It’s easy to think any strange lump or issue with your pet is cancer.
Thankfully, many times it is not cancer, and the odd symptoms or issues are caused by a different sickness all together. Contact your vet if you see any unusual symptoms, but don’t worry yourself sick until you have a diagnosis.
Even still, here are a handful of signs that you should watch out for that MAY mean “cancer.”
- Lumps (especially new ones; those that grow quickly; those that appear, decrease in size or disappear, and then reappear or enlarge; and those that change color or easily bleed)
- Skin sores or irritated areas
- Red spots on the skin, gums, or mucous membranes
- Wounds that don’t heal
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Lack of, or decreased appetite
- Abdominal enlargement (potbellied appearance)
- Weakness or exercise intolerance
- Excessive panting or heavy breathing
- Pale gums or mucous membranes
- Bad breath
- Bleeding or chronic discharge from wounds or orifices
- Change in bowel habits (chronic diarrhea, vomiting, or both)
- Change in urinary habits (blood in the urine or urinary incontinence)
Remember, these symptoms do not automatically equal cancer, but any time a pet does have an illness that doesn’t respond to treatment within a month or two, cancer must be considered.