Cancer is an illness that affects not just humans, even dogs can develop carcinoma. Here’s how to catch the early signs and symptoms.
Ask anyone who has a canine member in the family. A dog is as much a member of their family as any human in the fold. Therefore, it is understandable when the dog is unfortunately diagnosed with cancer, it is almost like the earth below the feet of every member of the family has given way.
Most often, people want to know what signs they failed to pick up, what were the early red flags that they missed?
On Youtube videos, Dr Sue, a cancer veterinarian runs a Vlog. She says that she is often asked, “What are the common dog cancer signs? Dog cancer symptoms? Cat cancer signs? Cat cancer symptoms?” There are 10 cancer signs and symptoms that pet owners shouldn’t ignore. She explains that in a set of two videos.
A word of caution: Dr Sue warns that although the signs listed below are warning signs that something may be the matter with your pet’s health (including the possibility that it may turn out to be cancer), it does not necessarily mean it IS cancer. The final work wi be from the local vet that you take the dog to and the vet will run certain tests before arriving at a diagnosis.
Early detection is so important. If we can catch cancer early and take our pets to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment, we can greatly increase their chances of survival. The key is knowing what those signs and symptoms are, says Dr Sue.
Cancer is often treatable, and treatment is well-tolerated in the majority of dogs and cats.
Dr Sue says that except for certain types of cancers like leukemia, most cancers are not easily detectable in the early stages by looking at the blood analysis report.
Top 10 signs your dog needs a cancer check:
- Loss of appetite: Is your pet eating as much as he or she used to eat? Is there an increase (rarely, this too happens) or loss of appetite (most often noticed) in appetite? Are the favorite foods also making no difference in drawing the pet to eat? It could be a kidney disease or anything from arthritis or anything from infection to cancer. Loss of appetite (or weight loss) is a red flag. Take the dog to the vet.
- Lumps and bumps underneath your pet’s skin: Unexplained lumps and bumps on your dog’s body, including a mammary gland tumor (primarily in female dogs) that aren’t spayed as well as those spayed after 2 years of age, although male and female dogs of any age and breed may develop mammary tumors . According to PetMD, certain breeds, including Poodles and various spaniel dog breeds, have an increased risk. Not all noticeable tumors are serious, however. Lipomas are common but benign fatty tumors that grow in the layer just beneath the skin. Lipomas feel like soft, moveable lumps under the skin are harmless more often than not but if allowed to grow uninhibited, they may grow large enough to compress internal organs.
- Lameness or difficulty walking: Dogs also develop arthritis. Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer in dogs. While tumors usually occur in the long bones of the limbs, osteosarcoma can affect any bone. Dogs with osteosarcoma may appear to be in pain and walk with a limp, and the affected limb may be swollen. Cancer in the bones spreads rather quickly to other organs. Large and giant dog breeds have the highest risk of developing osteosarcoma, warns the PetMD.com report.
- Pigmented Sores: Dogs have a furry coat, therefore changes in skin color or pigmentation are not always noticeable all over the body. However, darkly colored sores are a sign of melanoma, a cancer of pigment-producing cells, mostly found to affect the mouth and lips, and they can also be found on their nail beds, footpads and eyes.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes: Dr Sue urges all pet owners to hug, hold their dogs often and run a hand over their abdomen and armpits to feel/look for lumps if any. She urges that we do it at least once every month. Several types of cancer can cause lymph nodes to feel more prominent. Lymphoma is a common malignant cancer that accounts for up to 20 percent of all canine tumor cases. While most lymphoma cases begin in the lymph nodes, lymphoid tissues in the visceral organs, skin and bone marrow can also be affected. Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, knee and armpit regions are typically the first to be noticed.
- Wounds That Won’t Heal: Is your dog suffering from inflammation or lesions that are seen particularly near the skin, mouth and nose? A particularly aggressive form of cancer known as the mast cell tumor may present as a skin lesion that just won’t resolve. Time to see a vet.
- Gastrointestinal problems: When a dog’s body is fighting a type of cancer, there is a massive release of histamines associated with mast cell tumors that can also cause significant problems with the gastrointestinal system. The canine may develop stomach ulcers, vomiting and diarrhea. Any sign of vomiting in dogs means his stomach or intestine is in distress. Time to go to the vet.
- Sudden Weakness or Collapse: An otherwise active and energetic dog showing signs of sudden collapse? You are right in being alarmed and hopefully, the doctor will rule out Hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the cells lining the blood vessels. Unfortunately, one of the most common initial signs of hemangiosarcoma involves. In this cancer, sudden collapse due to massive internal bleeding is a common symptom caused usually by a ruptured spleen.
- Labored breathing: Your dog normally runs, walks, plays without having to catch a breath. But you notice that his breathing is now laboured, noisy. Several of the canine cancers mentioned above are capable of spreading to the lungs, where they may cause respiratory distress.
- Lethargy: You are used to watching the pet lunge and race ahead of you when he/she senses that it is time for a walk or play. But of late, you notice that the dog is increasingly sleepy and exhibits a reluctance to exercise and play. While a variety of issues can cause lethargy, specific cancers are frequently associated with lethargy – such as lymphoma and osteosarcoma. This warrants a visit to the doctor.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your pet’s veterinary expert before beginning any treatment or arriving at a diagnosis.