~Long Article

11 Dog Cancer Signs That You Shouldn’t Ignore

Dog cancer signs, dog sniffing


A lot of dog cancer signs are subtle and can be a cause by another condition, but if you observe any of the following potential dog cancer warning signs, it might be a good idea to talk to your vet.

Dog cancer signs? They are terrible! But it’s better if we get our dogs checked earlier before its too late. 


Dog lying, dog cancer sign

via Istock

If your dog collapses, get to the vet right away. Collapsing, weakness, and general weariness (having less interaction not like before) are common dog cancer signs, says Jake Zaidel, DVM, of Malta Animal Hospital in upstate New York.

“I see this particularly in large breed dogs—even if they fall down and seem better the next day, bring them in because it could signal a tumor of the spleen,” says Dr. Zaidel. 


Dog coughing, dog cancer sign

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Coughing doesn’t immediately signal cancer; for example, for some small breed dogs, they tend to develop coughs because they have windpipe problems.

“If the dog coughs once or twice, it’s of no concern, but if it continues to cough for more than a few days, that’s a concern and could signal lung cancer,” says Zaidel

Weight loss

Dog not eating, dog cancer sign

via Istock

Weight loss is the number-one dog cancer sign as Dr. Zaidel says. It is usually the sign of a gastrointestinal tumor.

“I’ve had a lot of dogs stop eating because of gastrointestinal tumors, so they lose weight very rapidly,” he says.

It is said that cancer can also cause dogs to lose weight though maintaining their normal appetite. If you notice your dog losing pounds, either rapidly or slowly, make an appointment with your vet.

Mouth changes

Dog oral health, dog cancer sign

via Istock

Having sores, lumps, a strange odor, bleeding, or a change in gum color can be a sign of oral cancer, especially in older dogs. These dog cancer signs often times get unnoticed for too long.

“We commonly find visible oral tumors because people don’t examine their pet’s mouth,” says Dr. Zaidel. “Many oral tumors can be really devastating because people don’t find them until it’s really advanced.” Dr. Zaidel also suggests to brush your dogs mouth on a regular basis. 

Timothy Rocha, DVM, an oncology specialist in New York City advises that it’s a good idea to watch your pets when they yawn or eat. If you notice something out of the ordinary, see a vet as soon as possible. 


Nosebleed is a dog cancer sign

via Istock

Getting nosebleeds are not at all normal, says Dr. Rocha.

“With an older dog, a nosebleed is particularly worrisome. It can be a sign of cancer in the nose,” he says. “With younger dogs, I would worry more about something like a foreign object stuck up there before cancer.”

Diarrhea or changes in bathroom habits

Not eating properly is a dog cancer sign

via Istock

Occasional diarrheas isn’t usually a dog cancer sign, says Dr. Rocha, but if it continues or gets worse, bring your dog to the vet. According to PetMD.com, constantly begging to go out to go to the bathroom, difficulty peeing/moving bowels, vomiting, or blood in the urine or stool are also potential dog cancer symptoms. 


Eye discharge,, another dog cancer sign

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Continuous discharge from the nose or eyes is cause for concern, says Dr. Zaidel. Nasal discharge is a common sign of facial tumors, and eye discharge can signal an eye tumor. 


Another dog cancer sign - seizure

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Seizures can be a sign of brain tumors and are usually seen in older dog cancer patients, says Dr. Zaidel. If you start to detect sudden and uncontrolled stream of activity, similarly to champing and chewing, jerking of the legs, or foaming at the mouth, your dog could be experiencing seizures and you should see a vet immediately, as said by WebMD.com. 

Skin changes

Change in coat is a sign of cancer

via Istock

“Every lump, bump, or skin change should be checked,” says Dr. Zaidel. “It could be benign or cancerous, but it’s always easier to treat the earlier it’s caught.”

Feel for bumps, lumps, or swelling as you caress your pet. If you happen to notice something doubtful, don’t holdup—there’s no way to distinguish between a lump that’s benign or malignant without taking a sample. It’s better to pay attention to any sores that won’t heal or lesions that seem itchy or painful.  

Weight gain

Weight gain on dogs can be a cancer sign

via Istock

A sudden weight gain or bloating can also be anothe dog cancer signs. If you notice your dog, eating less but seems to be bulking up, take a trip to the vet, says Rocha. A sudden change in appetite also warrants a visit.

General pain or discomfort

Pain or discomfort on dogs can be a sign of cancer

via Istock

“Pain is a rather substantial sign of cancer,” says Dr. Zaidel.

If your dog complains or cries out when you pat her tummy or pick him up, call your vet. Mouth tumors may cause visible discomfort when eating.

When you know about dog cancer signs, saving your pet’s life become easier. If you have observed these signs on your fur-child, it would be best to go the nearest veterinarian clinic now.

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