1. Groomers Are The 1st Line of Defense Against Cancer

    Listen to Dr. Post on Animal Radio® for November 3, 2012

    Dr. Gerald Post is the owner of the Veterinary Cancer Center (The VCC), in Norwalk, CT, which is a specialized veterinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals.

    Some estimates suggest that greater than 50% of dogs over 10 years old will die of cancer.  Dogs get cancer a little bit more frequently than humans, while cats get cancer less frequently than humans.  There are about 6 million new cases of dogs and cats diagnosed with cancer every year.  The earlier you detect cancer, the better your chance of effective treatment.

    This is where your groomer comes in.  Dr. Post can’t tell us how many times cancer has been detected first by the groomer.  The groomer then advises their client, who will brings their animal to their veterinarian.

    Dr. Post feels that groomers are a great resource for health maintenance and detecting cancer at a very early stage.

    Animal Radio’s own Joey Villani, who has been grooming dogs for many years, explains why groomers can help detect cancer.  He states that they look at our dogs more closely than we do, and are looking at areas where we might not always see.  These include closely looking at the private areas and feeling under their arms and legs.  They do this because they will be working in those areas and want to make sure they are free and clear of any lumps or bumps.  What they sometimes find are lumps and bumps and even moles that don’t look right.  If they do find something odd, they will tell the guardian to take the dog to their veterinarian and have it looked at.  Joey also mentions that he can’t remember how many times a guardian has come back to him with tears in their eyes and told him, “Thank you very much.  This was the beginning of cancer.  You saved my dog!”

    While groomers find these lumps and bumps, they still need to be examined by a veterinarian.  This is a whole team approach to detecting cancer in our pets.

    Cancer can be caused by a variety of things, such as diet, environmental factors and genetic factors.

    Unfortunately different breeds of dogs are more prone to certain types of cancers.  For example, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Flat-Coated Retrievers and Boxers, have a 60% of getting cancer at some point in their lives.

    Below are 10 warning signs of cancer in both dogs and cats. Please understand that these are just potential warning signs and should not panic you, but prompt a visit to your veterinarian.Chart showing dog's lymph nodes

    1. Swollen lymph nodes: These “glands” are located all throughout the body but are most easily detected behind the jaw or behind the knee. When these lymph nodes are enlarged they can suggest a common form of cancer called lymphoma. A biopsy or cytology of these enlarged lymph nodes can aid in the diagnosis.

    2. An enlarging or changing lump: Any lump on a pet that is rapidly growing or changing in texture or shape should have a biopsy. Lumps belong in biopsy jars, not on pets.

    3. Abdominal distension: When the “stomach” or belly becomes rapidly enlarged, this may suggest a mass or tumor in the abdomen or it may indicate some bleeding that is occurring in this area. A radiograph or an ultrasound of the abdomen can be very useful.

    4. Chronic weight loss: When a pet is losing weight and you have not put your pet on a diet, you should have your pet checked. This sign is not diagnostic for cancer, but can indicate that something is wrong. Many cancer patients have weight loss.

    5. Chronic vomiting or diarrhea: Unexplained vomiting or diarrhea should prompt further investigation. Often tumors of the gastrointestinal tract can cause chronic vomiting and/or diarrhea. Radiographs, ultrasound examinations and endoscopy are useful diagnostic tools when this occurs.

    6.Unexplained bleeding: Bleeding from the mouth, nose, penis, vagina or gums that is not due to trauma should be examined. Although bleeding disorders do occur in pets, they usually are discovered while pets are young. If unexplained bleeding starts when a pet is old, a thorough search should be undertaken.

    7. Cough: A dry, non-productive cough in an older pet should prompt chest radiographs to be taken. This type of cough is the most common sign of lung cancer. Please remember there are many causes of coughs in dogs and cats.

    8. Lameness: Unexplained lameness especially in large or giant breed dogs is a very common sign of bone cancer. Radiographs of the affected area are useful for detecting cancer of the bone.

    9. Straining to urinate: Straining to urinate and blood in the urine usually indicate a common urinary tract infection; if the straining and bleeding are not rapidly controlled with antibiotics or are recurrent, cancer of the bladder may be the underlying cause. Cystoscopy or other techniques that allow a veterinarian to take a biopsy of the bladder are useful and sometimes necessary to establish a definitive diagnosis in these cases.

    10. Oral odor: Oral tumors do occur in pets and can cause a pet to change its food preference (i.e. from hard to soft foods) or cause a pet to change the manner in which it chews its food. Many times a foul odor can be detected in pets with oral tumors. A thorough oral examination with radiographs or CT scan, necessitating sedation, is often necessary to determine the cause of the problem.

    Now with the powerful tool of Genome X, we will soon be able to look at the genetics of a dog and tell if a particular dog has a high or low risk factor for certain types of cancer.


  2. Dr. Gerald Post, Veterinary Oncologist Spoke at the International Congress of the Society for Melanoma Research

    The Veterinary Cancer Center (VCC) is a world class facility that specializes in the veterinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals.

    NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Dr. Gerald Post , DVM, MEM, DACVIM (Oncology) is one of only two hundred board-certified veterinary oncologist in the United States. Dr. Post graduated with distinction from Cornell University in 1983 and received his DVM degree from the University of Minnesota in in 1988. In 1991, he completed a residency in Oncology at the Animal Medical Center in New York and in 1992 became a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

    Dr. Post has authored many papers and book chapters on the topics of oncology and hematology, and was recently recognized by New York magazine as one of the best veterinarians in the tri state area. Recently, Dr. Post and his colleagues authored two seminal papers significantly advancing the treatment of both B-cell lymphoma and T-cell lymphoma in dogs. Dr. Post has devoted his life to animals and always had a strong interest in small animal oncology. He truly believes that the knowledge gained through comparative oncology can be used to cure many cancers not only in animals but humans as well.

    As well as being a practicing veterinary internal physician in the tri state area he is also a principle owner of the Veterinary Cancer Center (VCC) in Norwalk, CT. This is a world class facility that specializes in the veterinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals. This facility is privately owned and one of the largest standalone cancer facilities. Almost every case we handle is referred to us by a family veterinarian seeking expert outside counsel. Our approach is to work with your regular veterinarian and form a team of medical experts with a common goal of extending both the quality and length of your pet’s life.

    Dr. Post has also found the Animal Cancer Foundation and is on the Board of Directors of The Riedel & Cody Fund. Both of these foundations support the prevention and possible financial support of both pets and families in need. Dr. Post is also an affiliated partner with the Cornell University Veterinary Specialist and on the scientific advisory board of both Abbott and Bayer.

    Dr. Post will be having a speaking engagement at the upcoming International Melanoma Conference in Hollywood, CA on November 8-11th. One of only a few veterinarian specialists selected to contribute at this prestigious annual meeting. In addition, Dr. Post will be speaking on October 2, 2012 @ 7:30PM at the Mark Twain Library in Redding, CT about the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals and how this translates to humans.

    Throughout his career he has offered both hope and compassion to pet owners. Whatever the diagnosis, Dr. Post will offer endless support and the best possible recommendations for your pet going forward.

    Contact information for Dr. Post – The Veterinary Center at 129 Grover Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850. Phone: 203.838.6626,, email:

    Media Contact: Brooke Valenti The Veterinary Cancer Center, 917 363 5345,
    News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

  3. Melanoma Tumor Board Meeting and ACF

    I just returned from a Melanoma Tumor Board Meeting in Washington, DC and I do not remember being more excited by the outcome of a conference. There were close to 50 people in attendance ranging from medical oncologists to molecular biologists to geneticists to veterinary medical and radiation oncologists to pathologists-both veterinary and human. This group of people represented the “best of the best” in terms of melanoma researchers and clinicians.

    This conference, supported by the Animal Cancer Foundation, will result in the publication of a “white paper” describing a consensus statement espousing the value of canine oral malignant melanomas as a model for certain types of melanomas in people. People from both sides of the “human and veterinary aisle” passionately and eloquently described the need for developing this model.

    The organizers of this conference have done what no one has been able to do for 20 years—effectively guide such a diverse group of cancer researchers to reach a consensus statement.  They have truly allowed me to see a dream of mine move towards fruition. Since starting the Animal Cancer Foundation in 1999, I have hoped to galvanize the cancer community in this manner. It is such a wonderful feeling to