10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs
Sadly, cancer is a common disease in dogs. Dogs commonly develop cancer when they age and prognosis depends on the location as well as the type of cancer. Just like with humans, cancer can attack any part of the body such as the skin and the organs. Early detection is vital if a treatment is to be successful. Unfortunately cancer often goes undetected until the cancer cells have already metastasized (spread) and treatment becomes more difficult and sometimes unsuccessful.
Some symptoms to look out for that may indicate cancer:
1. Any lump or mass that changes color or size. If you find a lump or growth on your dog that changes color or size, you should have your vet check it.
2. An open wound or sore that won’t mend. Any persistent sore should be checked by a vet.
3. Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss is a sign something is wrong.
4. Weight loss when the dog is eating normally is something that should definitely be checked by a vet. It could be internal parasites but it could also be a warning of something more serious.
5. Vomiting, especially if repetitive can signal a problem. You should be especially concerned if this happens in an older pet. You should take your dog to the vet for tests, vomiting doesn’t necessary indicate cancer; blood tests will give you a better picture of what is going on with your pet.
6. Coughing or wheezing, any difficulty in breathing should be cause for concern.
7. Blood stained urine or difficulty in urinating.
8. Difficulty or straining when defecating could be an indication something is wrong with your dog’s gastrointestinal system.
9. Bloating or edema in the abdomen is definitely a sign something is wrong, it might not necessarily be cancer but any bloating or swelling in the abdomen should be cause for concern and a trip to the vet’s would be in order.
10. Persistent anemia in a pet is worrying. You can usually tell if a pet is anemic if the mucous membranes are pale (gums, the area around the eyes). If you are feeding your dog a nutritious diet but he’s still showing signs of anemia, take him to the vet for a checkup.
The above described symptoms can be related to many diseases other than cancer but if you see them in your dog the best plan of action is to visit the vet as soon as possible. Diseases can develop quickly and early detection and treatment can save you a lot of heartache (and money) in the long run.