Part of helping your fur babies lead the fullest and healthiest life possible is knowing them and monitoring their overall health on a daily basis. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer each year in the U.S. As with cancer in humans, early detection is crucial in helping to successfully treat the disease. Since November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, now is a great time to learn what signs to watch for that may indicate cancer in your dog.
You should thoroughly check your dog’s skin and paw pads at least once a month. If you notice an unusual lump or bump, especially one that is continuously growing, see your vet right away. They will likely perform a biopsy and decide what the best course of action is.
Watch for any unusual discharge of blood or puss. Bleeding from the nose could indicate cancer in the nose or sinuses. Blood or puss in the urine or stool could indicate cancer in the urinary tract or GI tract. Any signs like these means it’s time to contact your vet.
We all know dogs are notorious for having bad breath. If you are consistent with dental care and cleanings and still notice an unusually foul smell coming from the nose or mouth, it could be a sign of a tumor or oral cancer. Also be aware of any constant, unusually foul smells coming from the rectal area.
Unless you have put your dog on a diet, his weight may fluctuate up and down a few pounds over the course of time, but he should generally maintain the same weight. Loss of appetite is a good indicator that your dog may be sick, but this doesn’t always translate as having cancer. But in the case of cancer, this could be due to a mass pushing on the stomach or intestines. If your dog’s loss of appetite persists and he suddenly begins to drop a lot of weight, you should pay a visit to your vet.
Is your generally playful and active pooch suddenly disinterested in playing or going for walks? Knowing your dog and dog breeds is important as certain dogs and breeds are naturally less active than others. But if your dog just doesn’t seem like himself and just wants to spend more and more time sleeping, it’s time to see your vet.
Open sores that appear for no apparent reason could indicate cancer. But also watch for any other kind of sore or wound that won’t heal. Dogs can get common sores or wounds from normal activities like playing in the yard or normal maladies like hot spots. But if these aren’t healing like they should, it could be a sign of a much more serious medical condition.
Problems in any of these areas could signify a growth pushing against the lungs, esophagus, urinary tract or digestive system.
This is another aspect of early detection that hinges on you knowing your pup. Is your dog usually social and has suddenly begun to hide? Is your dog usually mild-mannered and has suddenly begun to growl or snap? Behavioral changes like this could indicate an underlying medical issue.
Early detection is key to treating canine cancer successfully. But preventing it in the first place is the best course of action. Founder and CEO of TruDog®, Lori Taylor, lost her beloved Great Dane Truman to cancer. This propelled her on a quest to find out what causes canine cancer and how to prevent it. Her research led her to the subject of nutrition. Most commercial dog foods are the equivalent of fast food for humans. Most of the vital proteins, vitamins and minerals are cooked out during manufacturing which essentially leaves you with “dead food”.
Studies have shown that a diet low in carbohydrates, chemical-free, high in protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats (like Omega oils) contains everything needed for maximum health. A raw food diet is the best way to achieve these health benefits.
My dogs have given me an entirely new spiritual perspective on life. I now have a genuine understanding of unconditional love and provision.