Can pets get cancer? Sadly, pets do get cancer too! Pet parents are used to their pets’ warm greeting at the door, their playful personality at any time of the day or their warmth when we’re sick. So, what happens when furbabies get cancer? Would you know how to cope when your pet has cancer?
Though awareness on the types of cancer in pets and most common cancer in pets have been talked about, it’s still best to know the pet cancer warning signs! Knowing these can go a long way in maintaining and securing your furbaby’s health.
10 Warning Signs of Cancer in Pets
- Abnormal Odors
Furbabies don’t always smell their best, but it’s important that you are able to distinguish when the odor is common or foul. Take note of any foul odors coming from your furbaby’s mouth, ears, nose, rectal area, as the smell may be caused by cancer in such areas.
- Bumps or Lumps
Bumps and lumps aren’t always cancerous, so don’t panic. However, they are clear pet cancer warning signs that need your immediate attention. Consistent checking could reveal some of the most common cancer in pets.
It’s advisable for every furbaby to get checked by a veterinarian, every 6 months. Regular checkups for lumps and bumps can be done at home too, during bath time or grooming. Check your fubaby’s ears, face and body. If you suspect any bumps and lumps, most especially ones assisted with open wounds, discharge and/or blood, bring your furbaby to his or her veterinarian immediately. Your furbaby’s veterinarian may recommend a biopsy to determine if it is cancerous or benign.
- Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Your furbaby will not lose or gain weight, or seems bloated, out of the blue unless something is wrong. If your furbaby is eating less, but gaining weight, be suspicious.
- Change in Appetite
Gobbling anything and everything are probably one of the best traits of your furbaby, and it’s not always a good thing. You’ve dropped a piece of chocolate and you have to rush to pick up every piece before he senses it because it might just harm him. But what if one day, there’s no need to rush because your furbaby just lost interest in food and meals altogether? Seems impossible, right?
If it is unlike your pet to lose his or her appetite, it’s best to see a veterinarian. This can indicate a health condition, including cancer. An example of this would be oral tumors, which could hinder your furbaby from eating or swallowing properly. Your furbaby won’t lose his appetite for no reason.
Often times, it seems that furbabies can sense when their pet parents are in pain or simply feeling unwell. They’re great at sensing discomfort, as well as, providing comfort when we need it the most.
Sadly, a combination of pets and cancer equate to pain. Our furbabies won’t always feel their best and we will need to know how to cope with pets with cancer to be able to help them as much as we can.
Things to watch out for: limping, whining, crying or any other noticeable discomfort when moving. These may seem like bone and joint issues, but these can also be pet cancer warning signs.
- Respiratory Problems
Types of cancer in pets include lung cancer. Signs to watch out for are prolonged coughing, wheezing, shortness or abnormal breathing. Dogs can get lung cancer, and some indicators could be coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath after very little exercise.
- Changes in Behavior
Knowing how much energy, how playful and how enthusiastic your furbaby is will help you gauge what behavior is normal or abnormal for him or her. For example, if your furbaby is no longer excited to go for a walk, when he’s usually tugging on his leash to rush out that door, then you know that something is definitely wrong. Other signs to watch out for:
- Difficulty in moving
- Prolonged sleeping hours
- Decrease in social interaction
These don’t necessarily mean that your furbaby has cancer, but when accumulated, they could be pet cancer warning signs. Helping pets with cancer immediately can be very beneficial in helping and encouraging your furbaby to get better.
- Open Sores
Open sores and wounds aren’t a big deal if they heal right away and properly. However, if it takes longer than usual, this could be a sign of infection or skin disease, or worse, a pet cancer warning sign. It’s best to consult with your local veterinarian right away.
Pet cancer warning signs include frequent discharge, such as: diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding, pus or any other abnormal substance. If any of these signs are present, check your furbaby’s abdomen to determine if his or her stomach is swollen or bloated or due to the accumulation of the discharge.
A nosebleed, in particular for senior furbabies, should be checked as this could be a sign of one of the types of cancer in pets such as nose cancer. This could also just mean that a foreign object is stuck in his or her nose.
During this time, it may be particularly difficult to know how to cope with pets with cancer because you see your furbaby weak and in pain, but it’s important that you seek help immediately. These forms of discharge should be tested by a laboratory and checked by your furbaby’s veterinarian.
- Pale Gums
One of the types of cancer in pets is mouth cancer. Watch out for very pale gums, which could entail blood loss. So, brush your pet’s teeth properly and ensure that it is healthy on a weekly basis. Prevention can go a long way in helping your furbaby avoid cancer or any other mouth related diseases.
Helping pets with cancer is very important, but it is also equally important to know how to cope when your pet has cancer. As a pet parent, you need to stay strong and provide your furbaby with the much-needed care and attention he needs.
These pet cancer warning signs are only meant to guide you in caring for your furbaby. It’s best to have your furbaby checked every 6 months by his or her veterinarian.