Cancer is diagnosed in many different ways, but there are common threads among many different cancers. Sometimes a pet develops an abnormal lump or bump.  Sometimes there is a behaviour change . . . decreased activity, increased sleeping, difficulty getting up or down, decreased appetite, increased thirst, and so on. The Veterinary Cancer Society , along with the American Veterinary Medical Association, has developed a list of the top 10 warning signs for cancer.  Recognizing the warning signs, can help you detect cancer in its early stages, and early detection is often the key to successful treatment of this disease.  If your pet is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, please consult your veterinarian as soon as possible, and remember, while these signs may indicate cancer in your pet, they can also occur for a variety of other reasons.  A thorough examination of your pet, by your veterinarian, is the only way to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms.


  1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow


  1. Sores that do not heal


  1. Weight loss


  1. Loss of appetite


  1. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening


  1. Offensive odour


  1. Difficulty eating or swallowing


  1. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina


  1. Persistent lameness or stiffness


  1. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating


Pets Living with Cancer:  A Pet Owner’s Resource;  Robin Downing, DVM


“Warning Signs of Cancer”;  American Veterinary Medical Association and the Veterinary Cancer Society