10 Easy-to-Miss Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs

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It’s Canine Sarcoma Awareness Month, do you know how to spot cancer in dogs? Check out these 10 easy to miss signs of cancer in dogs to help keep your pupper safe.

cancer in dogs

  1. Grouchiness. Sometimes, your dog’s only way to tell you they don’t feel well is by being “grouchy”. Unusual crankiness can mean your dog is experiencing pain or sickness.
  2. Limping. Limping may not always indicate something so simple as a sore paw. If you notice your dog limping, monitor him or her closely for a few days and see your veterinarian if it persists. Your dog could be feeling pain in joints, bones, ligaments, or soft tissue caused by a tumor.
  3. Licking. If your dog repeatedly licks a spot on their body, they could be trying to “heal” an unseen tumor. Always have your veterinarian inspect hot spots and areas your dog fusses over.
  4. Odor. Not many people realize that dogs naturally do not have a foul odor (even when wet). When fed a healthy, raw diet, the majority of dogs lose this offensive odor within a few weeks. If your dog suddenly develops a nasty odor and has not had any dietary changes, you should see your veterinarian for a checkup. Many cancerous tumors have a distinct foul odor that can be detected early on.
  5. Sores. Chronic sore that do not heal are often written off by pet parents as hot spots. But not all chronic sores are self inflicted. Cancerous sores will not heal and your dog will repeatedly lick these areas in an attempt to alleviate pain and sickness. Have your veterinarian check all sore spots regularly.
  6. Appetite. Changes in appetite are often one of the very first signs of cancer in dogs. Some dogs may appear ravenous despite being fed their regular portions. Most often, dogs simply lose their appetite and refuse to eat due to the effects of cancer in the body.
  7. Lumps, Bumps, and Swelling. It’s not difficult to convince a pet parent to regularly check their dog’s body for lumps, bumps, and swelling- we sort of do that anyways while petting our fur babies. But take note of any abnormalities you find and if they don’t clear in a few days, see your vet.
  8. Difficulty Chewing or Swallowing. When your dog has problems chewing or swallowing, we often assume it’s a dental issue. But some types of cancer can create problems chewing and swallowing as well. Always get your dog checked by the vet right away when you notice problems eating.
  9. Potty Problems. Difficulty peeing or pooping isn’t always a urinary infection of constipation. Any bowel or bladder problems that persists more than a few days should be evaluated by your veterinarian. If a tumor has blocked your dog’s ability to relieve themselves, the problem could become life threatening in a matter of a few days.
  10. Depression. If your dog seems to lose interest in eating, playing, cuddling, or any other activity he normally enjoys, there could be a serious problem at the root of his mood changes.

raw dog food and cancer

You know your dog best, anything out of the ordinary should be noted and monitored and checked by the vet if it continues. Since your dog can’t talk, it’s up to you to be the ever-vigilant detective to notice when there are changes in your dog that could signal cancer.

 

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