Kali was a dynamic seven and a half year old Golden Retriever. She was taken by the most deadly and invasive disease affecting our beloved pets today — cancer.

kali1Kali, our beloved golden retriever, collapsed suddenly one morning in April 2003. She was later diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma – a blood borne cancer which had caused a massive tumor in her spleen. Kali passed away a short five weeks later – she too was only seven years old.

Cancer is the No. 1 killer in both dogs and cats, making it also the top health concern among pet guardians. Animal cancer statistics reveal that one of three dogs and one of four cats will be diagnosed with cancer, and even these stats appear to be on the rise.

kali2These statistics are alarming and the first step in changing this deadly trend is awareness. Pet guardians should know what steps they can take to minimize the cancer risk in their companions. Understanding the warning signs of cancer is imperative to early diagnosis and treatment. When the diagnosis is cancer, loving pet guardians need to know what the options are for treatment and the facilities available in Alberta and nation wide.

kali4Just like people, pets can develop cancer from environmental toxins — pesticide use, toxic household cleaners and second-hand smoke — which may cause healthy cells to turn cancerous. Additionally, and likely more importantly, genetic abnormalities must be examined as a true cause of many cancer cases, particularly as it relates to certain pre-disposed breeds. Lastly, commercial diets that provide little nutritional value suppress our pet’s immune system and over time make them more susceptible to this disease.

We started Kali’s Wish Cancer Foundation with a mission to eliminate cancer in our animal companions.