There is nothing that brings people more joy than owning a pet. But owning a pet can come with its somber moments as well. Every year, roughly 6 million dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer. Many people don’t realize just how common cancer is among pets, and, of course, that’s never something anyone is anticipating when they are in the process of adopting their pet.
Similarly with cancer in humans, it’s important that pet owners are aware of the symptoms that could indicate cancer. The earlier the cancer is detected and treated, the better the chance of survival is for your pet. Catch cancer in your dog or cat early by watching for these warning signs:
Bumps And Lumps
Get into the habit of checking your pet’s body for any bumps or lumps at least once a month (or more, depending on your pet’s age). If you notice any, record as much detailed information as you can – its size, where it is on the body, etc. You can come back to these notes as you continue checking over time. Not every bump or lump will be cancerous, and it would be impossible for you to tell on your own, so be sure to consult with a veterinarian.
No matter how well you care for your pet’s hygiene, they might always have a slight odor. However, if you notice any strange, pungent odors consistently coming from your pet’s mouth or ears, it may be a sign of cancer.
If you notice any discharge such as pus, blood, vomit, or diarrhea coming from your pet, you should have them checked immediately. Specifically with pus or blood, if you can’t see the direct source of where it is coming from, it could be something internal.
Sudden Weight Loss
If you have an overweight animal and have recently put them on a strict diet, changes in weight are expected. But if your dog or cat starts to lose weight suddenly and rapidly, or has been experiencing significant changes in appetite, it could be an indicator of cancer.
If your pet is extremely active, there is a risk that they could hurt themselves every now and then. Often, these symptoms are signs of other issues, such as arthritis or muscle problems. But if your pet begins limping or gets angry when you go to touch a certain part of its body, it could be something more serious, like bone cancer.
Unfortunately, there is no way to be certain if the signs your pet is exhibiting are symptoms of cancer, especially because most symptoms are extremely broad and could easily be interpreted as a number of other underlying issues. But you know your pet more than anything else. It is your responsibility to pay attention to any changes that may seem sudden or unexplainable. If you notice anything, don’t hesitate to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible! If it turns out to be cancer and it’s detected early, it could be the difference between life and death.