Dogs commonly get cancer. Cancer is a disease that is characterized by a group of cells that grow to invade and destroy adjacent tissues. It may also spread to distant areas through a process called metastasis.
Cancer can occur in the skin, under the skin and affect just about any location or organ in the body.
There are also several types of cancer that is possible at each location. The signs of cancer vary with the location and type of cancer. The aggressiveness of the cancer will depend on the type of cancer, the location and the individual pet.
Some common warning signs of cancer may include:
1. Lump or growth that grows quickly
2. A firm mass or a mass that seems attached to the underlying tissue
3. A pigmented mass or a mass that changes its character
4. A sore or wound that does not heal
5. Difficulty eating or swallowing
6. Weight loss or loss of appetite
7. Repeated vomiting – especially in an older pets
8. Coughing or difficult/labored breathing
9. Bloody urine or difficulty urinating
10. Persistent lameness
11. Lethargy or a decreased energy level
12. Straining or difficulty defecating
These are a few of the most common warning signs.
Because cancer can affect almost any organ or body system, the signs of cancer can include just about anything. For example, if the cancer involves a bone, some animals will be lame. If the cancer involves the skin, you may feel a mass. If the cancer involves the intestine, some pets will exhibit signs related to the intestinal tract such as not wanting to eat, loosing weight, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.
If your dog has any of these problems or you have any other concerns, please visit your veterinarian for a complete examination.
For more information on cancer in dogs, please read What is Cancer? or Cancer, What are the Warning Signs?