com)