Little-known Cancer Warning Signs

Shih TzuWhile it is always best to leave diagnosing a pet’s illness to professionals, it’s good to keep an eye on your pet’s health and be aware of telltale signs that your pet isn’t feeling well. Cancer can be a concern for many pet owners when a pet seems to be doing poorly, so in the following article we’ll discuss what to look for, and how to talk to your veterinarian in the greater Philadelphia area if you think your pet may have cancer. Every pet owner wants to see their dog and cat healthy and happy, as they are an important part of family life. So, noticing troubling signs means it’s time to look seriously at what is going on.

Pets, while nonverbal, are actually very good communicators—if you know what to look for. Pets’ behaviors and actions—or their lack thereof—can speak volumes. If your pet goes through a sudden change in appetite, loses a significant amount of weight in a short time, or seems to be experiencing lethargy or depression, it’s definitely time to call the vet. The same applies if your cat or dog is exhibiting difficulty breathing, persistent coughing, or evidence of pain. Changes in bowel habits should also be noted.

Other signs of cancer might show not in their behavior or actions, but in their physical body. When petting or grooming your pet, always pay attention to any lumps or bumps you might find. Wounds that won’t heal are also something to watch for. Even if your pet was wounded doing something common, their healing (or lack thereof) may be a sign of something significant. Also keep an eye—or rather, a nose—out for any abnormal odors, as sometimes a strange smell may be an indicator it’s time for a vet visit. Definitely consult your vet if you see any unusual discharges, as well.

Of course, any or all of the above might be signs or signals of something other than cancer in your pet. That’s why the very best thing you can do if you see any changes in your pet is to contact your vet. They’ll know what tests to do, and if the diagnosis is cancer, they’ll send you to a specialty veterinary healthcare hospital, like VRC, for staging and treatment.

No pet owner wants a diagnosis of cancer, but VRC can help. Our oncology service is staffed by thoughtful, experienced personnel whose primary goal is to help your animal maintain its quality of life throughout the cancer diagnosis and treatment process. Whether the solution is through surgical, medicinal, or radiation therapies, VRC will do the best we can to help your pet beat cancer, or preserve a good quality of life for the time a pet has left.

VRC’s oncology service is part of our specialty veterinary healthcare hospital. Located in Malvern in the greater Philadelphia area, we’re here to help your pet through his or her cancer diagnosis and treatment.