It’s the stuff of nightmares to hear anyone you love has cancer, even your pet. But, like any disease or illness, awareness and prevention are paramount. As with people, spotting the signs that something is amiss early can be crucial to a positive outcome, so let’s get right to it. Here are the top cancer signs to watch for.
- Abnormal tumors or swellings that continue to grow
- Offensive odor
- Weight loss/loss of appetite
- Stiffness or lameness that won’t subside
- Sores that don’t heal
- Bleeding or discharge from any orifice
- Loss of stamina
- Difficulty Swallowing
If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your veterinarian. And don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
Of course, let’s not discount prevention. While there’s no cure-all to prevent the diagnosis (wouldn’t that be amazing?), there are certainly ways to be proactive – starting with being attentive and involved. Always examine your animal for any new lumps or bumps and gauge their sensitivity to it. Pay attention to their behavior and demeanor (you know your dog best) and consider logging it for your veterinarian. Diet and exercise are also integral to your pet’s overall health; consider a diet rich in proteins, fruits, and veggies that can provide little fat and preventative nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E. Exercise is also important, as it burns excess body weight, releases endorphins, and stimulates the lymph system (responsible for flushing toxins.) And, as always, routine veterinary visits are non-negotiable, as it’s the perfect opportunity to discuss any new or abnormal developments.
While there are treatment options, the truth is that most owners simply opt for pain management rather than delaying the inevitable, which can be emotional and costly. Of course there’s no sure-fire way to avoid your pet developing cancer, but there are certainly ways to do what you can in preventing it.