The thought that a loved one may have cancer is definitely not a pleasant one. Both humans and pups are at risk of getting this disease, and although there are many different kinds of cancers with varying symptoms, there are some signs that are universal. Here are five to look out for.
1. Lumps, bumps, and swelling
Tumors form growths on the body that are relatively easy to spot. Sores or bumps on the skin, lumps beneath the skin, or hard growths on the extremities are all symptoms of tumors. With that being said, there are other reasons a pup may have bumps, so this is not necessarily a surefire symptom. Check with a vet to find out more.
2. Sores that don’t get better
Open sores that do not heal are a symptom of skin cancer. If you spot open sores that seem perpetually inflamed, have them checked by a vet, especially if they’re accompanied by other bumps. Pups may also have a weaker immune system and heal slower from other injuries due to cancer.
3. Loss of appetite
If your pup is skipping meals or seems to be eating less than usual, this is usually a sign of any form of illness. Cancer is among the diseases with this symptom, so you’ll need to rule it out with a vet.
4. Weight loss
Sudden weight loss for no apparent reason is often a sign of illness. Cancer is made up of cells that grow rapidly and take up energy, taking up the calories and nutrients that your pup eats. This results in fat and muscle loss. Some other illnesses have this symptom as well, so again, ruling out cancer is necessary.
Once again, the quick growth of cancer cells really uses up energy, which may leave your pup feeling weak and exhausted. A lethargic pup may stop showing interest in things he used to enjoy and may not want to go on walks or play very often, and he may just not want to move much at all. This is also a symptom for many illnesses, but cancer is definitely one of them.
If you notice these signs in your pup, take them to a vet to see if you can rule out the possibility of cancer as soon as you can. Share this information with other pup parents.