Being diagnosed with cancer is pretty common for humans, but what about our animal companions? They have difficulty in conveying their needs and feelings to us, and in this case, their pains if they have tumors growing inside of them. So, we as pet owners have to be observant and educate yourself to care for your animals.
There are tips from Smartpaw that can help you to check your animals if you are worried about whether they have cancerous cells in their bodies.
1.Unusual Visible Lumps/ Tumors
If you ever spotted abnormal lumps or “rocks” under your pet’s skins and they start to lick or chew it, you have scored yourself a trip to the vet. It is best to let the veterinarian check for the lumps that grow under your pet’s skins. If the situation persists, it may start to grow rapidly and start bleeding.
However, spotting unusual lumps might not mean your pets are having cancer. This is because some lumps that grow in your pets might just be benign fatty tumors, especially in middle-aged or older dogs.
Tumors can also cause your pets to have red, bulging eyes or ear infection. If your pet is frequently shaking its head or clawing at its ears, there might be chances that your pet might be harboring a tumor.
2. Abnormal Growths
A suddenly expanded belly of your pets could also be a sign of a tumor. If your pets have not been gaining weight recently but its belly seems to be expanding, this could mean there is a tumor growing along its intestine and you should take your pets to your nearest vet for further consultation.
Unexplained weight loss could also be mean to having cancerous diseases as well.
If you have spotted strange growths on the lips, tongue, or gums of your pets, it could also be a sign of oral cancer. In this case, it is best to check your pet’s breath too as having bad breath could also be a complication of oral cancer.
3. Change of Behaviors
When your pets are behaving unusually, or showing different eating/ sleeping patterns, it is best for you to consult your veterinarians as this could be your pets waving red flags at you for help. A sudden change of behaviors such as less appetite, chronic vomiting or diarrhea, coughing or labored breathing, get thirsty easily, and change in food preferences could be the signs you need to look out for.
Keep an eye out for your pets who are once active and suddenly spend their time lying around could be a vital sign as well.
Straining to pee or any changes in peeing patterns, such as more volume or frequency could mean something, too. Cancer-related personality changes could also include pacing, agitation, limping, or wanting to go outside more.
4. Persistent Lameness
Normally, we would see lame pets every single day, whether you are outside – or you are keeping one, but luckily, this does not mean they have cancer. Most animals have their own ways of resting, so when we humans see it, it seems like they are doing nothing and thus, thinking that they are lame.
However, if your pets have swollen legs, or showing any signs of limping, this could only mean one thing- bone cancer. It can cause pain and lameness to your pets. Making your pets difficult to walk so they would just rather lie around at any corner to reduce the pain.
Yes, seizures! Not only it’s a two-legged problem, but normally pets could also show signs of having a seizure. Seizures can be a signal that your pets are having brain tumors and are typically seen in older dog cancer patients.
If you notice any uncontrolled outbursts of activity such as champing and chewing, jerking of the legs, or foam all over the mouth, your pet could be having a seizure attack and should consult your nearest vet clinic immediately.
Early detection is paramount in curing any cancerous diseases as it does to us humans as well. However, before you go to the vet, do not panic and jump to conclusions once you have observed these few symptoms on your pets. Not every trip to the vet could only end with the veterinarian telling you – “Your pet has cancer!”
The tricky thing about these symptoms of cancer is that they can be signs of other problems, too. For example, straining to pee could be a urinary tract infection whereas lots of thirsts can be symptoms of diabetes or kidney failures. Therefore, do not be paranoid if you have noticed some unusual symptoms on your pets but make sure to consult your veterinarian for regular checkups on your pets or whenever deemed necessary.