Home Breast Exams for Pets

Pets get Mammary Cancer Too!

We did surgery on an elderly kitty last week to perform a radical mastectomy due to mammary cancer. Mammary cancer in pets can be a devastating disease just as in women. In pets, early sterilization will drastically reduce the incidence of mammary cancer later in life, and that is one of the major reasons why we recommend it before 6 months of age in females.

As owners, you can help us detect mammary cancer, at its earliest stage by performing breast exams once a month in pets over 5 years of age. To examine the breasts, have your pet lay down on their side or back. Locate the nipples and gently feel the areas around them up and down the pet. Early tumors will feel like small “bbs” located under the skin near the breast tissue. If you find a suspicious lump, bring your pet in for evaluation. If we excise mammary cancer before it is 1/2 inch in diameter, the prognosis for survival improves greatly.

If you have any questions regarding this issue or any other medical issues for your pets, feel free to post it on this blog, or email to drshufer@altaranchopet.com