Last month the Shih Tzu house was rocked with the news that Trixie’s mammary tumor came back positive for mammary adenocarcinoma. The phone call was not the one I wanted to receive. I knew what the results were going to be when I heard my veterinarian’s voice on the phone. The chances were 50% that the tumor would be malignant, but I was hoping for a better outcome that the tumor would have been benign. Luckily the tumor was very small and we will not have a re-occurrence, nor will there be any metastasis of the cancer. My vet took, what seemed to me, a very large margin around the nipple. Yup she is now missing a teat!But is was the Monthly Breast Exams I began in January that made the difference.
So today Oh My Shih Tzu, along with a couple of our blogging friends Dogthusiast and Pawesome Cats are launching Check the 8 on 8!
What is Check the 8 on 8!
Female dogs are born with 8 to 10 teats and 5 mammary glands. Trixie had 8 teats (now 7) . So today is a reminder to check the 8 (or 10) teats on the 8th of the month for any signs of mammary cancer in your dog (or cat).
The best defense against mammary (breast) cancer in dogs is to find it as early as possible. Since a dogs teats are relatively small, doing a monthly check is easy but there are a few things you want to look for.
- A mammary tumor will present itself as a solid mass or lump.
- Be aware of any irregular shaped lumps
- Look for any discolorations or ulceration at the teat site
Who is at Risk?
According to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons:
‘Mammary tumors are more common in female dogs that are either not spayed or were spayed after 2 years of age. The risk of a dog developing a mammary tumor is 0.5% if spayed before their first heat (approximately 6 months of age), 8% after their first heat, and 26% after their second heat. More than a quarter of unspayed female dogs will develop a mammary tumor during their lifetime. The risk is much lower for spayed female dogs, male dogs, and cats of either gender. In female dogs, 50% of mammary tumors are benign and 50% are malignant.’
What You Can Do
Every month on the 8th, take a few minutes to check your female dogs and teats. It’s these few minutes every month that can save your dog from breast cancer. If you suspect a lump, make an appointment immediately with your veterinarian, inspection alone can not determine if the lump is benign or malignant.
Spread the Word
Facebook, Tweet (#check8on8), Pin, and Instagram your heart out about Breast Cancer in Dogs! Add our badge to your blog!(see sidebar)
Join us next month June 8 for the first Check the 8 on 8 blog hop! Lets spread the word
GROOVY GOLDENDOODLES says
Great information, I will definitely share this. So sorry Trixie’s cancer came back – we will keep her (and you) in our prayers. Love the website header too.
Jillian Cameron says
Thanks for spreading the word about this. I don’t think many people understand that animals are at risk for this type of cancer. I’m glad that Trixie will be ok, but I’m sure it was a stressful time. Nothing is more scary than when something is wrong with out pets. Give her a hug for us! <3
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Fur Everywhere says
It’s awesome that you are spreading awareness about breast cancer. It’s important to check our dogs and cats as well as ourselves regularly. Detection really does lead to the best outcomes. Thank you for the reminder.
Jen Gabbard says
Wow I didn’t realize the chances were so high to develop these tumors in dogs that have gone through a second heat – that’s really scary. Thanks so much for helping spread awareness, and so glad to know Trixie’s was able to be removed with little chance or re-occurence. Cancer is nasty stuff.
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Pawesome Cats says
We’re are happy to be able to support you and help raise awareness of breast cancer in cats and dogs! Only 9 days to go…
Pawesome Cats recently posted…Check the 8 on 8 â Preventing Breast Cancer in Cats & Dogs
Sorry it turned out malignant. Glad you got it early and with good margins.
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Ann Staub says
Oh what a great idea! This is a great way to remember to check! It hits very close to home as several years ago, my cat passed away because she had breast cancer. She needed a full mastectomy which I could not afford. And just back in December, my mom passed away to breast cancer as well.
Tzu Mom says
Ohh Ann, I am soo sorry. It is so much worse for cats. And I am sorry that you have lost your mom to this horrible disease also. I hope you join us… we have much more to come, this is just the beginning.
I’m so sorry that Trixie’s cancer came back! That really stinks. This is a wonderful idea for a post. It is a very simple thing we can do to help protect our pets from a very dangerous disease. I will make sure to check out my cat, Manna’s teats today 🙂
Talent Hounds says
What a scare. How lucky you caught it early. Great post- we will support.
Great post and so glad that all is well! We will definitely team up!
Cathy Armato says
I’m so relieved that Trixie will be ok, that must have given you such a scare! Thanks for teaming up w/ Dogthusiast & Pawesome Cats to launch Check the 8 on 8! Sharing
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