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Health and Fitness News

Canine Cancer

Six signs your dog may have cancer.

You don’t just fear a cancer diagnosis in your loved ones or in yourself, but you dread the thought of your furry friends getting cancer, too.

Unfortunately, cancer isn’t just a human disease, but dogs can get it as well. In fact, cancer is the number one cause of death in dogs. Half of all dogs older than 10 years of age will get some type of cancer. The reason so many dogs these days get cancer? They’re living longer than they used to because of healthcare, vaccines, and safer living conditions.

Despite your pooch’s likelihood to get hit by cancer, if caught in its early stages, many dog cancers are highly curable. Surgery is usually the first line of treatment and chemotherapy, radiation, and even bone marrow transplants are available, but many times unnecessary.

All dog owners should be aware of the warning signs of cancer to help their dogs live happy and healthy lives. Similar to cancer symptoms in humans, here’s what to watch for to catch canine cancer as early as possible.

1. Growths, Lumps, and Bumps

While your mind can’t help but think of cancer when you hear the word “tumor,” the good news is that tumors don’t always mean cancer. The older a dog gets, the more likely it is to develop benign cysts and fatty deposits. However, tumors can be a sign of mammary or skin cancer.

If your dog develops strange growths, visit the veterinarian for a diagnosis. Then examine your dog once a month for any new or changing lumps. Your vet can teach you how to tell the difference between fatty deposits and something to be concerned about.

2. Unexplained Weight Gain or Loss

A pet that consistently keeps a healthy weight and then all of a sudden seems skinny or overweight should be examined by a vet. Tumors in the gastrointestinal tract may cause weight loss even if the dog is eating a normal diet. When your dog feels heavier or looks fatter than usual despite regular exercise and its typical diet, take it to the vet.

3. Persistent Wounds

Your dog has gotten small wounds in the past, but they’ve always healed quickly. Lately, you’ve noticed an area on its skin that just won’t scab or go away. Dogs can get skin cancer and skin lesions or wounds that don’t heal are a common symptom. Get suspicious skin conditions checked by your vet as soon as possible.

4. Trouble Walking

Bone cancer is frequently seen in dogs. One of the main symptoms is bone pain. Dogs exhibit bone pain if they limp, favor a limb, or walk abnormally. While older dogs often suffer from arthritis with similar symptoms, get your dog evaluated for new or persistent lameness to ensure it is not cancer-related.

5. Fatigue

It’s normal for older dogs to slow down and lie around more during the day, but a lack of energy can also be a sign of disease. Watch for signs of lethargy and excessive sleep. A sick dog may not greet you at the door like it used to, seem interested in its favorite toy, or act like its normal self.

6. Abnormal Bodily Functions

You know what’s normal and what’s not for your four-legged friend. Remember that while it’s not uncommon for dogs to have occasional vomiting or diarrhea, when it happens every day, you’ll want to call the vet. Also watch for hardened stools, excessive straining, or black stools. Bloody noses, eye discharge, bleeding in the mouth, foul breath, or labored breathing indicate it’s time to visit the vet.

So keep an eye on your furry family member, take symptoms seriously, and help your pooch live a long, happy life!

About Training with Mr. America
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