We hate the thought of our pups becoming ill, but being educated is key to keeping our dogs as healthy as possible. Everyone knows that the quicker cancer is found and diagnosed, the better the chances are of fighting it off and prolonging your dog’s life. While annual check-ups at the vet are important, a year between visits is just too long when it comes to fighting cancer. Canines are susceptible to the same types of cancers as humans, but they can metastasize at a much faster rate.
Regardless of your dog’s age, be proactive by looking for early symptoms that could indicate cancer. Dr. Kelly Ryan, DVM at the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America and Humane Society of Missouri, goes by these 10 warning signs that dog owners should know to watch for. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian, ASAP.
#1 – Unusual Odors
While “dog breath” is common, if you notice unusually foul odors coming from the mouth, nose or rectal area, it may be due to a tumor.
#2 – Bumps or Lumps On or Under the Skin
Get into the habit of checking your pet’s skin monthly. Don’t forget to check behind ears and around the face. Even if you find a very tiny lump or bump, cancer can grow very quickly. Any new lumps or bumps should not be ignored. If the bumps are bleeding or there is discharge, see a veterinarian immediately.
#3 – Unusual Weight Loss
Unless you’ve put your pet on a diet, their weight should remain pretty consistent. Sudden weight loss is a cause for concern.
#4 – Appetite Changes
If your dog has lost interest in meal times, illness is likely the cause. Many health conditions cause appetite loss, and cancer is one of them.