World Cancer Day - Pets & Cancer

World Cancer Day isn’t an easy day to think about, but it carries great significance for many of us. It’s an opportunity to consider the horrific effect that the disease has on our society and on the people whom we value so dearly. What isn’t always at the forefront of peoples minds on World Cancer Day is that it isn’t just humans that are affected by it.

All sorts of animals are susceptible to the illness, including, unfortunately, cats, dogs and other animals that many people keep as pets, to love and care for and from whom they get such vital companionship. According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, cancer is the main cause of death in 47% of dogs (the same rate as in humans) and 32% of cats.

Even the thought of losing a pet that is a part of the family is heart-breaking, but luckily, as with humans, there are many treatment options available these days for our beloved furry friends. One way to treat cancer in pets, just like with people, is chemotherapy. While the treatment used on pets is much less aggressive and more focused on pain management, rather than lengthening of life, than in humans, it still carries some regrettable side-effects.

While they will sense your discomfort and sorrow, a cat or dog doesn’t necessarily know that they have cancer, so the physical side of things carries much more weight than the emotional side, as in humans. One of those unfortunate side-effects is frequently dry and occasionally broken skin. It can cause great irritation and often pain to a pet as it recovers from radiation treatment, but there are ways to mitigate this problem. Using a natural moisturiser, such as our Spray, will help soften the dried-out skin, and the fact that it is applied via spray, rather than by lathering it on by hand, reduces the chance of doing further damage to the skin during application. The Spray is formulated to sink quickly into the skin and get to work without any rubbing being necessary. Chapped skin can be easily soothed and protected with our Gel, which some of our customers have also used successfully to encourage hair growth in areas that were shaved for surgery or on itchy scar tissue.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with a pet with cancer, as mentioned before, is that your pet doesn’t actually know they have it. As your loyal companion, they’ll sense your sadness, but if you can be strong for them, they can be stronger for you. Keeping your routine in place will do wonders for your pet’s mentality. Does your dog still want to go for that early morning walk? Go! Does your cat have a favourite treat that he gets on special occasions? Give him a couple, along with a gentle stroke and set his mind at ease. The calmer you are, the calmer they’ll be.

Dealing with cancer is a hard thing for anyone, but it needn’t be a hopeless struggle. World Cancer Day is a time to reflect on the evils of the disease, but also a time to look forward to what will be done to beat it in the future. If you have a pet suffering with cancer, hold them close and remember the beauty of the life they’ve shared with you, and give them a little scratch under the chin for us too.