In conjunction with Pet Cancer Awareness month, we’re profiling the early warning signs of cancer in pets. While these warning signs do not automatically equate a cancer diagnosis, it’s important to be aware of the fact that cancer affects pets too. Cancer is the number one disease-related killer of dogs and cats, but is curable half of the time when caught early.
Some of the warning signs in pets are similar to those in people. Signs include a strange lump or bump, a wound that won’t heal, extreme swelling, or sudden behavioural changes. We suggest contacting your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of the above.
Check for lumps and bumps under your pet’s skin monthly. This will help catch anything unusual as soon as possible. Concern is warranted if the lump or bump doesn’t go away or begins to enlarge in size, and an appointment with your veterinarian becomes necessary.
Open sores that refuse to heal may also reflect a larger medical issue. Unusual bloating, distension in your pet’s abdomen or continuous vomiting and diarrhea also merit a professional opinion.
Extreme behaviour changes can be another early sign of cancer in your pet. Is your snuggly Fuzzy now acting isolated or angry? Is he suddenly limping or struggling during playtime? Have you noticed sudden weight loss or disinterest in meal times? If any of these changes occur, please see a veterinarian.
While these warning signs may not mean cancer, they do merit professional advice. If you suspect your pet may be exhibiting any of these issues, click here to connect to one of our veterinarians today!