Friday, October 3, 2014

October is Canine Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we remember our sweet Maggie (Maggie Moo) who passed away last year from canine breast (known as mammary) cancer.

Did you know dogs can develop breast cancer? According to an article by Bobbi Leder on, mammary cancer in dogs is very common, but it can be treated successfully if caught early. The best way to prevent breast cancer in female dogs is to spay them before they go into heat for the first time. By doing this, you can practically eliminate the chances of your dog developing mammary cancer.

According to veterinarian Dr. Race Foster, the most common type of tumor in female dogs is the mammary tumor—especially in (unspayed) dogs between the ages of five to 10 years-old. Male dogs can also develop breast cancer but, sadly, their prognosis is not good because the type of breast cancer in male dogs is very aggressive.

Signs of Breast Cancer in Dogs article goes on to say that similar to human breast cancer, mammary tumors in dogs can range in size. Breast tumors in dogs often grow quickly with an irregular shape. These malignant tumors can also cause bleeding and ulceration. However, if your dog’s tumor does not exhibit these signs, that does not mean your dog is free from breast cancer; small tumors that have been present for a while can suddenly grow aggressively as well. As with most other types of cancer, once malignant tumors in dogs start to grow, the cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body.

If you find a lump on your dog, it is always best to play it safe and have your dog examined by a licensed veterinarian who will perform a biopsy. Half of all mammary tumors in dogs are benign so don't delay.

Treatment of Canine Breast Cancer
According to, treatment of a malignant tumor usually involves surgery. Similar to breast cancer in humans, dogs will either have just the tumor removed or the entire mammary tissue along with lymph nodes. Dogs’ mammary glands are different than humans in that they are outside of the muscle, so the surgery is not as radical. Chemotherapy and radiation in dogs are not usually successful.

Mammary cancer is a nearly preventable disease.  Please spay your pups so you never have to face what poor Maggie and her foster Mom faced last year.  We miss you, sweet Maggie Moo! Your time with us was too short!

Have you lost a pup to mammary cancer? Tell us about them in the comment section below. And if you would like to make a donation in honor of Maggie and all the other pups OBG has lost to mammary cancer, please click on the donate button.  You will be transferred to PayPal but you may also use a credit card. Thank you on behalf of Maggie!

For more information on mammary cancer in dogs, read this article.  Please consult with your vet immediately if you detect any lumps on your dog.

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