November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Dog getting a check up at the vet

Signs That Your Pet May Have Cancer

As unfair as it may seem, cancer isn't just a human disease. Your furry friends may also be affected by the potentially deadly illness. Learning about common signs of cancer during Pet Cancer Awareness Month in November can help you protect your pet's health.

Common Signs of Cancer in Pets

If your pet displays any of these signs, it's time to pay a visit to your veterinarian:

  • Lumps and Bumps - Lumps and bumps, particularly ones that seem to be getting bigger, are a cause for concern. Although growths aren't always cancerous, it's important to rule out the disease. Conduct a home exam to look for lumps, bumps, sores, and other signs of health problems at least a few times every month.
  • A Change in Appetite - If your normally ravenous dog, cat, or small animal has suddenly lost interest in eating, you'll need to determine the cause of the sudden change. Your pet may not enjoy mealtime if tumors make eating painful or trigger nausea.
  • Weight Loss - Eating less will certainly cause your pet to lose weight, but weight loss can also occur even if your pet's eating habits haven't changed.
  • Bad Breath - All pets have bad breath occasionally. If the odor is particularly strong and never improves, a tumor may be the cause. Diabetes, or kidney, liver, or gum disease can also cause bad breath.
  • Enlarged Lymph Nodes - Some lumps may actually be enlarged lymph nodes. Lymph nodes remove waste and germs from your pet's body and may become swollen if your pet is sick or has a form of cancer called lymphoma. Lymphoma is more common in cats than dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Lymph nodes in dogs and cats are located on either side of the jaw, in front of the shoulders, on the groin, and behind the knees.
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea - All pets experience diarrhea and vomiting occasionally, particularly if they eat something they shouldn't. Frequent vomiting or diarrhea are unmistakable signs of illness and can lead to dehydration if not treated promptly.
  • Disinterest in Usual Activities - Pets who are sick or have cancer may become lethargic and lose interest in playing, going for walks, and other activities.
  • Swollen Abdomen - Call your veterinarian as soon as possible if your pet's abdomen begins to swell, and the animal isn't pregnant. Abdominal swelling can be caused by bleeding, cancerous tumors, parasites, or bloat.
  • Difficulty Walking - Lameness may also be a sign that your pet has cancer. If cancer invades your pet's bones, walking or jumping may become painful or difficult.
  • Coughing or Trouble Breathing - Persistent coughing or difficulty breathing may occur if your pet has cancer. If you notice that your pet is struggling to breathe, call or visit your veterinarian immediately.
  • Sores That Don't Heal - Sores or ulcers that never seem to get better may also be cancerous.
  • Difficulty Defecating or Urinating - Tumors may make it difficult or impossible to urinate or defecate. If your pet hasn't urinated in 24 hours, seems to be in pain, or strains to urinate or defecate, let your veterinarian know right away. In addition to cancer, trouble urinating can be caused by a urinary tract blockage that could kill your pet if treatment isn't begun immediately.
  • Bleeding - Bleeding from the nose, mouth, ears, penis, vagina, rectum, or other parts of the body should be evaluated. In some cases, bleeding may be related to an injury that's difficult to see. Bleeding, even if you only notice it once or twice, warrants a trip to the veterinarian.

Does your pet have any of these cancer signs and symptoms? Contact our office to schedule an appointment for your pet.

Sources:

AVMA: Cancer in Pets

https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/cancer-pets

Animal Cancer Foundation: 10 Warning Signs of Cancer

Merck Manual: Causes of Cancer, 5/20

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

TEMPORARY ADJUSTED COVID-19 VIRUS HOURS AND DAYS

Monday:

9:00 AM-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 AM-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Thursday:

9:00 AM-7:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 AM-5:00 PM

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Feedback from our clients

  • "Thanks for everything you did for Ready !
    Obviously he loved you all !"
    Bart V.
  • "I will continue to bring my furkids to Buck Road. They are absolutely wonderful with my dog and have been a great resource for my cat who suffers from allergies and kidney problems. They really care about their patients and their humans, and listen to me when I have concerns. They are never, ever overcrowded. Usually there is maybe one other dog in the waiting room. That is a relief and keeps everyone's stress levels down! The facility is clean and staff is always friendly and willing to walk you through, step by step, the treatment plan ahead. I never leave feeling confused. I love this place - and we keep coming back despite moving pretty far away!"
    Courtny S.
  • "Awesome staff ~ great veterinary care ~ Dutch is lucky to have such wonderful professionals looking after him!"
    Beverly B.
  • "A top notch practice. Highly recommend."
    Jason D.
  • "I've been bringing my pets to Buck Road Animal Hospital almost from the time they started and I have never had anything but positive experiences there. The staff feel like friends to me and they always make you feel like they're happy to see you and your pets. The vets take their time with you and your pets and they go out of their way to give you any information you might need about a pet's condition or treatment. I have A LOT of pets and some of my dogs have aggression issues but you'd never know it to see them there. They understand how to make any animal feel at ease and even my most difficult dog is welcomed there. I'd never go anywhere else. Best veterinary practice anywhere."
    Mary K.
  • "I have been a client of Buck Road Animal Hospital for 30 years..and they are the all the greatest caring friendly kind people..I would not go anywhere else..They go out of there way to accommodate you..They are Number 1..Hats off to Caroline Renee Leanne Donna Lindie and to the best vets Dr Steve and Dr Mary Pat."
    Carole M.
  • "Probably the greatest animal hospital of all-time. The staff is superb, and the Doctors are as kind and knowledgeable as they come. Can't wait for our next visit!"
    Andrew S.