Physiotherapy specialist Dr Peter Smith says it’s impossible to stop people taking care of their pets from the risk of cancer.
“It’s not something you can prevent,” he told Polygon.
You can reduce the risk.
But you can also treat it.
He said the risk was too high to recommend keeping pets inside during the day or for long periods.
Smith said it was hard to pinpoint the precise number of pet owners who were at risk, but the research indicated that a third or more of those who had pets tended to have chronic conditions like arthritis, which could increase the risk for cancer.
“You don’t want to put your pet in a situation where they’re exposed to a lot of things,” he said.
If you’re in a position where your pet has a chronic illness, then that can make it more likely that it will develop cancer.
“Dr Peter Smith is the chief executive of the Australian Cancer Society.
The Cancer Council of Australia said it believed pets could help fight cancer, but it said there was no proof that keeping pets indoors prevented it.”
If a pet is in a pet bed, then they’re not necessarily a good place to be,” said Cancer Council spokesman Greg Brown.”
It could be that they might be sleeping on a mat and you’re not getting them wet enough or they might not be in a good position to help with the grooming.
“So there’s always the risk.”
Dr Brown said while the evidence was limited, he believed there were “very, very real risks” to keeping pets in the home.
“A pet may not be the best place to spend their life in,” he says.
In some cases, the risk to pets from cancer is so high that doctors and other professionals are advised not to leave them alone with pets.
In some instances, the animals have been deemed to be at risk because they have been diagnosed with cancer in the past, but there’s no evidence that they’re at risk.
Dr Smith said while it was too early to recommend against keeping pets as a risk factor for cancer, it was important that pets were treated and cared for properly.
“We don’t know yet how well they’re going to respond to this, but we know that the risk is very, very, high,” he explained.
For Dr Smith, the most important thing to consider was to treat and treat right.
Dr Smith says there are three major factors that can affect whether a pet will respond to treatment:The size of the dog/cat relationshipThe number of years the pet has been living with youIt is important to treat your pet well, he said, as well as the care of the pet.
Pet owners should not leave pets alone too long, and the sooner the pet is under your care, the better.
“There are a number of things you need to be aware of,” he advises.
“Some of them may not make sense, some of them can make you uncomfortable, some are not in line with your values, some may make you want to leave the pet home, but these things are very important to be mindful of.”
Topics:cancer,dogs,health,diseases-and-disorders,environment,cancer,dentistry-surgery,animal-health,therapeutic-dental-specialists,health-policy,pets,australiaFirst posted March 23, 2019 13:27:54Contact Nicola Hines