Dogs Get Breast Cancer Too; 3x as Likely as Women
In honor or October being breast cancer awareness month; I see football players with hot pink socks, gloves, wrist bands and ribbons that dawn their helmets.
It is sad it is estimated that 40,000 women will die of breast cancer this year, according to statistics provided by breastcancer.org and that number doesn’t take into account the fighters and those that defeat breast cancer. Thankfully the number has decreased since 1989 with the introduction of new treatments.
I have a friend who was diagnosed around Christmas of last year, and she is still kicking butt! Wearing a wig and having bad days but still kicking butt. I fear for her 8 year old daughter and her new husband and send them only the best.
I can’t imagine having to deal with that.
There are even famous celebrities that have their breasts removed because breast cancer runs in the family. Seems aggressive, I suppose, but the truth is I would probably have it done to if it would safe my life.
What About Your Dog
People don’t realize that dogs get breast cancer too!
Why don’t we hear about it more often you ask?
Well, because MOST people SPAY their dogs and this in and of itself keeps their dog from developing breast or mammary cancer. It’s called mammary cancer in animals.
Female dogs have 10 mammary glands 5 on each side starting at the chest and extending to the groin, with the largest gland being located near the groin.
Let’s Get Serious
Mammary gland tumors are the most common tumors in dogs.
In fact among UNSPAYED females the risk of a mammary tumor is 26%. Click here for the article in Pet MD
That is 3 Times…. THREE TIMES the Risk in Women
Let that sink in…. 3X the risk of breast cancer for women if you leave your female dog unspayed.
The reason we don’t see furry pink socks on professional football players is because what happens to a dog with mammary cancer is euthanasia.
Most mammary cancer appears anywhere from 6 to 10 years in intact females.
Interestingly according to PetMD the risk is more predominant in sporting breeds (my guess is because these dogs are more likely to be kept in tact longer.
The primary sign is a painless lump near the largest gland, by the groin. The mass may be large or small and some can move freely in the skill while others are immobile.
Inflammatory cancer is rapidly progressing and spreads through the chain of mammary glands into the surrounding skin and fat.
Death is inevitable in a matter of weeks. Malignant tumors spread widely to the lymph nodes and the lungs.
A complete mastectomy of all 10 or 5 mammary glands may buy some time before the cancer invades more space.
On a Personal Note
I was a vet tech when I witnessed my first dog with “breast cancer” she was the sweetest Alaskan Husky who had born many litters. All of her mammary glands needed removal. They were all hard and oozing so we removed them all and got the cleanest margins that we could going into muscle. Within 3 weeks she had died.
Two years later we saw one of her puppies with the same condition. It was heartbreaking because we knew what the outcome would be.
No matter how hard they tried to save her at 6 years old, there was no chance. 6 years old… that is only 2 years away for my bitch if I had not spayed her.
I try to stay abreast of all the newest veterinary information.
However all this new information coming out about keeping dogs intact and not spaying and neutering scares me.
If you Spay Before the First Heat Cycle you Nearly Negate The Chance of Doggy Breast Cancer?
That may not get as much press as those who want their dogs to have more hormones for longer.
So few dogs need those added hormones, and so many have done so well for decades being spayed and neutered early.
But having watches many dogs suffer and ultimately die.
I know my females will be spayed early so that I don’t have to worry about that 26% chance (greater than a woman getting breast cancer) of my dog developing mammary cancer.
I give her a better and longer chance at life!
Please spay and neuter!