One of the greatest fears of dog owners is finding out their beloved family member has cancer. Early detection of the disease will increase your dog’s survival chances since the advanced cancer stages are the most challenging to treat. So it’s a good idea to learn these cancer warning signs in dogs. If you observe any of the signs in your dog, take him/her to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Cancer Warning Signs
1. Unusual Growths or Swellings On and Under the Skin
Check your dog’s skin routinely. If you find any abnormal growths or bumps, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Growths that bleed or have a discharge are especially
2. Loss of Appetite
Cancer is one of many serious health problems resulting in a loss of appetite. If your dog will not eat or becomes less interested in eating, there is a good chance that
there is a health issue. Your veterinarian can run tests to try to determine the underlying problem.
3. Weight Loss
As with loss of appetite, weight loss can be a sign of various health problems. But sudden or extreme weight loss in dogs can be a sign of a gastrointestinal tumor in the stomach.
If there is a stomach tumor, your dog may eat normally, but still lose weight.
4. Persistent Weakness or Collapsing
Take your dog to your veterinarian immediately if he/she collapses as this is a sign that something is very wrong. In addition to collapsing, persistent weakness and lethargy are early
cancer warning signs.
5. Bleeding or Discharge from any Opening in the Body
6. Sores that will not Heal
7. Changes in Behavior
As with humans, when an animal is sick, the personality will often change due to not feeling well. Dogs with cancer may lose the desire to play, and they may become more
aggressive. They also may become less sociable and spend less time with you.
8. Offensive Odor
9. Changes in Urination and Bowel Movements
Signs of cancer include persistent diarrhea, difficulty with urinating or having bowel movements, and blood in the stool or urine. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your
dog to your veterinarian right away.
10. Respiratory Problems
Have your dog tested for possible lung cancer if your dog is coughing, wheezing, or is short of breath after doing minimal amounts of exercise.
11. Pale Gums
A healthy dog has pink gums. If your dog’s gums are pale, it could be a sign that he is losing blood, and loss of blood is a symptom of cancer.
If your dog has any of the symptoms listed above, take him/her to your veterinarian. If your dog does have cancer, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. Since some cancers can
be cured, you will want to learn and discuss the various treatment options available for your dog.
You can can take certain steps to help enhance your dog’s immune system and lessen the chances that your dog will develop cancer. You’ve probably heard it again and again, but we
really are what we eat, and the same goes for animals. So of utmost importance is to feed a healthy diet that provides essential nutrients.
In addition to feeding high-quality food and treats, you can give supplements that contain antioxidants, such as vitamins C, E and A, beta-carotene, lycopene, and the mineral, selenium. You can also give certain fruits that will provide vitamin C and other nutrients.
Also, avoid giving your dog toxins and poisons that can lead to cancer. For instance, instead of tap water which may contain chlorine and flouride, provide filtered water. Clean your home with cleaners that do not contain harmful chemicals, and provide a natural form of flea prevention that is chemical free.