It can be extremely difficult to detect the early stages of cancer in your animals. Unfortunately, it is incredibly important to detect cancer in the early stages in order to provide the best chances of successful treatment. The more cancer settles in, the more difficult it will be to treat. This makes it extremely beneficial to understand the common signs of cancer in animals. When you familiarize yourself with the signs of cancer, you may be able to detect cancer in the early stages. This will go a long way toward providing your pets with the care that they need, when they need it.
Abnormal Swellings or Growths
It is important to regularly examine your pet’s skin and body. If you notice any new growths or masses under or on the skin, it is likely an indication of cancer. It is similarly important to keep an eye on changes with any existing growths. In most situations, your veterinarian will suggest that you have abnormal growths removed and biopsied to locate cancer in the early stages and protect the health of your pets.
Difficulty Eating or Swallowing
When there is a growth located on the throat or in the mouth, it likely becomes extremely difficult for your pet to eat or swallow. This can lead to an array of other issues. Pay attention to your pets when they are eating. If they exhibit signs that indicate that they are having difficulty eating, it is possible that they have a cancerous growth in an unpleasant place.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Not only will a pet seem to have difficulty swallowing, but they may exhibit unexplained weight loss. Certain types of cancer can cause issues with the digestive system, while other kinds can make it difficult for them to eat. Cancer often results in both weight loss and a loss of appetite.
Sores that Don’t Heal
Sores can occur due to an accident or injury, such as scratches from a bush or other occurrence. However, it is important to pay attention to sores that are extremely persistent and don’t heal over time. Long-lasting, persistent sores may indicate cancer. They tend to be persistent and long-lasting, because they are caused by the cancer rather than an external occurrence.
Bleeding or Discharge from Body Openings
Bleeding or discharge from various body opening may not always be an indication of cancer. However, it certainly can be, especially in combination with other signs of cancer. For example, not all nose bleeds indicate nose cancer, but nose cancer often causes bleeding from the nose. It is particularly beneficial to ensure that this sign is in combination with other signs to protect the health of your pet.
Lameness isn’t always an indication of cancer. In fact, the majority of pets that experience lameness do not have cancer. Arthritis, prior injuries, and many other things can lead to persistent lameness. However, lameness can also be a sign of bone cancer. Bringing your pet in to see a professional can help to identify the cause behind your pet’s lameness, as well as identify a specific plan to help increase the comfort of your pet. If you notice that your pets seem far more stiff than usual, you may want to bring them in to our office.
Difficulty Breathing, Defecating, or Urinating
The areas where cancerous growths can occur can be uncomfortable and even incredibly dangerous. Cancer can also cause disruption to their systems. When your pet has difficulty defecating, urinating, or breathing, it is possible that your pet has cancer. Even if cancer isn’t the culprit, it is still important to bring them in to see a medical professional. Any issue that makes it difficult for them to breathe or defecate is a serious threat to their health.
Pay attention to offensive and unpleasant smells coming from your pets. Just like how bad breath can indicate more serious health conditions, other smells can indicate a health concern with your pet. For example, some odors can arise due to the presence of bacteria, others can indicate severe infections. It is important to take the steps to obtain medical treatment if your pet suddenly starts emitting offensive odors.
Reluctance to Exercise
Cancer can cause extreme fatigue and loss of energy. It can also be an incredibly painful experience for your pet. All of these factors in combination tend to result in a pet feeling extremely reluctant to exercise. If your dog, who used to love walks, suddenly starts hiding when you pull out the leash, it is possible that there is a serious health issues that is interrupting their energy levels.
Discolored Patches of Skin
Signs of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is another type of cancer that pets can experience. It is important to understand these signs in order to protect the health of your pet. Tumors and new growths often indicate the presence of skin cancer. You should also pay attention to areas where your dog continuously licks or scratches. Patches of skin with cancer will be extremely uncomfortable, which tends to cause pets to scratch or otherwise mess with the area. Though the fur from pets may help to protect them, keeping your pets in the shade or otherwise helping to protect their skin can help to keep them safe from skin cancer.
Here at Borrett Animal Hospital, we are dedicated to providing you with all of the services that you need to protect the health of your pets. If you suspect that your pet has cancer, it is critical to bring them in to our office to have it identified in the early stages. Our expert team can help to provide you with guidance regarding the best plan to protect your pet’s health. If you are concerned that your pet may have developed cancer, you should contact our office as soon as possible!