Cancer in Dogs: Early Health Signs You Should Look For

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Recognizing deadly signs of cancer in dogs may be as simple as touching to see if your dog has a soft lump under his skin or seeing a nasty wound that just won’t heal and you know it’s your job to take action as early as possible before it’s too late to prevent the fatal effect that cancer will have on your dog’s life that will not only be expensive but losing your dog will tear your heart apart having to deal with your dog’s health and finding out that your dog’s life has been shortened because you didn’t take quicker steps to bring your dog to your vet.

cancer in dogs

6 Early Health Signs that can warn you about Cancer in Dogs

  1. Lameness and Swelling.  Osteosarcoma, a common type of bone cancer in many breeds of dogs, is found primarily in dog’s knees and shoulders.  If your dog is limping or you can see or feel swelling around your dog’s limbs, legs and shoulders or your dog indicates that he’s in pain when you touch him you should bring your dog to your vet.  Up to 85% of tumors in dogs can originate in the skeletal system.
  2. Lumps and Masses.  Melanoma, or skin cancer, can affect any dog but Scottish Terriers, some Setters, Schnauzers and Pinschers are at higher risk.  Watch for the early health signs of cancer in dogs by looking for small dark lumps or flat rough masses on your dog’s skin and call your vet immediately.
  3. Swollen Glands.  Lymphoma is by far one of the most common types of cancer that is found in dogs.  The best practice is to get into the habit of giving your dog a massage at your home while you’re relaxing at least 3 times a week to get to know your dog’s body.  Ask your vet to show you where to look for signs of swollen glands and don’t ignore these early health signs of cancer in dogs before it’s too late.  Pay particular attention to spots under your dog’s neck and shoulders.
  4. Bleeding, Breathing Difficulty & Odor.  A healthy dog does not smell or have bleeding from his nose or in his feces.  When your dog emits foul odors or has trouble breathing or eating you should call your vet immediately.  Mouth cancer is very common and it’s essential to apply early treatment since many dog facial swellings can be malignant.
  5. Seizures & Behavior Changes.  Brain tumors cannot be felt or seen and the only obvious sign can be erratic movement like a seizure or extreme changes in your dog’s behavior.  Cancer in dogs can be found early if you contact your vet as soon as you notice that your dog is acting odd or seems out of control.
  6. Blood in Urine.  Bladder cancer can creep up on your dog slowly with no signs at all.  If you notice blood in your dog’s urine or your dog needs to poop and piddle more than usual you should call your vet.  Note that West Highland Terriers are at higher risk than other breeds for bladder cancer.

cancer in dogs


Now you have a deeper understanding of the early health signs you should look for to be proactive about cancer in dogs which is the #1 killer of older dogs.  Share this post with others and watch for more dog health strategies from Dog Health News™.

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