How to Spot the Signs of Cancer in Your Pet
As a pet owner, it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer in pets. While cancer is unfortunately quite common in animals, especially as they age, there are fortunately many treatment options available if it is caught early. Keep reading to learn more from VetCheck Pet Urgent Care Center about what to look for and when to be concerned.
What Is Cancer?
Before we talk about the signs of cancer, let's first briefly review what cancer is. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Pets can develop cancerous tumors in any part of their body, although some types are more common than others.
There are many different types of cancer that can affect pets, but some of the most common include:
- Bone cancer
- Breast cancer
- Skin cancer
- Stomach cancer
While surgery is often an effective treatment for localized tumors, chemotherapy or radiation may be necessary to treat more advanced tumors that have spread to other parts of the body.
Signs of Cancer in Pets
Unfortunately, there are often no obvious signs of cancer in pets until the tumor has progressed to a point where it is causing pain or affecting organ function. This is why regular check-ups with your veterinarian are so important, as they will be able to detect even small tumors during a physical exam before they cause any problems. With that said, here are some general signs that may indicate your pet has cancer:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Increased thirst or urination
- Difficulty breathing
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Abnormal swellings that continue to grow
If you notice any of these signs in your pet, make an appointment with your veterinarian right away. They will likely recommend x-rays or ultrasounds to get a better idea of what's going on and whether or not there is a tumor present. A biopsy will then be necessary to confirm the diagnosis and determine what type of treatment is necessary. The good news is that there are many effective treatment options available for pets with cancer, so don't hesitate to reach out for help if you're worried your pet may be sick.