Your dog is not just a pet. It is also a loyal and cherished family member. The mutual bond of loyalty and love between you and your furry friend can make a diagnosis for any form of canine cancer heartbreaking to hear. Nobody wants to think about cancer. Unfortunately, it is a leading cause of death among senior dogs.
Cancer strikes almost 50 percent of all dogs over ten years. The Veterinary Cancer Society deems it the leading cause of death in senior dogs. So, you should know how to identify common cancer signs in dogs as your canine companion ages.
Ensure your dog receives veterinary care and monitor its behavior and health. Remain alert for cancer symptoms and get help as soon as possible before the cancer spreads. With early treatment, there is hope your four-legged friend can defeat the disease.
Cancer Signs in Dogs
The immune system weakens as the body ages, making it more vulnerable to various diseases. Cancer is the development and uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. These cells can move and spread throughout the body, destroying normal tissues.
There are many forms of cancer, and the symptoms vary based on the location and type of the illness. Some of the signs and symptoms to watch for include the following:
Abnormal Swelling That Continues to Grow or Persists
A mass, lump, or bump that keeps growing under your dog’s skin is the most obvious sign of cancer. Instead of just watching it, you must have it removed and biopsied. It is good news if it is benign. If it turns out to be malignant or cancerous, do not panic. At least you will know and can discuss your options with your veterinarian.
Sores That Do Not Heal
Does your canine friend have a skin wound that does not seem to heal despite applying topical or oral antibiotics? If so, take your dog to a vet for tests to confirm or rule out cancer. The same applies to nonhealing wounds near the tail.
Unexplained Weight Loss and Loss of Appetite
Unless your dog is on a weight loss diet, it should not be losing too much weight. A common cause of unexplained weight loss is a tumor along the intestine. Furthermore, the tumor pushing along the intestine might make your pup feel too bad to eat. A lump in the neck could also put pressure on the esophagus, making it challenging to eat and swallow.
Discharge or Bleeding From Any Body Opening
Bleeding from the nose does not necessarily mean your dog has cancer. However, it may be a sign of nose cancer. So, you should take your pet to the vet if you notice abnormal bleeding from the nose or any other body opening.
Other common signs of cancer in dogs include:
Loss of stamina and reluctance to exercise
Persistent stiffness or lameness
Difficulty defecating, urinating, or breathing
Swollen lymph nodes
Unnatural tissue and bone swelling
Cancer is a scary disease in both humans and dogs. However, you do not have to live in fear. Significant improvements in canine cancer treatments mean you now have options to pursue treatment for your furry pal. Some of these include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Knowing the signs of canine cancer could save your dog’s life.
For more information on canine cancer, contact Highland Veterinary Clinic at our office in Evansville, Indiana. Call 812-710-4300 to book an appointment today.