The last thing you want to hear is: “Your pet is sick.” However, this has become a reality for many of us. The appearance of cancer in dogs has become quite the issue since our little canine friends are living significantly longer lives due to proper care, but this malady can appear out of the blue no matter the age of the dog.
It is also a multifactorial disease – in other words, the genesis of the disease depends on many factors, from environmental ones to genetic, and it is a really complicated matter that varies from dog to dog – so it can end up being quite unpredictable.
However, like with almost all diseases, the most important thing is to catch it in time. Therefore, you should pay attention to the following cancer-related signs in your dog if you want to save your pet.
Recognizing the Signs of Cancer in Your Dog
Let’s deal with the basics
Any stark change in behavior of your dog is always worth looking into. The reasons might be manifold and innocuous, but they can also hide a terrible disease like cancer. Of course, behavioral changes are the most superficial thing you can notice. There are additional symptoms that can help you be more certain.
Some of these symptoms include the loss of appetite, weight loss, abnormal swellings that continue to grow, wounds and sores that don’t heal, unpredictable bleedings, sudden appearance of unpleasant odor, loss of stamina, and difficulty breathing, defecating and urinating. It’s hard to even read about these, let alone see them, but knowing these basics is crucial if you want to stop the spreading of the disease in time.
Various ways to notice symptoms
Of course, there are additional things you can look into, like any changes in the texture of the snout or color of the gums. Some dogs might develop nosebleeds, which is a very worrying symptom with older dogs, but with younger dogs, it usually just means that they have something stuck in their nose.
If any of these symptoms begins to manifest, or (even worse) if the combination of the above-mentioned symptoms grabs your attention, time is of the essence. You should take your dog to a reliable veterinarian, preferably the one you’ve been visiting for years since they will already know the health history of your dog.
A life well led – a life well spent
If you know the old sayings – “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and “better safe than sorry” – you know where this leads. Just like with humans, a quality life can lower the chances of your dog developing cancer. This, of course, entails what goes into your dog’s mouth, since certified natural pet food that offers good nutrition can make all the difference in the world.
However, food is not the only thing that can affect your dog’s health. Stressful experiences can have a detrimental impact on the dog’s immunity system, so if you’ve adopted a dog that has been mistreated, he will probably need to have more frequent checkups.
With dogs, the mechanics of diseases are very similar to the ones in humans. However, since dogs have shorter life spans and faster metabolisms, diseases can be a bit harder to catch in time so the treatments sometimes need to be quite aggressive.
Once this happens, you have to be aware of the possibility that your pet will not make it through and you need to be prepared for that outcome. You can always find consolation in the fact your dog has led a good life, sheltered under your wing as a responsible owner.
Cancer in dogs is not a pleasant topic, but it’s the one that has to be addressed because it can save the life of your canine friend. After all, the precious years added to your dog’s existence might pass in the blink of an eye, but every beautiful moment spent together will be worth the trouble.