Sadly dogs are even more prone to cancer than humans are and just like us, the faster you can detect it the better your dog’s chance.
Of course a regular trip to the vet won’t cause any harm, but because cancer spreads faster through canines, we thought we’d come up with a simple 10 step check.
- Lumps and bumps. Just like humans, unusual lumps or bumps on your pet’s skin can be the indicator of cancer. Check regularly and don’t ignore anything. Even small lumps can grow quickly and if you detect any bleeding see your vet immediately.
- Dietary changes. Obviously a dog that isn’t eating, isn’t right and although many conditions can cause a dog to lose its appetite, cancer is the most severe.
- Lack of Energy. Cancer can cause apathy and lethargy in your dog. If your pet is behaving abnormally and spending more time dozing than usual, then you should speak to a vet as soon as you can.
- Losing Weight. Most dogs will maintain a healthy metabolism and therefore maintain the same weight. If you feel your dog has suddenly lost a lot of weight, it could be worth a visit to see the vet.
- Foul smells. Now we all know our pups are no stranger to the odd whiff. Doggie breath is aptly named, but if you detect any unusual noxious odours from snout or tail then it could be a sign of something much worse.
- Shift in Attitude. You’ll know your dog better than you know yourself. If they are acting out of character or even just avoiding you then it could be a symptom of something else. Keep a close eye on them and how they behave.
- Wounds and sores. All dogs will suffer scrapes and cuts now and then, but an open wound which isn’t healing could be a indicator that something is wrong.
- Breathing problems. A happy healthy dog doesn’t wheeze, hiccup or cough. Many of these symptoms can be caused by other ailments, but it could also be something more serious.
- Tummy troubles. If your pooch has frequent diarrhoea or vomiting then there’s clearly something amiss. Keep an eye on them and see a vet if the vomiting or diarrhoea continues and if so then clearly a visit to your vet is in order.
- Abdominal Swelling. If your dog has a swollen or distended tummy it could be a sign of cancer. Try to check the area and notice how your dog behaves. Excessive snapping or growling could be a sign that they in pain.
Remember, as with all cancers, the key to survival is catching it early, so don’t take any chances and when in doubt see a vet as soon as possible.
Related First Aid For Dog Posts
- First Aid
- First Aid Kits
- Dogs and Cars
- Bees and Wasps
- Cuts and Grazes
- Eye Injuries
- How to help a dog caught in Barbed Wire
- Sticks and dangers