Common Cancer Symptoms in Dogs and Cats
50% of senior dogs develop cancer. The number isn’t quite as high for cats but it does happen.
Like with people, there are a variety of cancers that can affect your beloved pet and as you probably know, many cancers can be treated if caught early.
May is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, so it makes sense to share a few cancer symptoms that pet lovers should be aware of.
There are a few symptoms that specifically skew toward cancer which I’ll share in a moment. Unfortunately, the other cancer symptoms can seem a little generic – weight loss, change in energy levels, etc. so don’t panic if your pet shows these signs, but do make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your pet evaluated.
3 Typical Cancer Symptoms
1—Unusual lumps and bumps – one common cancer for both dogs and cats is lymphoma, this is a cancer of the lymph nodes which are located throughout your pet’s body. The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system which works to filter toxic substances out of the body.
Individual lymph nodes can swell up to be the size of golf balls so they can be very noticeable. In cats, lymphoma is linked to feline leukemia virus. There’s a vaccination against feline leukemia, which can protect your cat.
2—Visible sores on the skin – mast cell cancer is a type of skin cancer that can create noticeable lesions on your pet’s body. Now, since skin problems is one of those “generic” concerns that can mean all kinds of things, you’ll want a specialist to evaluate your pet. Plus, since this is a kind of cancer with multiple classifications, finding out what you’re dealing with is your best shot.
3—Unusual bleeding – whether from the eyes, nose, mouth, or in the urine, bleeding or unusual discharges are a sign of sickness.
Other possible cancer symptoms include a bad smell emanating from the body or mouth. Plus, weight loss, extreme change in energy levels – from happy and active to sluggish all the time.
Pet Cancer Prevention Tips
A healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward keeping your pet feeling great so keep them at a healthy weight, get regular exercise, and feed a quality diet. The basics are powerful.
Speaking of a healthy diet, when you include anti-inflammatory ingredients like blueberries, salmon, and other good-for-your-pet ingredients in your pet’s diet, you can reduce inflammation. As you may know, inflammation is a leading cause of disease.
Now that you know some of the typical pet cancer symptoms, you can keep an eye on your pet and make a note of any unusual behavior. As always, regular wellness visits with your veterinarian can help catch cancers and other diseases early. Twice a year visits for pets 8 and older is recommended unless your vet says otherwise.