Did you know that cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs? It’s important to be able to recognize the warning signs so that you can get your dog the treatment they need as soon as possible. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common warning signs of cancer in dogs.
Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs
1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
If you notice a lump or bump on your dog that doesn’t go away after a few days, it’s important to have it checked out by a vet. Many lumps are benign, but some can be cancerous. Cancers can also cause lumps under the skin that feel warm to the touch.
2. Sores that do not heal
If your dog has a sore or wound that doesn’t heal within a few weeks, it could be a sign of cancer. Cancer cells prevent wounds from healing properly, so if you notice a sore that isn’t going away, have your vet take a look.
3. Weight loss for no apparent reason
If your dog is losing weight without changing his diet or exercise routine, it could be a sign of cancer. Dogs with cancer cells use up a lot of energy, so dogs with cancer often lose weight despite having a good appetite.
4. Loss of appetite
If your dog doesn’t seem to be as interested in food as usual, it could be a sign of cancer. Loss of appetite is a common symptom of cancer cell invasion. Cancer cells can cause dogs to feel full even when they haven’t eaten much.
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
Abnormal bleeding or discharge from the nose, mouth, anus, or vulva can be a sign of cancer. If you notice any bleeding that persists for more than a few days, bring your dog to the vet for an exam.
6. Offensive odor
If your dog has a foul odor emanating from any body opening, it could be a sign of cancer. Cancer cells often release offensive-smelling substances that can make your dog’s breath, urine, or stool smell bad.
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
If your dog has trouble chewing or swallowing food, it could be a sign of cancer in the mouth or throat. Cancerous tumors can grow in these areas and make it difficult for your dog to eat.
8. Difficulty urinating or defecating
If your dog has trouble urinating or defecating, it could be a sign of cancer in the bladder, kidney, or intestine. Tumors in these organs can block the normal flow of urine or stool, so if you notice your dog straining to go, bring him to the vet for an exam.
9. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
If your dog seems less interested in exercise or gets tired more easily, it could be a sign of cancer. If you notice your dog is having trouble keeping up with his usual activity level, have him checked out by a vet.
10. Persistent lameness or stiffness
If your dog is lame or stiff and doesn’t seem to be getting better, it could be a sign of cancer. Cancer cells can cause inflammation and pain in the joints, so if you notice your dog is having trouble moving around, have him checked out by a vet.
What Do I Do if My Dog Shows Signs of Cancer?
If you notice any of the above signs in your dog, it’s important to have him examined by a vet as soon as possible. Early detection is critical for successful treatment of cancer, so don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away on their own. With prompt treatment, many dogs can go on to live long and healthy lives.