10 Signs Your Dog May Have Cancer

We all love our dogs, and we want nothing but the best for them! Sadly, it can be hard to tell sometimes when they get sick or hurt; they can't talk to us or tell us what is wrong. If your dog, especially your older dog, starts displaying some of these signs, it could be a sign that your dog has developed cancer. In any case, you should always contact a veterinarian if any of these symptoms arise.

#1 - Lumps and Bumps

Tumors are, essentially, just clumps of misbehaving cells. Especially in smaller dogs, you can often feel these tumors without need for any kind of advanced examination. Any obvious bumps or lumps, especially those well-attached to underlying tissue, could be cancerous.

#2 - Skin Lesions

A lesion is an area of abnormal damage. They run the entire gamut from entirely harmless to potentially cancerous. Oddly, you want to be more concerned about smaller lesions than large ones; larger ones are usually signs of a scrape or other physical injury, while smaller ones without obvious causes could be evidence of something more serious.

#3 - Coughing, sneezing, vomit and diarrhea

All four of these are common signs that something is wrong with your pet, ranging from a minor infection, allergy, or even an upset stomach all the way to cancer. One important way of distinguishing more critical instances is if blood is involved; if they're coughing up blood, something is definitely wrong internally.

#4 - Seizures

A tumor in the brain can effect an animal's function in a wide variety of different ways. One of the most obvious would be with a seizure; especially if your dog has no history of seizures up to that point.

#5 - Weight Loss

Cancer can cause weight loss; the cancerous cells basically fight with the healthy cells for more energy, causing the dog to burn more calories. If your dog is eating, drinking, and generally acting happy, but is still losing weight, they could have an early form of cancer.

#6 - Distended Abdomen

Abdominal distension can mean a wide variety of things, but in older dogs, often it means that a large, cancerous mass has grown on one of the organs inside the abdomen.

#7 - Enlarged Lymph Nodes

Cancer of the lymph nodes is the most common cancer found in younger dogs. If you find a swollen lump on either side of the jaw by the neck, or in the rear legs behind the knee, then that could be a sign of swollen lymph nodes.

#8 - Mammary tumors

If you have not spayed your female dog, of if she was spayed later in life, they will have an increased risk of developing mammary tumors. Unspayed dogs also could develop cancer in their uterus or ovaries.

#9 - Vaginal Discharge

In unspayed dogs, cancer of the uterus or ovaries is something you need to watch out for. One potential sign would be an abnormal, and often bloody, discharge from the vaginal region.

#10 - Testicular irregularities

Male dogs who have not been neutered run the risk of developing testicular cancer. If your unneutered dog has unevenly sized testicles, and the larger one is hard or irregularly shaped, there's a very good chance they have testicular cancer.