Cancer is a word no person wants to hear from their doctor or veterinarian. But unfortunately, it is a common diagnosis in dogs. According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation (NCCF), cancer is detected in one in three dogs and is a leading cause of death in dogs over 10. It’s important that owners are aware of warning signs of cancer in dogs.
It is easy for pet owners to assume the worst when they hear that their pet has cancer. Though the chances of cancer spreading out of control is not high, catching signs early increases their chances of survival. About half of all canine cancers are treatable if signs are spotted early.
If you notice one ore more of the following warning signs, make an appointment with a vet right away. Again, the chances of curing the cancer increases with a quicker diagnosis.
The national canine cancer foundation lists 10 early signs of canine cancer:
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Abnormal swellings
Lumps are not always a sign of cancer, especially in older dogs, but you should still get them checked out if they look abnormal and are either persistent or growing.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Sores that do not heal
A wound that is not healing could be a sign of abnormal cell growth. If you notice a sore is recurring and not healing naturally, there may be something interfering with your dog’s ability to heal.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Weight loss
If your pet is experiencing significant weight loss, even though they are eating the same amount, they may have a gastrointestinal tumor.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Loss of appetite
A loss of appetite in dogs is a major sign of an illness. A vet should always be consulted if you notice a lack of interest in food.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Discharge
A common symptom of canine cancer is abnormal discharge from an opening in the body. It may be blood from their nose or discharge from the eyes.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Offensive odor
This sign can often go unnoticed especially in senior dogs as they tend to get bad breath with aging. Don’t rule it out as a symptom.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Difficulty in eating or swallowing
A pet having a hard time eating their food may have a tumor or early symptoms of a gastrointestinal disease.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Lethargy
A lethargic dog has low stamina and their enthusiasm to exercise diminishes. Dogs are normally hyper and excited during outside activity, so a lack of interest can be a cause for alarm.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Persistent lameness
Your dog might be walking with a limp or stiffness in their leg. Bone cancer can cause dogs to feel pain when they place weight on their limbs.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs – Difficulty in breathing, urinating, or defecation
Difficulty in breathing, urinating, or defecation are common and alarming symptoms. Pet owners must schedule a visit to the vet as soon as they can.