It was just a normal yearly check-up at the vet’s, or so you thought. This visit is one you’ll never forget. Your dog is wagging his tail unaware of what the vet is telling you; he’s just happy for all this attention. At the very words: ‘possibility of cancer’ your brain stops! ‘What do I do now?’ ‘How could I not have seen this coming?’ These and many more questions and thoughts flash through your mind, and a lump forms in your throat. You look into the dark eyes staring back at you and can’t imagine a life without him…
Is there a word that makes us cringe more than the word CANCER!? It’s anyone’s worst health nightmare and a problem that unfortunately is spreading more and more. But guess what? Humans are not the only victims. That’s right, as we’ve seen above, there is many types of cancer in dogs and your cat is also a possible target of many cancer. Reading this article, you might ask "Is my dog or my cat dying?". Now, I don’t want to cause panic or extreme anxiety with this article, the point is to spread awareness and caution to all pet parents. Early detection can be the best way to save your beloved companion. After all, we all want happy and healthy animals for as long as possible! One of the best ways to do that is knowing what to look out for. Please read on until the very end, good news awaits you there.
What are signs of cancer in dogs and cats?
As you can surely imagine, the symptoms of cancer in dogs varies depending on the organ that is affected. That said, some of these general signs can help set off alarm bells. Read on to find out how to identify cancer in a dog.
How do you know if your dog has cancer? Here is a non-exhaustive list of cancer symptoms in dogs.
1. Weight Loss/ Appetite Change
If your pet is on a diet and looses weight, great!! Job well done. On the other hand, if you have not changed anything in your animal’s diet but he/she no longer seems interested in the food they loved before and used to devour, there is cause for concern. Don’t be alarmed just yet, weight and appetite loss are not uncommon and could just be temporary due to stress or other reasons. However, this is one of the first warning signs that we have to pay attention to with regards to cancer, so keep a close eye on your pet’s eating habits. If you see your poor pet does not eat over 2-3 days, have them checked out by the Vet. This may be sign of mouth problems such as oral tumors. Another scenario to keep a watchful eye on is weight. Let’s say your cat is eating normally but is suddenly losing a lot of weight for no apparent reason. This is another sign of possible cancer. If you suspect this possibility, help your Vet by making daily weigh-ins of your pet for about a week or so before consulting. This will help your Vet make a better diagnosis.
This is by far the most direct and obvious sign your pet may have cancer. I say MAY because we cannot jump to any conclusions too fast. That being said, tumors or lumps that grow or do not go away can be very dangerous. As we all love to hug and rub our pets, let this show of love also be an opportunity to ‘feel’ for unusual bumps. It’s a check-up your animal will love!! What dog, cat or horse etc. Doesn’t like a good body rub? If you find some lumps, don’t panic, there may be other explanations such as warts, fatty tumors, cysts and so on. If, however, the lumps are persistent or grow, have them examined by your vet as soon as possible.
3. Chronic Skin Problems
As animals love being outside, lesions, sores or wounds are not uncommon. Especially those pets that like getting into trouble with other animals. In itself these skin problems (if not extreme) are rather harmless and heal with time and perhaps medical attention if needed. Now if you see that the sores or wounds do not heal themselves or that your pet has chronic itching and lesions, this may be signs of skin cancer and should be taken seriously.
Coughing is never a natural thing for animals to do. They do not clear their throats to bark or meow better. Do you notice your dog has a dry harsh cough that is unproductive? This may be a sign of cancer in the respiratory airways or lungs. So don’t delay to take action if your pet has a persistent dry cough, especially if there is blood when coughing.
5. Diarrhea and Vomiting
Every once in awhile, just like us humans, animals are known to be sick and throw up or have diarrhea. It’s never fun but we should never set this aside as insignificant. Something may be seriously wrong if diarrhea or vomiting becomes a reoccurring problem. These, as well as constant bloating could be signs of stomach or colon cancer. That is why it is best to seek immediate attention for your companion at the first sign of blood in his or her stool or vomit.
6. Abnormal Odors
Does your pet have breath that smells of death? To be honest our furry companions are not always sweet smelling. Especially with poor digestions and food choices, their bad breath can reach offensive levels! However, we must consider that some persistent odors are not normal and should be looked into promptly. It is always wise to investigate your animal a little more closely if you detect an unusual ‘funky’ smell. Could it be that this smell is coming from them?
In fact, it’s possible that an animal with cancer smells bad.
Invite your furry baby for a little one on one time. Have a good look to see if there are unusually bad odors coming from the mouth or ears. Or, as we’ve mentioned above, is there a sore that will not heal and is now emanating a nasty smell? Please do not simply discard these as simply indicating your pet is in need of a bath or teeth brushing. For example, if your cat comes up to you for snuggle time, but the smell of her bad breath makes you take a step back, she may be battling oral tumors. It is always best to investigate before it gets out of hand, even if it is not cancer.
Not all animals with cancer will smell bad. We must not forget that. But sometimes, a foul odor can tell us that a serious problem is developing in our pet.
Oral tumors are among the most smelly and should be seen quickly by a vet as they can interfere with the animal's diet, above all. As such, an animal with this kind of tumor can see their condition deteriorate quickly.
Certain masses on the skin can also become smelly. Let me explain. As it grows, the skin over the mass stretches, and stretches. At some point, the skin that covers the lump can necrose (die), no longer receiving blood to nourish the tissues. As you can imagine, necrotic skin also emits a bad smell.
7. Bathroom Habits
Whether we like it or not, pet’s are creatures of habit. They have great internal clocks and are savvy in discovering our habits and making sure we stick to them. For example, dogs and horses KNOW when it’s your time to take them for a walk, or ride. They may even voice their complaints if you are late or get distracted and forget what time it is. The same bodes true for their bathroom habits, they usually stay pretty ‘regular’.
We, as responsible pet parents should keep tabs on our pets… yes even when it comes to this. Let’s just say we should learn to be as in-tuned to their habits as our own. This way if we notice that the cat is having trouble urinating or is using the litter box way more often than usual, a red light should go off in our minds. Or, if while walking the dog he attempts several times to defecate but always struggles, there is something wrong! As always, and I’ve mentioned this before, if there is blood in the stool or urine, seek help immediately!
In cancer cases animals will understandably be weak and tired. The usual playful pet we know and love is gone. Walks in the park are no longer appealing. Their favorite games or toys are not fun anymore and if they play, it will last only a few seconds. The bundle of energy they once had is now spent so fast that all they want to do is lay quietly and sleep.
We can all recognize that this is NOT normal. Even cats, who tend to sleep a lot, will enjoy a good game of ‘catch the string’. If even this does nothing to spark interest in a little exercise, there is cause for concern and should be watched carefully.
9. Lameness or Evidence of Pain
We have just talked about lethargy and this too can be caused by the fact that your pet is in PAIN!! They cannot tell you that they are hurting but they can show you, so pay attention. Is your cat hiding from you so you won’t pick him up? Is your dog limping or refusing to walk or run? If there is no sign of injury yet you notice these persistent symptoms, the problem may lie within the bones themselves. If bone cancer has set, your poor fur baby is suffering and is trying to tell you something is wrong.
Last but certainly not least, seizures! Seizures always make us panic because we feel so helpless to see our fur baby suffer. However, seizures are never to be taken lightly even if there is no sign of cancer being the cause. The sad truth is, especially in older animals, sudden onset of seizures can be a sign of brain tumors.
What Treatments Will you Chose?
I know that this article may be hard to read if your pet has cancer or has died from it. To all of you, please accept my sympathies and condolences. This is the very reason we want to help all pet parents to understand the symptoms related to possible cancer. True all these symptoms can also be related to other ailments rather than cancer, but the key here is to take action as fast as possible for early detection in case of cancer. The faster the detection, the more chances of saving lives.
I understand that when it comes to your beloved pet’s health emotions are running high, your mind is clouded, a variety of treatment options are offered to you… but what is best to be done? Will conventional treatments be more effective (Chemotherapy, Surgery, Radiation etc.)? Are Hollistic or Herbal remedies safer for my pet? Can I combine the two treatments? These and many more questions are probably flying through your mind. So here is my suggestion to you, take some time to think about it. Do not make hasty decisions on high emotions. Go home, sit, study your options and prepare questions to ask your Vet or Homeopath about treatments. This way you will feel good about your decision and you pet’s health will be in good hands.
Cancer Piptopet the Miracle Worker?
Here is my good news to you! I would like to introduce you to our little miracle worker. To save you some research on Homeopathic products and if they work, please read on, you’ll find this very interesting.
This natural formula, especially make for animals, is good for benign and malignant tumors. The reason is because of the medical ingredient Piptoporus, also called Birch Polypore. This ‘miracle worker’ mushroom boasts anti-cancer properties and helps your pet immune system during the fight of many different types of cancers and benign tumors. And guess what? It can be used in combination with other treatments such as Chemotherapy.
If you have yet to make a decision on treatments; I invite you to call, chat or email us if you have any questions or concerns. We will always be happy to help you in any way we can.
If It’s Not Cancer, What Can Help my Pet?
If you have visited your Vet and cancer has been ruled out, let me just breathe a sigh of relief along with you and say: ‘Yayyyy!’ But this does not eliminate the symptoms your companion is suffering. To help you here are a list of products that may guide you in the right direction to get your pet back to it’s normal self as fast as possible.
Weight loss/change of appetite: Possibility of mouth ulcersEXCESSIVE SALIVATION (Mouth Ulcers): This product will maintain a good mouth health especially fwhen facing mouth ulcers and sores as well as excessive salivation due to mouth problems.
Lumps and Bumps: Possibility of wartsWARTS: This product can be used to promote your pet's skin health even during nasty warts, bleeding and to help return the skin to it’s healthy state.
Chronic skin problems: Possibility of abscess or atopic dermatitisABSCESS: This product has antibiotic properties that support the skin even in case of chronic skin infections. ATOPIC DERMATITIS: This package includes 5 products, each one triggers a precise reaction in the animal’s body during his allergic reaction.
Diarrhea and Vomiting: Keep an eye on the symptoms themselves before they become chronicDIARRHEA: Help your pet to avoid dehydration during diarrhea and maintain the digestive tract functions. Always good to have on-hand for emergencies. VOMITING Support your pet when facing nausea and vomiting with this natural product; also great for pet anxiety. Another great natural product for the pet medicine cabinet!
Abnormal odors: Possibility of halitosis or ear infectionHALITOSIS (Bad Breath): Use this kit to detox and clean their system to promoting their digestive system awhich is often a cause of bad breath. EAR INFECTION (Otitis) This product is good to maintain your pet's ear health even during pain, inflammation, pressure and bad odors or discharge coming from the ears due to the infection.
Evidence or pain: Possibility of injury or arthritisFIRST AID: A must for all emergency kits! This product is useful in case of pain and help speed up healing. From joints and muscle soreness to sprains, traumatic injuries or even rheumatism. This homeopathic product can be used! ARTHRITIS: This fast acting product can be used to support your pet during pain and inflammation as well as supporting health joint cartilage.