Working through cancer with a loved one isn”t easy. The pain and suffering that must be endured is immense, and incredibly taxing on the whole family. The severity of the situation, however, can be decreased if you catch things in their early stages. But, if you”re a dog, you can”t exactly call up the doctor when something”s achy…so the responsibility to spot signs of cancer in pooches falls on you, their owner.
Here are 10 symptoms that could indicate that your pup has cancer:
1. Swollen lymph nodes
Lymphoma, a common cancer, will cause these glands to swell. You”ll notice if they”re swollen most easily by the ones under the jaw or behind the knee, but you should get your pup a biopsy or cytology for confirmation if you”re worried!
Everyone knows to look out for lumps on themselves as a precaution against cancer, but this also applies to your pup. While lipomas (fat deposits under the skin) are fairly common in dogs, it”s still a good idea to have a doctor take a look at any new or changing bumps on your pooch”s skin.
3. Abdominal distension
If your dog”s belly is suddenly looking overly round or swollen, it might be a mass or tumor in that area. It could also be bleeding, so you should get your dog an ultrasound or radiograph ASAP.
4. Weight loss
If you haven”t cut down on your dog”s diet and she or he is rapidly losing weight, it could be a sign that cancer is taking a toll on their body. To be safe, take them to your vet, as it could be a sign of a whole slew of medical problems, not only cancer.
5. Vomiting or diarrhea
Aside from simply being an unpleasant experience for your pet, chronic vomiting and diarrhea could be a sign that your pup has a tumor in their gastrointestinal tract. But, again, no one likes to be in this situation, so get that dog to a doctor!
6. Unexplained bleeding
While some dogs do suffer from bleeding disorders, those are usually diagnosed at an early age. If your dog is bleeding inexplicably, take them in for an exam right away, as it could be a sign of cancer.
You should bring your dog in for a chest radiograph if you notice a dry cough, especially in older pups. There”s a chance that it”ll take more than just a nap to kick their cough.
Bone cancer will often cause lameness in dogs, especially in larger breeds like great danes. If your pup has trouble getting around, take them in for a radiograph immediately!
9. Trouble urinating
While it”s not too uncommon for dogs to develop urinary tract infections (especially in males), those can be treated with antibiotics. If your pet”s still straining when he urinates, or if there”s blood in the urine, you should schedule a bladder biopsy with your vet as soon as you can. Bladder cancer could be the root of the problem.
10. Dog breath
Oral tumors will cause your kibble-loving pup to switch entirely to wet food, and they”ll make it difficult for them to chew. They”ll also cause your dog”s mouth to smell rancid, so if your dog seems picky about their food, is chewing strangely, or has a severe case of dog breath, an oral examination including radiographs or a CT scan is what the doctor”s going to order.
(sources Bark Post, The Veterinary Cancer Center)
Old age is sure to bring at least minor issues for your pup, but if you”re informed, you could prevent total chaos and a lot of pain. Keep an eye on that dog, and be sure to schedule periodic checkups with your vet!
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