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How To Recognize Cancer Signs In Dogs

  • Dog Care


Your furry friend is not just your pet but a cherished family member in your house. This makes the whole idea of them being sick more terrifying. Be it cancer or any other serious illness. They can be cured if they are caught at an early stage. Cancer is a leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10. But half of all cancers are curable if caught early.

Like humans, dogs cannot talk and convey their illness and discomfort. But you can recognize it in their behavior or changed appearance. Whether you’re seeing a giant tumor on your dog’s body or you feel your dog is having trouble swallowing the food, pay attention as these may be symptoms of cancer. Here are ten warning signs of cancer in dogs. Keep an eye on them to identify a problem early. 

Sudden Collapses

If your dog suddenly collapses, consult a vet immediately. Collapsing, low energy, or lethargy like not interacting with people or not going to the door when someone comes in, could be signs of cancer. Even if your dog falls and seems better the next day, give a visit to a vet as this might be a sign of a tumor of the spleen. 

Bumps And Lumps Underneath The Skin

While casually running your hands on your pet, have it tested by a vet if you feel any tiny or big lumps under the skin. You can’t tell if the lump is cancerous or not, and it could also turn out a usual lump, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

That’s why get your dog tested as soon as possible.  Lumps can form at any part of the body, including between the toes, so make sure you check carefully. Some lumps might even be painful to touch, so pay attention to your dog while examining. 

Weight Loss

Weight loss could be a symptom of many diseases, but cancer is one of them. It could be a sign of a gastrointestinal tumor. Many dogs stop eating due to gastrointestinal tumors, which results in rapid weight loss. Even if your dog is eating the normal appetite but still losing weight, that could also indicate cancer. If you see your dog shedding pounds either slowly or rapidly, it’s best to consult a vet. 

Coughing Or Difficulty Breathing

Having an occasional cough that lasts one or two days is normal, but if your dog is coughing longer than a few days, it can indicate serious health issues. The same goes with having breathing problems. Dogs don’t catch a cough or cold like humans, so it’s something to watch out for if they do. It could indicate lung cancer or any other serious illness. 

Changes In Mouth

The mouth is something most dog owners don’t examine frequently. Lumps, sores, bleeding, unusual odor, or a change in gum color could signify oral cancer. These symptoms often go unnoticed for a long time. Many oral tumors have devastating results as people find them only when they’re advanced. You can watch your dog when they are eating or yawning and see if you find anything unusual. You should also brush your dog’s teeth regularly. 

Changes In Bathroom Habits

If your dog is constantly urging you to take them out to the bathroom or if they show difficulty urinating or defecating, it could be a sign of cancer or any other infection. Apart from this, if you notice vomiting, blood in urine, or stool, consult your vet immediately. 

Signs Of Pain Or Discomfort

Some cancers, specifically bone cancers, cause pain, and you can see that in your dog’s behavior. If your dog presents signs of pain or discomfort like not getting up, performing less physical activities than before, or limping, you should take it seriously. Joint pain also indicates arthritis which is more common in older dogs. Either way, your dog needs to get checked to get proper treatment. 

Difficulty Swallowing

If you see your dog not eating correctly or having pain while swallowing food, it could be a warning sign for neck and throat cancers. Pay attention to how your dog eats food and consult a vet when necessary. 

Wrapping Up

If you’re confused about the signs or you can’t identify them, your local vet can do a thorough assessment of your dog to figure out the problem. Presently, cancer treatments have advanced rapidly. Your options include radiation treatment, surgery, chemotherapy, and advanced treatments in dedicated cancer facilities. In case you notice any of the signs in your dog, immediately consult a doctor.