Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and cats, particularly when the animal is over age 10. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 50 percent of senior dogs and 33 percent of senior cats die of some type of cancer. No matter what the age of the pet, a cancer diagnosis often comes as a complete shock to his owner. That is because dogs and cats are good at hiding their symptoms and don't have the ability to verbalize that something is wrong.
As a concerned pet owner, it's up to you to know the signs of cancer so you can seek immediate treatment if your pet displays any of them. While having some of these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean your pet has a tumor, it's always best to have them checked out at Weckworth Animal Hospital.
- Abnormal swelling on any part of the body
- Labored breathing
- Difficulty eliminating as usual
- Loss of appetite and/or weight loss
- Inability to chew or swallow food
- Unusual body odors
- Non-healing sores
- Bleeding from any bodily opening
- Walking with a stiff gait
- Not as active as usual and tires easily
While dogs get cancer more often, the disease tends to be more aggressive in cats. Early diagnosis and treatment affords your pet the best chance at sending the cancer into remission.
The Top Five Locations for Cancer in Pets
Skin, mammary gland, head and neck, lymphoma, and testicular cancer are the top five types diagnosed in dogs and cats. With mammary gland cancer, 85 percent of tumors are diagnosed as malignant. However, getting your pet spayed before age one greatly reduces the chances of her developing it. The same of testicular cancer, which is common in dogs but rare in cats.
Preventive Care Catches Tumors Early
Your pet doesn't always display symptoms when she has developed cancer. This is one reason that regular veterinary check-ups are so important. We encourage you to visit Weckworth Animal Hospital at least once per year for a wellness exam in addition to scheduling an immediate appointment if you notice any of the above symptoms.