Cancer is, unfortunately, a common illness in many dogs. There are many different types of cancer that dogs are susceptible to, and some breeds more prone to developing it than others. But just like people, any dog is at risk, especially as they get older. While cancer symptoms are typically the same as any other general illness, there are certain things watch out for. If you notice anything unusual, be sure to take your pup to the vet as soon as possible.
#1 – Change in Activity Level
Many dogs become lethargic when they don’t feel well, and cancer will certainly keep your pup from feeling his best. While dogs will often slow down as they age, a sudden change in activity level should be considered abnormal. If you notice your dog has become less active, or even completely lethargic, be sure to have him checked out by a vet.
#2 – Weight Gain & Enlarged Abdomen
A number of reasons can cause weight gain in dogs, but if you notice an enlarged abdomen along with rapid weight gain you might want to pay close attention to the possible causes. Abdominal tumors are relatively common in dogs, and they can quickly cause a swollen belly and increase your pet’s weight. Keeping an eye on your pup’s weight is important for all sorts of reasons, but every so often cancer can be the cause.
#3 – Limping
Sudden limping without injury is always something to be concerned about. Sometimes we don’t notice when our pup injuries herself, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t double-check the cause. Bone cancers can begin in the legs and often cause pain when bearing weight. If sudden limping is severe or lasts for longer than a day or two, you might want to schedule a vet exam. Bone cancers can spread quickly and often result in the loss of the leg.
#4 – Loss of Appetite
Most dogs will eat at every given opportunity, but illness is the top cause of a loss of appetite. Whether it’s a simple stomachache or something more severe, anorexia in dogs should not go untreated. Loss of appetite is a sure sign that something is wrong internally with our pups, and catching cancers early is the best chance for a full recovery. Any loss of appetite should be examined by a veterinarian.
#5 – Urgency to Urinate
Luckily the most common problems for frequent urination, or the constant urge to go, is likely a bladder infection. While these should also be treated by a veterinarian, it’s always a good idea to rule out any bladder cancers that might be causing a problem. Dogs will often appear to be marking and straining with no urine coming out, and it could be that a tumor is putting pressure on the bladder causing the urgent feeling to go. No matter the cause, your veterinarian should be able to help treat your pet accordingly.