Guest post. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and do not necessarily represent the views of Val Heart & Heart Communications Enterprises Inc.
Cancer in Dogs
One of the worst things that can happen to a dog and its owner is discovering that your dog has cancer, which is much more common than most people think. Some statistics show that around one-third of all dogs develop cancer at some stage in their lives. Although some breeds are more prone to it, there’s no rule when it comes to odds. Both mixed breed and purebred dogs can succumb to this illness.
What is definitely true, however, is that older dogs are more susceptible. This is usually explained by the fact that nowadays dogs live longer due to modern veterinary care and improved nutrition. Bearing in mind that the sooner cancer is diagnosed, the better chances of dealing with it successfully are, it’s vital to recognize typical cancer symptoms in your dog. So, let’s take a look at the most common ones:
This is probably the most typical symptom according to many experts, which often signals the existence of a gastrointestinal tumor, especially if the loss is rapid. Even if your dog still has its regular appetite, it could be losing weight and you should immediately take it to the vet.
On the other hand, bloating or sudden weight gain could also be signs of cancer. It’s possible that your dog is eating less, yet gaining weight, which is why you need to consult your vet.
Not every cough is a symptom of cancer, but if coughing doesn’t go away after a few days, it might be a signal of lung cancer.
Older dogs often suffer from oral cancer, which is why you need to pay attention to any strange odour, bleeding or a change in gum. The best way no to miss these symptoms is to regularly brush your dog’s teeth and inspect its mouth.
Every nosebleed is a sign of some problem, especially in older dogs. It might be a sign of nose cancer, although it could mean that some foreign object got stuck up there, which is always a better case scenario.
Diarrhea or changes in bathroom habits
Not every diarrhea means that your dog has cancer, but if it persists, you need to consult a vet. Also, if your dog is having troubles peeing or moving bowels or if you detect blood in the urine or stool, it could mean that your dog has cancer.
Brain tumors are often accompanied by seizures. So, if your dog is exhibiting sudden, uncontrolled bursts of activity or foaming at the mouth, you need to visit your vet as soon as possible.
No lump, bump or skin change should be unattended since could be either benign or cancerous. Your vet will take a sample and analyze it before prescribing a therapy. Even sores that don’t heal or itchy and painful lesions might indicate cancer.
This is always a good enough reason for a trip to your vet. Your dog may be weak and lethargic, reluctant to leave one of its comfortable Snooza dog beds, failing to greet you at the door like usual, and it might even collapse at some point. Make sure you seek professional help as soon as possible, even if your dog seems to have recovered the next day.
Pain or discomfort
Pain is always a sign of a problem and one of them could be cancer. So, if your dog whines when you pick it up or pat, you need to call the vet.
Although it’s always better to prevent than cure, sometimes it’s simply too late for prevention or there was nothing you could have done to protect your dog. What you can do, however, is carefully monitor the health of your dog and react promptly to any unusual change.
The better aware you are of cancer symptoms and the quicker you react, the better chances your dog will have for survival. This task is not always easy, since many symptoms are subtle and can be easily missed. In any case, whatever symptom you notice, the first thing you need to do is consult your vet.