This month marks the sixth anniversary of the Petco and Blue Buffalo Pet Cancer Awareness Month. They hope to raise money to help further pet cancer research and to help families whose pets are affected by the disease. Raising awareness of this horrible condition is essential in fighting the disease. Cancer claims many pets’ lives every year. To help give your pet the best chance of surviving cancer, it’s incredibly important to catch the disease early. Learning about the common signs of cancer is a great way to be proactive about your pet’s health. We’ve gathered together a list of the most common symptoms of cancer to help you learn what changes to look for in your pet. However, even if your dog does develop one of these symptoms it doesn’t automatically mean they have cancer. It could be caused by a variety of conditions, but you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.
1. Wounds that won’t heal
If your pet has a sore or cut that just doesn’t heal it time to get it looked. Your dog’s body, when completely healthy, should be able to take care of cuts and sores.
2. Lumps and bumps
Have you noticed a new lump on your pet’s body? Any lumps or bumps on a dog need assessing by a veterinary professional. There are many harmless conditions that can cause lumps to develop, but you should have them evaluated just to be safe.
3. Decreased Appetite
If your pet suddenly loses their appetite even though you’ve maintained their feeding routine it’s likely because they don’t feel well. Cancer can cause dogs to go off their food, monitor your dog’s eating habits to ensure they eating the same as they usually would.
4. Changes in bathroom routine
Does your dog suddenly need to pee much more often? Are they suddenly having accidents? Or do you find yourself waiting for your dog to poop only for nothing to happen? If the answer is yes, it’s wise to take your dog for a checkup. Any changes in bowel movements or urination can be a symptom of cancer and need to be checked out.
Does your dog suddenly spend all day on the couch? Changes in energy levels are a good indicator that something is wrong with your pet. If you notice that their day to day habits change, seek veterinary advice.
6. Weight Loss
Sudden unexplained weight loss isn’t normal for a dog. Weight loss for no reason should always be looked into by your pet’s veterinarian. It may end up been nothing, but it’s always best to check.
We all know our dogs are capable of producing a variety of bad smells, but sometimes that bad smell can be a warning sign. If it’s persistent and coming from their mouth, nose, ears or rectal area, it’s time to take them to the vet.
8. Breathing problems
If your dog suddenly seems out of breath, develops a cough or wheeze then they may have lung problems. Dogs, like humans, can develop lung cancer as well as many other less serious breathing issues. Finding out the cause of these lung problems is essential to their long term health.
If your pet bleeds from any body opening, you should get them to the veterinarian as quickly as possible, bleeding from places like the anus and mouth is a sign of a problem that needs medical care.
If your dog shows any signs of ongoing pain, then the cause needs to be identified. Signs of pain can include limping, lameness, yelping when touched or moving. They can also include behavioral changes such as less energy and even aggression.
As we said at the start of this article, your pet developing any of these symptoms doesn’t automatically mean that they have cancer. By being aware of changes in your dog’s day to day habits and health, can help you stay on top of their healthcare needs helping them have a happy and healthy life.