Cancer is the number one disease-related killer of pets. As with humans, it’s important catch it early and there’s a better chance it can be treated or cured.
Many of our hospitals within the AZPetVet family of hospitals provide a full range of treatment for pets with cancer.
We understand that a cancer diagnosis is devastating and stressful for pet owners, and the idea of your beloved pet undergoing chemotherapy treatments can be difficult to contemplate.
Depending on the type of cancer and prognosis, your veterinarian will work with you closely to provide treatment options, help you understand what to expect, and the best and worst case scenarios.
Here are 10 warning signs to watch for in your dog or cat:
- Lumps or bumps that persist or continue to grow – these should be biopsied.
- Sores that don’t heal – these can be a sign of infection, skin disease or cancer.
- Weight loss – sudden weight loss along with any other signs from this list are of concern.
- Loss of appetite – pets don’t stop eating without reason. Get them checked.
- Bleeding or discharge from any body opening such as blood, pus, vomiting, diarrhea. Watch for abdominal bloating or distention as it can indicate a build up of fluids.
- Offensive odor – cancers of the mouth, nose or anal glands can cause nasty odors.
- Difficulty eating or swallowing – this can indicate any number of health problems, so best to see the vet right away.
- Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina – while these symptoms are associated with many health conditions, most people do not realize they can also indicate cancer.
- Persistent lameness or stiffness – this is usually due to arthritis or joint and muscle disease, but it can also be a sign of cancer.
- Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating. These symptoms, whether experienced alone or in groups, indicate that something is wrong. Make an appointment to see the vet, stat!
Regular full body checks and careful observation of your pets at home are important for identifying changes in a pet’s overall health, as well as annual or more frequent wellness exams by a veterinary professional. If your dog or cat is showing ANY of the signs listed above, it’s best to see your veterinarian for a full check-up. Make the call today.