(PET HEALTH/DOG BREEDS) During the month of November, men can choose to grow their beards to raise awareness about men’s health. Some dog breeds, however, celebrate their beards all year around! Pet guardians and dog lovers alike can help participate in No-Shave November (or Movember) by honoring their furry friends with fluffy beards.

Movember not only raises awareness about men’s health and cancer prevention, but also about pet health. It’s important that pet guardians understand the risks involved with prostate cancer in pets.

Read on to find out the top ten bearded dog breeds, and learn what you can do to help keep your pet healthy. — Global Animal

These dog breeds have beards all year around! Photo credit: Trupanion
These dog breeds have beards all year around! Photo credit: Trupanion

During No-Shave Movember Bearded Dog Breeds Can Help Raise Awareness about Prostate and Testicular Cancer in Pets

While people everywhere grow and showcase their moustaches and beards to raise awareness about health this November, man’s best friend is doing it too.

Trupanion, a medical insurance provider for cats and dogs, is featuring those who show off their beards and moustaches 365 days a year—the top ten bearded dog breeds. This November, these furry faces can help raise additional awareness about pet’s health, men’s health, and cancer prevention. Prostate and testicular cancer are also a very serious concern for pets, and it’s important to stay informed and prepared throughout your pet’s life. This month, celebrate these bearded breeds and talk to your veterinarian about prostate and testicular cancer for your male dogs and cats, the benefits and risks of sterilization, and how to prepare financially for any veterinary bills down the line.

Photo credit: Tex Pet via Flickr.
Shih Tzus have long beards which make them good candidates for no-shave Movember! Photo credit: Tex Pet via Flickr.

The Top Ten Bearded Breeds

1. Yorkshire Terrier
2. Shih Tzu
3. Schnauzer
4. West Highland White Terrier
5. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
6. Scottish Terrier
7. Airedale Terrier
8. Lhasa Apso
9. German Wirehaired Pointer
10. Brussels Griffon

Prostate cancer in pets is rare, but dangerous.

“The exact cause is still unknown, but studies have found that prostate cancer has been reported more in neutered dogs than intact dogs. Genetics and a hormonal imbalance from neutering have been cited as potential factors increasing this risk.” Said Kerri Marshall, DVM, Chief Veterinary Officer at Trupanion.

Symptoms to look out for include weight loss, ribbon-shaped stool, difficulty passing urine, and fever. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your veterinarian right away.

Testicular tumors, on the other hand are more common in dogs, but still rare in cats. These tumors are often benign and risks can be easily eliminated by neutering a pet. Enlarged testicles are often the first sign of testicular tumors, but other symptoms can arise depending on the tumor.

This conversation can happen at any time with your veterinarian. While older pets are at a greater risk of developing prostate and testicular cancer, you should talk to your veterinarian about the benefits and risks of neutering, when to neuter your pet, and how to prepare for your pet’s health in the future.

Photo credit: Next Ranks
Yorkshire Terriers are the top bearded dog breed. Photo credit: Next Ranks

Part of that preparation involves financial preparation. This should start early, well before any symptoms or conditions arise. Treatment for these cancers can be very costly. Trupanion has seen claims from a couple hundred dollars to remove testicular tumors through castration to over $13,000 for prostate cancer treatments involving CT scans and radiation therapy. These treatment options can be costly, and a well-prepared pet owner will be able to afford and provide the best care for their pet. “Pet medical insurance can give pet owners financial access to many treatments that would otherwise be unavailable to their pet,” said Dr. Marshall. “This gives them the ability to provide the best care for their pet. However, this needs to be part of the discussion early on. No medical insurance company currently covers pre-existing conditions, and a pet must be enrolled before they show symptoms of an illness.”

This November, take some extra time to talk about the risks of prostate and testicular cancer to your veterinarian, weigh the benefits and risks of neutering, and ask your veterinarian about pet medical insurance. For more bearded breeds, like Trupanion’s honorary mention, the bearded collie, visit Trupanion’s breed guide. For additional adorable dogs (and cats) with moustaches, check out Trupanion’s blog.

More Trupanion: http://trupanion.com