November is Canine Cancer Awareness Month.

Canine Cancer – Know the Signs

Whilst most dog owners will keep on top of their dogs’ health with annual check-ups at the vet, this can sometimes mean diseases like cancer can go unnoticed a long time. With cancer, the quicker it’s diagnosed and treated, the better the chances are for a full recovery. The signs below don’t always point to cancer, but it’s well worth taking your dog for a check up if you notice these signs.

Unusual Odours

We love our four-legged friends dearly, but inevitably they can be a bit smelly at times, but if you notice any unusually foul smells coming from the mouth, nose or rectal area you should speak to a vet.

Lumps and Bumps

Make a monthly routine of checking your dog all over for unusual lumps and monitor them. Cancer can grow very quickly, so if they’re rapidly growing, oozing discharge or blood be sure to take your dog to the vets immediately.

Loss of Appetite &Weight Loss

A dog’s weight should remain fairly consistent and unless you’ve put your dog on a weight loss diet, any rapid weight loss or loss of appetite could be a sign that there’s something wrong, so keep an eye out for these signs.


You know your dog better than anyone, if he seems out of sorts, lethargic and sleeping more than usual it’s best to give your vet a call.

Behavioural Changes

Dogs are naturally sociable animals, so if you notice any unusual changes in their behaviour such as lethargy, aggression or isolating themselves away from you, it could mean they’re experiencing pain or just trying to let you know they’re not feeling well.

Respiratory Problems

If you notice your dog getting breathless, wheezing or coughing after very little exertion it could be signs of a bigger respiratory problem, such as lung cancer – take your dog to the vet straight away.

Open Sores

Generally sores should heal relatively quickly, but if you spot that your dog has open sores that aren’t healing properly it’s time for a visit to the vet.

Vomiting & Diarrhoea

If your dog regularly has an upset stomach with vomiting and/or diarrhoea, seek advice from your vet. Also be sure to check their abdomen for bloating and distension.

Pale Gums

Knowing what healthy dog gums look like and regularly checking them is important. Cancer is one many illnesses where pale gums can signify blood loss so it’s always worth keeping an eye on them.

Whilst you may not feel qualified to diagnose canine cancer, as a dog owner you can still be proactive and look out for signs that could catch cancer in the early stages.