Cancer is an unfortunate disease that affects more than just humans. Cats, dogs, and other pets are susceptible to the illness, and it’s important to keep an eye on any signs that indicate that your beloved pet may be suffering. Below are ten major warning signs that your pet may be suffering from this terrible illness.
Loss of Appetite
A basic rule of thumb is that dogs and cats will not abstain from eating for no specific reason. Food avoidance is often the result of pain while eating or swallowing. If your pet has lost interest at meal times, they may be ill. While appetite loss does not necessarily mean your pet has cancer, a veterinarian should still be consulted, as your pet may be suffering from oral tumors.
Unless you put your pet on a diet, their weight should remain consistent. Cancer can certainly cause weight loss in pets. If you notice a sudden weight loss in your cat or dog and you are not purposefully feeding them less food than normal, it could be a sign of cancer or another illness.
Lumps and Bumps
It’s important to regularly check your pet for any abnormal lumps or bumps on their body. While not every bump is indicative of cancer, it’s a good idea to ask a vet to make sure, especially if it’s not going away or is growing in size.
Sores That Will Not Heal
If your cat or dog has sores or wounds that are not healing at a normal rate, it could be a sign of infection, skin disease, or even cancer. Be aware of of any open sores and talk to your veterinarian if they are not healing.
Lethargy or Loss of Stamina
Cats and dogs are playful creatures. If you notice a decrease in their playfulness or stamina, it could be a warning sign for cancer. Take note if your pet is less willing to go on regular walks or play outside. It’s normal for pets to become more lethargic with age and energy loss is not always a sign of cancer.
However, a combination of stamina loss along with other warning signs from this list, it is recommended that you consult your veterinarian. You know your pet’s personality best. If they don’t seem like themselves and are spending most of their time lying down or sleeping, it may warrant a trip to the vet.
Changes in Bathroom Habits
A change in your pet’s bathroom habits may be indicative of cancer. Difficulty with bowel movements, frequent bathroom use, or blood in their stool are all high concerns for a pet’s health. If this is the case, it’s time to seek a professional’s opinion.
Evidence of Pain
Limping or other signs of pain when a pet is walking, running, jumping, or playing could be the result of a common injury or arthritis. However, it could also be a sign of cancer, namely bone cancer.
Bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea, pus, or any other discharge from your pet should be checked out by a vet. Also, if you notice that your cat or dog has abdominal bloating, it could be indicative of abnormal discharge inside the body.
While “dog’s breath” is common, a high volume of abnormal or offensive odors coming from your pet could be a cause for concern. Cancerous tumors of the mouth, nose, or anal region may result in foul odors in cats or dogs.
Coughing or Difficulty Breathing
If you notice that your pet is coughing or breathing abnormally, it could be a sign of lung disease, heart disease, or even cancer. Cancer can spread through the lungs causing your pup to cough or have trouble breathing. Be cautious if you notice wheezing or shortness of breath after very little exercise.
There are many precautions you can take to keep your pets healthy. It’s important to know what their normal habits are, what signs may be indicative of illness, and when to take them to the vet. Monthly checks for lumps, regular weigh-ins, appetite monitoring, and periodic full-body checks for sores will help you catch the signs of cancer or other diseases early. If you notice any of these warning signs, or a combination of them, consult your veterinarian immediately.