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Top Tens Warning Signs of Cancer in Pet Animals

  1.   Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow  
      Pet your pet! This is the best way to find lumps, bumps or swellings that could be anywhere on the body.  
  2.   Sores that do not heal  
      Non-healing sores can be a sign of infection or cancer. Your veterinarian can determine the reason why the sore is not healing.  
  3.   Weight loss  
      If your pet is not on a diet but is losing weight, illness could be to blame.  
  4.   Loss of appetite  
      It is not normal for pets to lose their appetite. This may be a sign of illness.  
Top 10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Pet Animals
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  5.   Bleeding or discharge from any body opening  
      Bleeding can occur for numerous reasons - most of which are abnormal. Vomiting and diarrhea are abnormal discharges as well!  
  6.   Offensive odor  
      This is a common sign especially for tumors in the mouth, nose or anus.  
  7.   Difficulty eating or swallowing  
      This is a common sign of cancers of the mouth and neck region.  
  8.   Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina  
      This can be one of the first signs that your pet is not feeling well.  
  9.   Persistent lameness  
      There could be many causes of lameness including nerve, muscle or bone cancer.  
  10.   Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating  
      If your pet experiences any of these symptoms please have them evaluated by a veterinarian.  

A few cancer facts:

  • Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells on or within the body. Not all cancers are the same. Depending on the location and biologic behavior there may be several treatment options available.

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death in pet cats and dogs in the United States. As many as 50% of pets die of cancer.

  • Cancer is often a treatable or even curable disease with specialized cancer care.

  • Many of the same treatments that are available for humans are now available for pets. These treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

  • Different cancers may require different forms of treatment. Some patients will only need tumor removal where as others may need a combination of treatments.

Your pet should be seen by a veterinarian if they have any of the signs. These signs can point to several illnesses, including cancer. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the options may be for treatment. Just like humans, pets should get regular “well-pet” check-ups to monitor their health. However, if you notice any of these warning signs between well-pet check ups – schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.