A quick cancer diagnosis increases the recovery chances of your dog. There are many different types of cancer. Cancer treatment for each type also varies in intensity and duration. If your dog is over age 5, it has an increased possibility of coming down with some form of this disease. Therefore, you should be aware of the possible signs of cancer.
• Sores refuse to heal
• Bleeding or discharge from any part of the body
• Abnormal lumps, bumps or growths. While some may be benign cysts or localized infections, others are malignant tumors. Do not despair. A cancer diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence. Cancer treatment, conventional or alternative, can be effective in many types of cancer.
• Persistent swellings of the body
• A loss of appetite: While dogs may go off their food for a meal or a day, it is not normal for them to abstain for longer.
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Weight loss: If this is greater than 10% of the average body weight, it can be indicative certain types of cancer.
• An unpleasant odor: this could be from one specific spot or be a general smell.
• Lameness, limping or stiffness: While older dogs frequently suffer from arthritis and limp, younger dogs should not go lame. If there is no paw cut or embedded substance in their paws, consider cancer an option.
• Problems with urination or defecation: This includes increased or decreased amounts. If your dog has not been in the garbage, or eaten or swallowed a foreign object, peeing and pooping should not be a problem. If they are regular in their toilet habits, this could indicate a serious problem.
• Overall lack of health or general decline in their behavior: If the spark is gone or if your animal is just not acting “normally” this could be a sign of cancer. This is particularly true if the dog fades suddenly, losing weight and becoming gaunt.
• Problems with breathing: While breathing problems can relate to such things as pneumonia or bronchitis, it can also be indicative of certain types of cancer.
• Weakness or loss of energy and stamina: Older dogs may not be as strong as puppies. Yet, any dog displaying prolonged signs of physical weakness, including a lack of stamina, does have health issues. A cancer diagnosis is one of the possibilities.
There are many types of cancer. It is more pervasive after 5-years of age, but it is found among younger dogs. If your dog exhibits the symptoms, do not hesitate to take him or her in for diagnosis. Not all treatments or tests are invasive. However, the sooner the Veterinarian makes a cancer diagnosis, the better the chances for treatment and recovery.