Cancer is an ugly word not only for humans but especially for our pets. It can’t be prevented, but education is essential.
If you know the signs and symptoms of the disease, cancer could be diagnosed and treated quicker prolonging your dog’s life.
Cancer can metastasize faster in dogs than in humans. Taking your dog for their annual check-up is great, but waiting a year between visits if cancer is involved could be deadly for your pet. The saying “it’s better to be safe than sorry” applies well here.
There might not be anything wrong, but to give yourself that reassurance and your pet a clean bill of health, get them to the vet, ASAP.
As in humans, cancer in dogs doesn’t discriminate; your pet could be a young pup, an adult or senior. So how can you detect cancer on your own? Dr. Kelly Ryan, DVM at the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America and Humane Society of Missouri, uses these ten warning signs. If you notice any of these in your dog, get them to the vet immediately.
1. Unusual odors – “Dog breath” is common; but if the scent is more foul than usual, your dog could have a tumor. The smell can come from the dog’s mouth, nose or rectal area.
2. Bumps or lumps on, or under the skin – Feel beneath your dog’s fur monthly. This is easy to do while grooming or bathing them.
Don’t forget to feel vulnerable areas such as behind the ears and the face. These growths can proliferate. Don’t ignore any new masses, especially those that bleed or where there is discharge. Get your dog to the vet immediately in those instances where the mass has grown or is leaking.
3. Unusual weight loss – Sudden loss of weight in your pet is concerning. If they’re on a diet, they will naturally lose weight, but if not and they’re dropping pounds, you should take them in to be examined.
4. Changes in appetite – This leads us to the fourth warning sign: You know your dog’s eating habits. You know what they eat, how much and how often. You also are aware of your pet’s favorite foods and treats. There could be a problem with your dog’s health if their appetite diminishes. It might not be cancer, but your pet could still suffer from an illness. Better to take Bingo to the vet if you aren’t certain why he isn’t eating regularly.
5. Lethargy – Some dogs are known for being lazy. Just as with your pet’s eating habits, you are the perfect judge to determine whether your dog is simply idle or sick.
Does your pet ignore playtime more than usual? Does your dog grow exhausted quicker than normal?
6. Respiratory issues – Like humans, dogs can also contract lung cancer. You’ll notice something is wrong when your dog coughs, wheezes, or has shortness of breath after short spurts of exercise. This could be an indicator of cancer.
7. Changes in behavior – Have you noticed your normally mellow dog snapping? Does your pet spend more time away from you than at your side? These could be signs your dog is in pain. Pay close attention to how your pet eats, walks, and plays. If they are limping or you observe other signs like your pet is struggling, get them to the vet.
8. Open sores – When people and animals have open wounds, they must heal properly. In dogs, if these abscesses become infected or don’t heal fully, there could be something more serious going on.
9. Vomiting and Diarrhea – Part of being a good dog owner is interpretting your dog’s behavior and physical state. Just as with us, when dogs are Vomiting and have frequent Diarrhea, there is probably something wrong.
If you see any of these other symptoms accompanying these physical attributes, get your dog to the vet right away: Check their abdomen for bloating or stomach distension, (swelling in the stomach).
10. Pale gums – Your pet’s teeth are just as important as their skin, ears and eyes. Know how your pet’s gums should appear when they’re healthy. Brushing their teeth on a regular basis can alert you to pale gums. This could indicate blood loss, which could mean the presence of cancer.
So, now you know ten easy cancer warning signs to watch out for in your pet; we anticipate earlier cancer diagnoses and more dogs who will survive treatment.
Because of your do diligence, they will live out their lives happy and healthy.
We hope you’ll bookmark and share this post with your friends and other dog lovers; you might end up saving a canine’s life; maybe your own.