Did you know that cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of two, and the second leading cause of death in cats? Roughly 12 million canine and feline companions are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States alone — that’s a lot of animals (and their people) impacted by this dreaded disease!
As in humans, there are many distinct types of animal cancer — more than 100 different types are recognized in dogs and cats. Some of these cancers are benign and/ or treatable, while others are aggressive with a poor long-term prognosis. These aggressive cancers are of special interest to veterinary researchers, who hope to find easier and earlier ways to detect the disease, improve treatment options, and if possible, identify preventive measures to stop these diseases in their tracks.
Most Common Cancers Diagnosed in Dogs and Cats
Top Dog Cancers
- Osteosarcoma: Most common primary bone tumor
- Hemangiosarcoma: Commonly affects the spleen, liver and heart
- Mast cell tumors: Most common canine skin tumors
- Lymphoma: Stems from lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) or lymphatic tissue
- Transitional cell carcinoma: Most common tumor of the urinary system
Top Cat Cancers
- Lymphoma: Often associated with the cancer-causing feline leukemia virus
- Squamous cell carcinoma: Most common feline oral cancer
- Mammary (breast) cancer: More common in intact cats
- Fibrosarcoma: Arises from fibrous connective tissue just beneath the skin
Fundraising to Support Cancer Research
To help find solutions for these and other animal cancers, Morris Animal Foundation has been supporting animal cancer research for 60 years. It has also recently established its annual Stop Cancer Furever fundraising campaign.
The foundation’s early funded studies focused on the basics of the disease — knowing why and how certain cancers form and spread through the body. Today, funding focuses on providing veterinarians and veterinary oncologists with the best cutting-edge tools and knowledge for improving the care and survival of dogs and cats diagnosed with cancer. This includes improved imaging for diagnosis and surgical removal of tumors, more targeted chemotherapy, addressing chemotherapy resistance, and developing immunotherapies (a way to reprogram the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells).
Morris Animal Foundation’s Stop Cancer Furever campaign runs May 1 Through June 30. Every donation, large or small, supports life-saving pet cancer research.
Visit Morris Animal Foundation to make your gift, and help dogs and cats diagnosed with cancer live longer, healthier lives.
Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.