Cancer is now the #1 killer of dogs and cats, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“Cancer rates in pets are alarmingly high, even in young pets,” says Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Shawn Messonnier, founder of Paws & Claws Animal Hospital in Plano, Texas.
“Almost 50% of dogs and more than 30% of cats over the age of 10 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer.”
One simple way to protect your pets is to seek immediate treatment if they appear unwell.
Here are 10 warning signs to watch for:
#1 Unusual lumps
An unexpected bump or swelling beneath the skin could be a tumor. If it appears unusual, doesn’t go away, or if it grows in size, take your pet to the vet to get it checked out.
#2 Changes in eating behavior or foul breath
Most animals love their mealtimes, so if your pet loses its appetite, or is acting hungry but having difficulty eating, that’s a cause for concern. The same goes if you notice a persistent foul odor coming from their mouths.
#3 Weight loss
Is your cat or dog losing weight, but still eating the same amount of food? Something is preventing its digestive system from working properly — and it could be cancer.
If your pet doesn’t want to exercise and seems to be functioning at a much lower energy level than normal, that’s another indication something isn’t right.
#5 Difficulty breathing
If your dog or cat’s breathing seems labored or painful in any way, take it to the vet ASAP.
#6 Difficulty urinating or defecating
If you notice your pet repeatedly trying to urinate or defecate but being unable to, that could be a sign of something serious.
#7 Chronic vomiting
If your pet is repeatedly vomiting, consult a vet right away.
#8 Chronic diarrhea
If your dog starts showing signs of chronic diarrhea, take them to the vet immediately as that could be a sign of cancer or even impending organ failure.
#9 Unusual bleeding
If you see blood in your pet’s urine or stool, or if they seem to be bleeding from the mouth or have a wound that isn’t healing, take them to the vet immediately.
#10 Persistent lameness
If you notice your cat or dog limping or favoring one of its limbs continuously, and the lameness doesn’t appear to be going away, take them to the vet.
Early detection is key to helping your pet successfully overcome cancer, so if you notice any of the above symptoms, or any other signs suggesting that something isn’t right, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately for a professional evaluation.
“I always recommend proactive measures to my patients and giving your pets a high-quality antioxidant supplement is highly recommended to further reduce the risk of cancers,” says Dr. Messonnier.
As a preventative measure, you may also want to provide pets with a daily immune-boosting supplement. Content provided by PetWellnessDirect.com.