Petplan Sheds Light on Five Common Pet Cancer Myths

The Animal Cancer Foundation estimates that nearly 12 million pets are diagnosed with cancer each year. But despite the prevalence of the disease, many pet parents have misconceptions about everything from their furry friend’s cancer risk to how the disease is treated.

Petplan pet insurance released a list of five of the most common cancer myths—and tapped their expert veterinarians, Dr. Ernie Ward and Dr. Kim Smyth, for their insight into busting them.

myth 1 – Only dogs get cancer.

busted! – Dr. Ward Says: All animals can get cancer. It can strike at any age in any pet.

fact – 50% of dogs and 30% of cats will be affected by a tumor in their lifetimes.*

myth 2 – It’s too expensive to treat cancer in pets.

busted! – Dr. Smyth says: While treating cancer isn’t cheap, pet insurance can prevent the burden of the bill.

fact – Average cost** to treat cancer: dogs – $1,950, cats – $2,751

myth 3 – Cancer treatment has terrible side effects for pets.

busted! – Dr. Smyth says: Pets don’t experience the devastating side effects of chemo the way humans do.

fact – Pet parents rate their pet’s quality of life during chemotherapy as 8.9 out of 10, with 10 being the best possible quality of life.***

myth 4 – Only purebred dogs get cancer, and they’re safe if there’s no cancer in their lineage.

busted! – Dr. Ward says: Only a small percentage of cancers are due to inherited traits.

fact – Cancer is a complex disease with both genetic and environmental effects at play. It is caused by genetic mutations, the majority of which aren’t inherited.

myth 5 – There’s nothing I can do to prevent cancer in my pet.

busted! – There’s no way to prevent cancer 100%, you can do plenty to reduce your pet’s risk.

fact – Dr. Ward says: Spaying or neutering your furry friend, maintaining a healthy weight,…

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