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Pets and Cancer

Like people, pets can develop cancer. Pets over the age of 10 are at highest risk, with 25 per cent of dogs developing cancer at some stage in their life.

Prevention, as is usually the goal with animal health issues, is difficult with cancer, as the cause of most tumors and cancer in pets is not fully understood. Veterinarians and researchers understand that some cancers can be caused by environmental carcinogens, viruses, and traumatic injuries; however, there is not one holistic understanding of what causes cancer in pets, and continued research is required. 

Regular vet visits, early detection, and learning the warning signs of cancer are essential to the management of cancer in pets.

The Signs of Cancer

There are a number of signs to watch for that may indicate that your pet is developing a tumor, whether it be malignant or benign. If you notice one or more of these signs persisting, contact your veterinarian so that the problem can be identified, and, if need be, a treatment plan can be developed.

  • Check your pets for lumps or abnormal swelling. If you find a lump, or notice a previously noted lump changing shape or getting larger, contact your veterinarian so that tests can be performed.

  • Non-healing wounds

  • Weight loss, loss of appetite, or trouble eating may be a sign of animal health concerns.

  • Tumors in the mouth, throat and anus can result in unpleasant smells.

  • Lameness and lethargy.

  • Chronic vomiting, diarrhea, or bleeding.

  • Respiratory issues such as coughing or trouble breathing.


For more information about cancer in pets, visit the following links: