Top 10 Cancer Warning Signs in Dogs

According to The Veterinary Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death in 47% of dogs, especially dogs over age ten. Spotting the possible warning signs and symptoms early could save your dogs life.

10. Abnormal Swelling

Lymph node inflammation can be potential deadly to your dog if left untreated. A biopsy will need to be performed to examine the cells in the lymph node of your dog. Many times infection is to blame and will be treated with antibiotics. Unfortunately cancerous cells are known to originate in the dogs lymph nodes. This is why abnormal swelling should be taken seriously. Early detection of cancerous cells in the lymph nodes, could help hinder the spread of cancer to major organs of your dog.

9. Sores That Don’t Heal

Typically sores on you dogs will completely heal within 2-3 weeks of initial infection. Their is numerous reasons why your dog is showing sores on their body. From allergies to mange, sores are normal on your dog but when they do not heal is when we should take action. Skin cancer is a very invasive cancer and can be deadly to your dog if not treated properly. Squamous Cell Carcinoma will resist healing and develop tumor-like sores on the body. Treating sores that don’t heal early can save your dog from developing malignant Carcinoma.

8. Dramatic Weight Loss

Cancer can take a toll on your dog’s body. Cancer is very active in the body as the cells begin multiplying and hijacking other cells. The energy consumed from this process will cause your dog to burn a high rate of calories in the body resulting in substantial weight loss. It is very abnormal for a dog to lose 10-15 pounds and should be noted with your Veterinarian.

7. Loss of Appetite

It’s normal for your dog to have a lack of appetite. When you notice the dog bowl not being touched for 4-5 days is when you should make a call to the Vet’s office. Many times this is not an indicator of cancer, rather a oral issue (tumor, sore, etc)

6. Bleeding or Discharge From any Body Opening

Immediately contact your Veterinarian if your dog shows symptoms of excessive bleeding or discharges from their bodies. Chronic pus, diarrhea, vomit, and blood discharges is cause for concern. Never ignore these symptoms.

5. Offensive Odor

Offensive order from your dogs body parts can be a cause for concern. Numerous cancers of the nose, mouth and lower regions will emit a foul order. If prolonged order continues for 2 or more weeks a visit to your Vet would be a great idea.

4. Difficulty Eating or Swallowing

Throat and mouth cancer will cause your dog to have a very difficult time chewing and swallowing. If you notice your dog ignoring their food or showing symptoms of pain when chewing is cause for concern. Excessive vomiting can be a sign of a ulcer or cancer in the stomach. Blood in the vomit as well should be taken seriously.

3. Loss of Stamina or Depression

Cancer is very hard mentally and physically on a dog. Your dog will tend to sleep a lot more to gain the extra energy lost. Many times dogs will lose interest in their favorite everyday activity, like going for a walk. Depression is common with dog’s suffering from cancer and should be noted with your Veterinarian.

2. Pain 

Notice your dog have a persistent limp? Does your dog tend to show or yelp in pain when getting up? There is many signs and symptoms of bone cancer in dogs with chronic pain. Many times arthritis is to blame but bone cancer can be the culprit if arthritis is not present.

1. Difficulty Breathing, Urinating or Defecating.

10 Dog Breeds With the Highest Cancer Rates

The most common sign of cancer in your dog is difficulty with breathing, urinating or defecating. Lung cancer is common in older dogs. Persistent coughing or difficulty breathing can be a early indicator of lung cancer. Any issues with your dog urinating or defecating is immediate cause for concern. Blood in stool or urine is abnormal and should be taken seriously. Intestinal, kidney and bladder cancer is very common in dogs.

Kevin Bentley

Hi, I’m Kevin Bentley, a dog lover and enthusiast. Though I started out as a cat person, my wife quickly set me on the true path of dog love. Now I’m full-on obsessed with dogs and everything related to dogs. I’ve purchased every dog accessory you can think of, so I decided to collect my thoughts about them on this site.

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