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Understanding Cancer In Labradors

Feb 8, 2008
Labradors are popular for their detection and working abilities. They are widely used by people like police as assistance dogs in the United States, Australia and many other countries. But how can they be of service to people when they are sick?

A lot of people all over the globe died because of cancer. Unfortunately, victims of this dreaded disease are not just humans but dogs as well. Cancer is considered as the leading cause of death among dogs especially the older ones. Cancer therefore is a serious problem affecting humans and dogs alike.

Cancer is an immune dysfunction disease, meaning this disease occurs when the immune system fails to work properly. The dog's body is composed of millions of cells. One of these cells must have errors in replication, thus giving way to cancer. Toxins, radiation, congenital disease and age help increase these errors.

Errors in replication may not lead to serious problem only if the dog's immune system recognizes and destroy the abnormal cells. But if the immune system failed to detect the existence of that abnormal cell, what will happen is that the abnormal cell will replicate itself. The tumor will continue replication but may not be evident in the first few days or even months of the growth. But the tumor continues growing until such time that it is large enough for veterinarians to detect.

Detecting or diagnosing cancer can be difficult but there are signs to watch out for. These signs include bloated abdomen, presence of blood or mucous in the feces or urine, constipation, diarrhea, difficulty in urinating or defecating and sudden loss of weight.

Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases in history. Some experts coined it as a "no-cure disease because there is still no specific drug known to kill cancer. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the common solution of this problem. These methods though do not totally cure the disease, helps in reducing the tumor. But don't just be contented with reducing the tumors using these methods alone. Another important solution to cancer is to address the main root of the disease, which is to trigger the dog's immune system to respond. When the recognition response is triggered, risk of overcoming cancer is greater.

Cancer has many causes. It is a result from the combined effects of genetics, physical and chemical carcinogens. Breeders should make sure that only healthy and disease-free dogs should be included in the breeding process. Dog owners and care takers should also be careful with the foods they fed to their Labradors because some dog foods contain cancer-causing chemicals.
About the Author
Richard Cussons knows plenty on Labrador training. Facts on characteristics and care of this breed is available at this site dedicated to Labradors.
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