Twice in the past couple of weeks I have had to face clients and tell them that their female pet had mammary cancer (breast cancer). Regrettably in both instances the cancer had already spread to the mammary glands on the other side of the body which basically meant that the odds that it was throughout their entire system was very high. Both of these animals have recently been put to sleep by us. The grandson of one of these folks said that he was unaware of this and he literally booked his little dog in to be spayed 2 weeks later. The truly sad thing about all of this is that this particular cancer is almost 100% preventable in dogs and cats.
Getting your cat or dog spayed (removing the ovaries as well as the uterus) before they experience their first heat (generally at about 6 to 7 months of age) will reduce their chance of getting this form of cancer to almost zero. Allowing them to go through even 1 heat will increase their chances significantly. Please use this link to read our article on why we spay female dogs and cats. Avoid the heartbreak that these folks have been through.
The exact same thing applies to male dogs and to a certain extent male cats as well. Male dogs who are not neutered are very likely to encounter prostate issues as well as testicular cancers when they get older. Please follow this link to read about why we neuter the males.
Dr. Mike Steen