A common question from pet owners is, “What are the signs of cancer in dogs?”
This is a tough one to answer because cancer can affect any organ in the dog’s body. So it really depends on which organ system is affected. But here are four initial things we veterinarians look for:
1. Dogs can get skin cancer, but they may not have any clinical signs at all other than changes or masses on the skin.
2. Cancer of the organs, though, of the liver or the kidneys, can sometimes cause big signs like changes in hunger, weight loss, that type of thing.
3. Cancer of the bone typically presents with lameness, and dogs can be in a lot of pain in whatever limb is affected.
4. We can see cancer in the lungs, so these dogs will present with coughing.
Again it’s a difficult question to answer based on the variety of cancer that we see in veterinary medicine. But there’s at least a few things to look for. If you’re concerned about something with your dog, and especially if you think it might be cancer, please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
By Dr. Fiona, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best. Founded in 2005, Pets Best offers pet health insurance plans for U.S. dogs and cats.
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