Friday, September 11, 2015

The Scary "C" Word #ThePucciniFoundation

   There is one word that nobody ever wants to hear from their doctor or their vet.
   It strikes fear in the heart of everyone and with good cause. I have been fortunate that none of my pets has suffered from the disease. The same cannot be said for my human friends and relatives. Most of us know someone that has been given the diagnosis of cancer. Due to incredible advances in medicine, a number of cancers are no longer considered a death sentence when detected early. That was not always the case.
Yellow ribbon with The Puccini Foundation and blue paw prints
   Did you know that many of the cancers humans get can also affect our pets? It makes sense when you think about it. We are sharing our lives and surroundings with them. Over the past few years, I have known several pets that have been diagnosed with various forms of cancers. Some were treated with chemotherapy and others had to undergo amputations. The good news is that experts say 50% of pet cancers are curable if detected early.
   I had not really given much thought to the similarities of the disease between people and pets. That changed when I spoke with my friend, Joan DeMartin at the BlogPaws conference. She told me about The Puccini Foundation.
Cocker spaniel kissing a woman
Linda Cohen Wassong with Puccini 
Photo courtesy of The Puccini Foundation
   The Puccini Foundation is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit founded by Linda Cohen Wassong. Her Cocker Spaniel, Puccini was diagnosed with melanoma. Linda thought that was a cancer that affected people, not pets. She saw a need to raise the awareness of cancers that can afflict both people and our beloved pets. We share the same environments, are exposed to the same toxins, we share love and companionship as the human-animal bond, and our DNA or genomes are similar. The human genome and canine genome are actually 90% identical. Knowing that, is it any wonder that we have “shared cancers?”
Pink list of common cancers in people and pets
   There are many environmental elements that we cannot avoid. However, there is one that can and should be removed from your pet’s life. That is the toxins of second-hand smoke. It is estimated that 30% of pet owners live with a smoker. Studies show that animals face health risks when exposed to cigarette smoke. These include respiratory problems, allergies, nasal, and lung cancer.
   Those are all good reasons to quit smoking, but if you still aren’t convinced, consider dog nicotine poisoning. This can be the result of your dog eat cigarette or cigar butts, drinking water with cigarette butts in it, and munching on a nicotine replacement patch or nicotine gum. The toxic level 10 mg/kg of nicotine in dogs is potentially fatal. To put that in perspective, one cigarette contains 15–25 mg. of nicotine and the butt of one contains 4-8 mg. That is scary.
Blue list of ways to protect your pets from harmful smoke
   As I stated in my previous post, "Does Your Dog Think That You Stink?" nobody can convince you to stop smoking. It is a personal battle that you must fight as if your life depends on it because it does. Now, you know that your pet’s life might also depend on your decision. Consult your physician or the American Cancer Society on tips to help you kick the habit.
 Our Twitter shares won't share, so please retweet. Thanks!

   Today we remember the 9/11 attack on the United States. I was watching Good Morning America as I prepared for work when the first plane struck the Twin Towers. My mother and my brother live in New York City. To say I freaked out is putting it mildly. I was able to contact them before telephone service was lost. They were safe in their apartment. I don’t think their voices have ever sounded sweeter than they did at that moment. Bless New York City and America on the anniversary of this tragedy.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day?


  1. Military Husbands Pomeranian had cancer. There was nothing he could do for him though. He was a rescue and he got sick quickly after. So sad. :(

  2. It is great that there are so many folks bringing awareness to cancer in dogs and in people. Where was I when the world stopped turning....I was very ill and asleep when this tragedy occurred. It took my husband a couple of hours to reach me. I will never forget the tone of his voice as he told me to immediately turn on the tv. None of us will ever forget that day. The world changed.

  3. we lost two dogs and many people from our furmily because of the big evil c... I hope my mom is strong enough once to kick the Malboro Man and the Camel out...
    My mom watched tv that day while cracking walnuts for a cake... she still can't believe what she saw... but it sadly was the sad truth...

  4. I have only had one dog so far that had cancer - he was a doberman x greyhound and such a wonderful dog. He developed bone cancer on the leg that sadly spread to his brain. Sadly I come from a cancer prone family. Both my parents, 3 of my grandparents, My two brothers, my sister and myself.

  5. Hi Y'all,

    I'm skippin' the 9/11 theme this year. It is my Human's birthday and my Human Papa's mama's birthday (although she died many years ago)...My Humans lost a number of friends in 9/11 and my Human Mama lost several clients in the Towers. The boardwalk at the beach where they lived then is lined with benches with plaques "in memory"...

    For years this has been a bittersweet day...My Humans can never celebrate Mama's birthday without remembering all the friends, neighbors and clients lost in the Pentagon and Towers.

    Y'all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  6. Thanks so much for this amazing post, Melissa! Spreading the word about pet cancer and the need for continued funding of research for both pet and human cancers has indeed become my passion. The Puccini Foundation is so grateful that you're willing to step up to the plate and discuss a very difficult topic—it's so important!

  7. We have lost a few dogs to cancer since 2003. So sad.....

  8. Great post! Yes, dogs are like us in many respects; cancer being one of them.

  9. As mum has said previously, Cody developed a very fast developing cancerous growth on her leg right before I came to live with mum. Mum said it was less than 2 weeks from the time she saw the growth till it was so bad that Cody was obviously in a great deal of pain and could hardly put her foot down. Mum, her friend who had taken them to the vet and the vet all agreed that it would not be fair (and way to expensive, without a good prognosis) to try to keep her alive, so mum had to send her over the Bridge. The vets office were great, and a week or so later, mum received a sympathy card and a "certificate of arrival at the Rainbow Bridge" from the vet's office. Mum's brothers all had some form of cancer, and so did one sister-in-law -- and I have had a "benign" thyroid cancer. We grew up in post-World War II London, so who knows what could have caused it.

    With respect to 9/11, mum said at first she did not realize what was going on, but when she did, she was quite upset. She had been living in Connecticut for just a couple of years, and could not help thinking that if she had sill lived in NJ, she would have been in that area on her way to work at about that time!!! When mum and her sister were talking later in the day, they both said it reminded them a bit of the bombing of London -- especially before all flights were stopped. They both commented how strange it was not to hear any planes overhead!!!
    With remembrances to all.

    ttfn and toodle pip

  10. Cancer. Such a scary topic. I hate cancer, and I have very recently lost a close friend to it. So so scary.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  11. Thankfully we are not smokers. I was also getting ready for work that day. We have a small TV in the bathroom, when the Today show came on the first tower had been hit and while I watched the second was hit. What a horrific day it was
    Prayers for all
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  12. Mom's last dog had pancreatic cancer, it was fast moving and sad. Being highly allergic to smoke, smoking has never been an issue for us as we all avoid it like the plague, but it is sad when we see people smoking with their pets right there. Pets don't have a choice.

  13. And it seems like more and more people and pets are getting cancer too. So scary. At least the treatments are improving somewhat.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  14. A horrible word indeed. So sad and terrifying.

  15. I always remember that when our dog Shelby had lymphoma, a gentleman who was a customer at the store we work at, had just survived it himself. Shelby had some chemotherapy and did live a few months with hers, which I think was pretty good for 16 years ago.
    Jan, Wag n Woof Pets

  16. It's true - so many cancers impact us as well as our pets. ANd we're also thankful to know much of the research benefits us ALL!

  17. What a great post, thanks for sharing.

  18. Thanks you very much for your informative and effective post. I think it is very useful content for visitor.

    Visit my website: NicotineResources


I'd love to hear from you! Bark back!