10 Signs and Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs and Cats


Cancer is the number one disease related killer in both dogs and cats, but so many times it goes undetected for too long.  Just as humans experience signs and symptoms that may trigger the need for further evaluation, there are things to watch for in dogs and cats as well.  Depending on the type of cancer, the earlier it is detected the better the chances are of getting rid of it.

This list of signs and things to watch for doesn’t automatically mean that your dog or cat has cancer, but should you notice any of these, it would be your pets’ best interest to be taken to the veterinarian.

1. Wounds that won’t heal can be a sign that something is wrong.  While not always cancer, it could also be a sign of a skin disease or an infection.

2. A change in your pets appetite can be a warning sign.  If you dog or cat has always eaten very well for you and you start to notice a lack of appetite, it might deserve a trip to the vet for further checking.

3. If you notice any bumps or lumps anywhere on your pets body, you should get them checked out.  While not always cancerous, any newly formed lump could be a sign of a serious condition.

4. Abnormal breathing or coughing is a warning sign that could indicate cancer, as well as lung or heart disease. 

5. Vomiting, blood, diarrhea, or other abnormal discharges that are new for your pet could indicate a type of cancer.  If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with the veterinarian.

6. Just as abnormal discharges can be a warning sign, so can abnormal odors coming from your pet.  Especially be on the lookout for offensive odors coming from the ears, eyes, or mouth.

7. Watch for changes in your dogs or cats mood and personality, such as appearing very tired or unhappy.  For example, if your dog used to love going on walks and starts to seem uninterested in the activity, that could be reason to take him to the vet.

8. Cancer that manifests in the bones could cause symptoms such as limping while the pet is running or walking.  While limping is also a sign of arthritis, it is still a good idea to get it checked out.

9. Weight loss is a significant sign that something is wrong and you should take your pet to get checked immediately.  While not always cancer, it is a sign that goes hand in hand with loss of appetite and lethargy.

10. Changes in bathroom habits can also be a sign of cancer.  Things you want to watch for are changes in frequency of urination or bowel movements, consistency, and any blood in the urine or stool.

As the pets owner, you are best in tune with how they are feeling and are sure to notice any changes no matter how slight.  While each of these signs and symptoms may not necessarily mean cancer, each one of them are serious enough to at least take a trip to the vet’s office.