Mammary or breast tumors are common in female dogs. Surgical removal is recommended for most mammary tumors and prognosis is good. This is good news for dogs that have owners and access to a vet. For cats the prognosis is not so good with 85% of mammoth tumors in cats are malignant and tend to spread elsewhere in the body.
The American College of Veterinary Surgeons hightlights that mammary tumors are more common in female dogs that are either not spayed or were spayed after two 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 with the risk being much lower for spayed dogs.
Cats spayed before 6 months of age have a 7-times reduced risk of developing mammary cancer and spaying at any age reduces the risk of mammary tumors by 40% to 60% in cats.
The first photo is a dog we are are currently trying to help. She lives at a school where the children feed her. She lives quite along way from our clinic but we are working with a teacher at the school to get her to our clinic for treatment.
The next two photos are of a sweet little dog that we recently helped and operated when she was brought to one of our spayathons.
The fourth photo shows Diane, a dog we treated at a spayathon that unfortunately had to be put to sleep. She was a stray dog that was being fed by a very gentle, caring man that didn't have much money. He brought her to us for help. Unfortunately, the tumors had spread to her lungs and the kindest thing we could do was to let her go to sleep peacefully. Gone but never forgotten.