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Ten Common Signs of Cancer in Pets

Did you know that cancer accounts for almost half the deaths of pets over 10 years of age? While I didn't realize this (or that dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats get fewer cancers), I do believe that using animal-friendly products and high-quality food is essential to our pets' well-being. Because of the dangers of household cleaners, environmental toxins, and chemicals in their foods, it's important to know what symptoms to watch out for — with early detection, cancer can be a treatable disease for furry friends.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the 10 common signs of cancer in small animals are:

  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Weight loss

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  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  • Offensive odor
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecting

Now, you'll probably recognize that some symptoms overlap with other illnesses, but anytime you notice just one of these things, please take your pet to the vet — even though it could be nothing, it could very well be something, too.


Join The Conversation
buzzlightgirl buzzlightgirl 8 years
sad...just lost a dog to cancer!
ehadams ehadams 9 years
Yes, giving them good food can help a lot. My vet (and a lot of internet research) told me carbs/sugars were bad for cancer patients, so Sara is basically on Atkins now. She is allowed 5% carbs a day or so- so she eats EVO dog food, which is 95% meat. Both the canned and dry foods are great. My other dog loves it too.
baltimoregal baltimoregal 9 years
Aww. Feeding them all-natural dog food without gluten or corn is a good idea, too!
shepptacular shepptacular 9 years
This is so depressing..all my babies are young but I worry about it already. I switched to Method products for cleaning and only use the Pet Fresh carpet cleaner
ehadams ehadams 9 years
Unfortunately cancer is one of those things that you often miss until it is too late. Sara is only 11 and still eats, plays, etc. The only way we knew she had cancer was because she started groaning when she would lie down or get up, or when we would rub her back. She has a tumor on her heart (inoperable) that has spread throughout the lungs. But they gave her a month to live and she is at 3 months and going strong now thanks to holistic treatments. So don't give up!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
how scary, poor doggies. Breaks my heart to see sick animals
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Poor puppies :(
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 9 years
Yikes...thanks for the warning signs...I will be sure to keep this in mind for my little baby girl puppy
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