We often don’t like to think about topics such as cancer, but most of us know someone: a family member, a close friend, relatives of friends, or acquaintances- that have been affected by cancer. The chances of getting cancer and the things that cause cancer seem to increase every year. The same goes for your cats and dogs. Cancer is the leading cause of death in pets.
We also know that the earlier you can catch the cancer, the better your chances are at surviving. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor regularly. Your pets should go to the doctor regularly for that reason as well, especially as they get older. The following are a few signs of cancer in pets, and if these are visible, you and your pet should go to an animal clinic in D’Iberville, MS immediately:
- Bumps or lumps: Cats and dogs can get bumps under their skin. Not all of them are cancerous, but if the lump or bump is not disappearing and fading but instead growing in size, you should visit the vet. The vet can perform a needle biopsy, which will let you know for sure if the lump or bump is cancerous or not.
- Weight loss: Weight loss can mean a number of different things, with cancer being on that list. If your pet starts losing an awful amount of weight quickly (and your cat or dog is not on a diet), be sure to mention it to your veterinarian.
- No desire to eat: There’s usually a reason your cat or dog stops eating. Sometimes it’s just a bug, but in the worse case scenario, it could be cancer. If you notice your pet no longer has an appetite, mention it to your vet. Sometimes oral tumors make it painful to eat or swallow.
- Difficulty breathing: If your cat or dog coughs often and has to catch its breath, it may be a sign of heart disease, lung disease or also cancer. If it is cancer of the lung, the earlier you catch it, the better. Often the cancer can spread through the lungs and into other organs.
- Pain: A healthy pet walks, runs and jumps without a care in the world. If you notice that your cat or dog looks like he or she is in pain when they perform these activities, talk to your veterinarian. Limping is also a bad sign. While limping or pain may be a sign of arthritis or joint or muscle diseases, it can also be a sign of cancer, specifically bone cancer.
As a general rule, if you feel uneasy and/or something feels off, visit or talk to your veterinarian. None of the above signs are absolute indicators that your pet has cancer. Your pet may be going through a phase or something else might be wrong. However, at the other end of the spectrum, it could be cancer. You can never be too careful. For a helpful animal clinic in D’Iberville, MS, visit D’Iberville Veterinary Hospital.