Dog Cancer: Do You Actually Know The Symptoms?
No one wants to see their dog get sick or hurt; we all love our fine furry friends and what nothing but the best for them. They can't talk to tell us what's wrong, so we have to pay extra attention to them to try to figure out when they're in pain. If your dog, especially an older dog, starts to display some of the signs on this list, it could be an early warning that your dog is developing cancer.
Lumps and Bumps
In essence, a tumor is just a clump of misbehaving cells, growing out of control. If you have a small dog, you can often feel--or even see--these tumors without an advanced examination. An obvious bump or lump could easily be cancerous.
Skin lesions come in all shapes and sizes. Some are entirely harmless, but others can be an early sign of cancer. Large lesions are actually a more positive sign--those are usually caused by scraps or other physical injuries. It's the smaller ones, without any obvious causes, that you need to be concerned about.
Coughing, sneezing, vomit and diarrhea
Coughing, sneezing, vomiting and diarrhea can be common signs that something is wrong with your pet. Sometimes that's just a minor infection or allergy--or even just an upset stomach. At times, though, it can be the sign of something serious, including cancer. If you blood is involved, then something is definitely wrong internally.
If your dog were to develop a tumor in it's brain, many of it's regular functions would be effected. A seizure is a pretty major sign that something is wrong, especially if it comes in a dog with no prior history of seizures.
Cancer causes weight loss. Essentially, the cancerous cells fight with the healthy cells, taking energy and nutrients. That causes the body to burn more calories, causing weight loss. If your dog is acting happy and eating and drinking, but is still losing weight, than it could be an early sign of cancer.
Enlarged Lymph Nodes
The most common form of cancer in younger dogs is cancer of the lymph nodes. Check your dogs for lumps on either side of the jaw, by the neck; or in the rear legs behind the knees. If you feel lumps, that could be a sign of swollen lymph nodes, which could be a sign of cancer.
In an older dog, abdominal distention could mean that there's a large, cancerous mass growing on one of the organs inside the abdomen. While distension can be caused by a variety of ailments, cancer is one of the more common ones.
If your female dog was never spayed, or was spayed later in life, then they have an increased risk of developing tumors in their mammaries. Unspayed dogs are also at risk of cancer in their uterus and ovaries.
In addition, unspayed dogs can have cancer in their uterus or ovaries. An abnormal, and usually bloody, discharge from their vaginal region could be a warning sign for cancer.
Similarly, if you have a male dog who has not been neutered, they may run the risk of developing testicular cancer. If your unneutered dog has unevenly sized testicles, with one very hard or irregularly shaped, there's a better-than-average chance that they may have developed testicular cancer.