Did you know that cancer is one of the top diseases that affects pets? Just like with humans, cancer can appear suddenly in dogs and cats, and you should be aware of the warning signs. If it is caught in time, several effective treatments are available for treating the disease and helping your
pet return to optimum health.
November is also Pet Cancer Awareness Month, so there is no better time to get educated on this vital pet health issue.
Swelling or Growths
Many common cancers develop as tumors, so they can appear as growths or swelling somewhere on your pet’s body. This could be anywhere on your pet’s torso or the limbs, or even on the face and head. Some cancers can develop on the eyelids or inside a pet’s mouth. Make sure to periodically give your pet a close examination to make sure she is free of any physically observable tumors.
The physical effects of cancer can start to change your pet’s behavior. One of these signs is a pet having a lack of appetite or refusing to eat his food. In order to spot this sign, you have to keep a close eye on how much your pet actually eats. Instead of dumping several days’ worth of food in your pet’s bowl at a time, research the recommended daily amount your pet should eat, and only give him that much. Then, you can start to see changes when the food isn’t being consumed.
Sometimes you might not notice if your pet’s eating habits change, or his eating habits might not change at all, but he starts losing weight. This weight loss is another sign that can point to cancer developing, even if nothing else seems to have changed.
Internal cancers can lead to tumors that bleed inside your pet’s body. If you ever notice that your dog or cat is bleeding from her bowels, mouth or anywhere else, you should take her to the vet immediately. As with the other signs, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your pet has cancer, but it could be a sign of other diseases or infections that definitely need to be diagnosed.
Another sign of internal health problems with your pet can be odd odors. If you consistently are finding a strange or strong smell around your pet, this is another good reason to see the vet. One instance could mean that your dog had an unfortunate run-in with a skunk, but repeated strange smells are cause for concern.
Not Wanting to Exercise or Play
Dogs and cats have varying levels of energy and activity. From experience, you’ll know how much your own pet likes to play or to go on walks. Some of us have pets that are extremely active all the time, while others are fairly calm while still being completely healthy.
In order to keep a close eye on your pet’s health, you want to be on the lookout for significant changes to your pet’s activity level. If she usually loves to go on walks but has taken to laying down and refusing to go out, you should get her screened right away.
Trouble with Normal Activities
There are lots of other normal activities that cancer can interrupt or change. For example, certain cancers could cause your pet to have trouble chewing or swallowing. Others could make your pet limp in one leg or have a strange gait, despite the lack of an obvious source for this odd behavior.
Whenever your pet exhibits any strange behavior that you can’t see an obvious source for, take him to the vet to make sure that he is doing okay. When caught in time, pet cancers can be treated effectively and quickly so that your furry friend is back home quickly.