New Tests Detect Early Cancer in Dogs
Dec 28, 2013 07:39PM
● By Dr. Shawn Messonnier
There is now an accurate, inexpensive way to allow the detection of cancer and other inflammatory diseases before a pet actually develops clinical signs of cancer. The blood panel tests provide early detection that allow intervention prior to disease progression, when greater damage occurs and options become more expensive and limited.
The tests measure several aspects of cell irregularity: abnormal cell division and systemic inflammatory activity. Thymidine kinase (TK) is a measure of dysregulated cellular proliferation; as cancer cells divide, TK is usually increased. C-reactive protein (CRP) is elevated in the presence of systemic inflammatory diseases, including cancer.
In a study group of 360 dogs followed for up to one year, incidence of cancer and serious disease were tracked. The study showed that almost 100 percent of cancers were detected four to six months prior to the pet showing symptoms. Designed to be part of a routine wellness plan, these cancer screening tests are the most comprehensive single blood test available in monitoring the overall health status of a dog.
In addition to screening for cancer, checking the vitamin D status of a dog is also important, because low levels of vitamin D have been shown to contribute to increased incidence of cancer and infectious diseases.
Dr. Shawn Messonnier is a holistic veterinarian in Plano, Texas, and founder of Dr. Shawn’s Naturals all-natural products and supplements for dogs. Natural Awakenings readers can save 10 percent on all in-stock products with the code DRSHAWN. For more information, visit DrShawnsNaturals.com.