COLUMBIA (WACH) - The death of South Congaree Police Department K-9 Officer Enzo is a reminder that cancer can even affect our four legged friends.
Dr. Becky Brown, an oncologist at South Carolina Veterinary Specialists, says one way owners can help prevent the disease is to treat animals the same way a person would handle themselves when it comes to cancer risks. She says cancer can occur in any part of an animals body and they can develop some types of the disease in the same way people do.
"Some types of cancer in dogs and cats we know can be caused by UV exposure, exposure to second hand smoke, or cigarette smoke...obesity," said Brown.
She says her goal when a pet is going through treatment is to make sure the household stays the same.
Brown treated Enzo, the K-9 officer that died last week. She says he suffered from one of the most aggressive cancers, which is common with the German Shepherd breed.
Knowing Enzo's love for policing, Brown was able to keep him working until his final day.
"Our goal is to maintain a good quality of life. I don't want my patients to have a decline in their everyday," said Brown.
According to Brown, signs of cancer can be difficult to pinpoint. They can be similar to other health problems. Some things to look out for are bumps and lumps, nose bleeds, bad breath and little or no appetite. She recommends having pets with these symptoms visit their veterinarian.