pet news

AUGUST 11, 2011

Phoenix Area Pets Go Online

Great Dane Rescue Inc., Phoenix, has joined other animal welfare organizations in the area that list their homeless pets on, the oldest and largest database of adoptable animals on the Internet. The site currently has over 359,000 homeless pets listed, and it is updated continuously.

More than 13,500 animal welfare organizations in the U.S., Canada, and other countries post their pets on the site. Great Dane Rescue Inc. pets may be viewed at A potential adopter enters search criteria for the kind of pet he or she wants, and a list is returned that ranks the pets in proximity to the Zip code entered. Adoptions are handled by the animal placement group where the pet is housed, and each group has its own policies. was created in early 1996 as a grassroots project by Jared and Betsy Saul to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets. Since its inception, the site has facilitated approximately 20 million adoptions, making it the most life-saving initiative in animal welfare.

Sponsors include The Animal Rescue Site, BISSELL Homecare, Inc., a manufacturer of home cleaning and floor care products, PETCO, a national pet supply retailer that sponsors in-store adoptions and provides coupon books for new adopters, PetFirst Healthcare, the exclusive pet insurance provider for, Merial, maker of the number one veterinary-recommended flea and tick preventative, FRONTLINE(r), and heartworm preventative, HEARTGARD(r), And HomeAgain, a microchip and pet recovery service.

AUGUST 9, 2011

Gucci needs a home

My wife and I have a 7-year-old registered quarter horse Gucci, "Daddy Buy me Gucci." We have had him for about 2 years. He has problems with his left rear leg that he seems to easily injure just being out in pasture. Neither we nor vet have been able to figure out without spending huge amounts of money with diagnostic imaging such as MRIs. We have done things like have his hocks injected or using anti-inflammatory supplements or occasional Bute ... he keeps having problems. It saddens us a great deal and we feel like we can not sell him due to soundness issues and related liability and absolutely do not want to take to any auction.

As a result we are contemplating putting him down. It breaks our hearts yet we do not know what to do at this point in time. Do you have any suggestions on how to find him a home ... 

Timothy Mathews

AUGUST 10, 2011

Cancer in canines

Cancer is a debilitating disease affecting millions of Americans daily. The same is true for animals, as approximately 50 percent of all dogs over the age of 10 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer. Being aware of the possibility of cancer in your canine and having your veterinarian perform regular checkups can help to ensure that you are doing the best for your dog.

According to Dr. Heather Wilson, assistant professor in oncology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), the most common types of cancer in dogs is lymphoma (tumor of the lymph nodes), osteosarcoma (tumor of the bones), and mast cell tumors (skin tumor).

“Lymphoma most commonly affects the lymph nodes, but can also affect other parts of the body such as the liver, spleen, bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, and the central nervous system,” explains Wilson. “This disease is generally not curable, but is very treatable with chemotherapy.”

“Osteosarcoma is a bone tumor that affects the limbs of large and giant breed dogs most often,” says Wilson. “These tumors are again generally not curable, but can be treated with amputation of the affected limb and chemotherapy does increase survival. However, most dogs will eventually succumb to the disease if it spreads to the lungs.”

Mast cell tumors commonly occur on the skin and they are the most common type of malignant skin tumors in dogs. Most of these tumors are removed and cured with surgery. However, some are very aggressive and are so likely to spread that chemotherapy must be integrated into the treatment protocol after surgery. Other tumors may require radiation therapy if they are not completely removed during surgery.

“Any dog can get cancer, but certain breeds such as the Golden Retrievers, Boxers, German shepherds, Rottweilers, and Bernese Mountain dogs are predisposed to many forms of cancer,” notes Wilson.

As cancer is so common in dogs, annual geriatric exams with a veterinarian are strongly encouraged. After a cancer diagnosis and treatment, Wilson recommends monitoring the pet for recurrence every two to six months for three years. The frequency of the checkups depends on the type of tumor.

It is important to regularly perform at-home physical examinations on your pet. You should look for any lumps, specifically around the lymph nodes in the neck. However, not all tumors are visible; therefore, regular veterinary visits are crucial to guarantee your pet’s health.

While cancer can be extremely stressful for owners and pets, the good news is that with the amount of resources and specialists that are now available to treat cancer in pets, owners now have the power to make educated and responsible decisions to get their companion animals through this illness. In recent decades, veterinary medicine has progressively advanced to offer technology and treatment of human quality for pets to help aid in cancer treatment and other illnesses.

Cancer’s prevalent nature makes it an important topic to research and learn more about. However, cancer can be very complicated and hard to comprehend. To learn more about cancer and how to treat it, please visit the oncology section at

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be viewed on the Web at