Dasha has 'breast cancer'
Dasha is a striking 8 year old Doberman. Always happy and healthy, Dasha presented to the clinic in early March so we could examine a wound near her knee. The wound was actually healing quite well. What wasn’t so great was the swelling Dr Andrew discovered in her mammary glands.
As with people, female dogs can suffer from “breast cancer”. In fact, breast cancer accounts for approximately half of all tumours in bitches.
You might wonder why we always strongly recommend speying of dogs before their first heat, which is usually around 7 – 9 months of age. This is because it significantly reduces their risk of developing mammary cancers (plus ovarian and uterine diseases as well) later on in life.
Dasha proceeded to surgery and her lump was removed. It was with great relief that we were able to report to the owner that in this case the lump was benign. What a relief!
So the take home message is: Unless you really intend to breed from your female dog or cat, it’s strongly advised to get them desexed before the onset of their first heat.