Cancer Warning Signs
While the thought of your beloved pet developing cancer may be frightening, many types of the disease are treatable if caught early. Be on the lookout for these warning signs and contact your veterinarian if you see anything concerning.
Lumps and bumps
Never assume a skin mass is “just another fatty tumor.” Have each skin mass checked by your veterinarian and keep a body map of the lumps so you know when a new lump occurs. Skin masses in cats are more likely to be malignant than those in dogs.
Serious bad breath is typically caused by periodontal disease or a tumor in the mouth. Bad smells can also indicate the presence of bacteria which can result from an infection or wound related to cancer.
Watch out for increased discharge from your pet’s eyes, nose, or ears. This could be a sign of a tumor or other serious illness.
If your pet has wounds or sores that are not healing on their own or with prescribed medications, this may indicate cancer.
Since obesity is such a common problem in dogs and cats, many pet owners are thrilled when they notice their pet has lost weight. However, if you do not have your pet on a diet, your pet is not likely to lose weight. Be sure to have unexplained weight loss checked out by your veterinarian.
Changes in appetite
Both an increase or decrease in appetite can be a signal of cancer in your dog or cat. Be sure to monitor whether your pet is eating more or less than usual.
Coughing or difficulty breathing
Cancer can affect your pet’s breathing in several different ways. Any change in your pet’s normal breathing pattern or a reluctance to exercise should be discussed with your veterinarian.
Lethargy & depression
If your pet seems uninterested in daily activities, is sleeping all the time or doesn’t feel up to their daily walk or play session, this might be a sign of a serious illness, including cancer. A trip to the veterinarian for a nose-to-tail examination is in order.
Changes in bathroom habits
Excessive water drinking, blood in the urine, difficulty urinating or defecating, frequent diarrhea, or blood in the stool are all potential signs of cancer.
While not all types of cancer are preventable, check out our blog for some practical steps you can take to reduce your pet’s risk.