signs of cancer in dogs

Signs of Cancer in Dogs:Vet’s 13 Common Warning Signs

Age: while there are no precise explanations for the high incidence of cancer in older dogs, there is very little doubt that there is a very strong connection between age and tumor development in dogs (including humans).

The reasoning behind the possible connection between tumor and old age in dogs suggest a weakening of immune system as the animal ages resulting in a compromised immune system that gradually becomes less effective in checking poorly dividing cells that could potentially become malignant.

Signs of cancer in dogs

Successful canine cancer treatment hinges in part on early detection and diagnosis. While a yearly vet check up is very important in discovering the buildup of tumor that a dog owner may not have easily noticed, a constant personal check of the surface of the dog’s body and a very keen eye on a sudden change in behavior will immensely contribute to the early detection of the disease thereby increasing the chances of successful treatment.

The following is a vet approved list of well known signs of cancer in dogs that if identified early enough could literally make the difference between life and death.

#1: Abnormal swelling on the body

Any bump or lump noticed on dogs should be examined by vet to be on the safe side. If it turns out be benign that will fine but if its malignant then the dog owner can start a thorough discussion with the vet with the aim of eradicating the tumor from the dog. So while abnormal swelling does not clearly translate to cancer however most skin related tumors are often expressed as masses or lumps on the dog.

#2: Sudden drop in the level of activity

When cancerous growth reaches a certain stage it will begin to manifest itself as a disease that could make the dog sluggish which will reflect in the sudden drop in energy level. Once the owner notice such obvious drop in activities that span a few days it’s advisable to check out with the vet as one of the signs of cancer in dogs may be staring at him in the face.

#3: Foul odor

This can be one of the easiest signs of cancer in dogs because bad

foul odor is a sign of cancer in dogs
Foul odor does not equate to cancer but cancer can result in foul odor.

odor emanating from the openings on the dog such as mouth, ears, nose and the anal region would be easily waft into the nostrils of anyone who inhabits that airspace. Cancer festering in any of these parts of the dog’s body can result in the foul odor.

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#4: Bleeding

The presence or the development of oral tumor can cause eating difficulty for the dog which may lead to bleeding after eating or it may even make the dog out rightly unwilling to eat at all. Bleeding may also occur in other parts of the body like the nose or the anal region and this can easily suggest that something has gone wrong with the natural ability of the dog’s body to clot blood or it may indicate the presence of tumor.

#5: Vomiting/diarrhea

Tumor in the gastrointestinal tract will usually cause severe vomiting and/or diarrhea and this can also be seen when a dog’s abdomen become distended. This could be a further evidence of the presence of cancer in the dog.

#6: Wounds that refuse to heal

A non healing wound could be the result of a skin disease, an infection or a sign of cancer in the dog. This is even more suggestive if the wound will not heal despite the application of topical ointment and/or antibiotics.

#7: Weight loss

When cancer reaches a certain stage in it development in a dog’s body one of the signs that may be visible is a loss of weight which may also be tied to the dog’s unwillingness to eat. Once the dog is losing

weight loss as a sign of cancer in dogs
Weight loss is one of the signs of cancer in dogs

weight and he not on diet coupled with any of the other signs of cancer in dogs that are stated in this article it is advisable to have the vet check him up.

#8: Loss of appetite

Dogs love to eat and will not naturally refuse to eat without a cause, so if a dog is refusing to eat this should be something to worry about. There are more than a handful health reasons why a dog may be unwilling but cancer ranks as the most serious.

#9: Breathing difficulty and/or coughing

Both coughing and breathing difficulty can be as a result of several health reasons such as a heart or lung disease but it underlying cause

breathing difficulty caused by cancer
Breathing difficult can be a sign of canine cancer.

can also due to cancer.

#10: Excessive urination/defecation

Frequent or a sharp drop in urination and/or defecation or difficulty in getting these done including blood in the stool and/or urine are all possible signs of cancer in dogs.

#11: Excessive urination/defecation

Joint or arthritic problems are some of the reasons a dog may limp but cancer of the bone can also cause limping and this is usually more common in large sized dog breeds which could even result in lameness.

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#12: Breathing difficulty

A buildup of tumor in the dog’s respiratory system can result in breathing difficulty. This condition will require the immediate attention of the vet for a thorough check up.

#13: Sudden loss of consciousness

There are a few health conditions that can cause a sudden loss of consciousness/collapse such as a heart problem but so also can a ruptured tumor; this is an emergency and the immediate attention of the vet is required.


There are a few things that every dog owner can do to reduce the likelihood of their pets developing cancer. Prominent on this list is to have the female dog spayed before her first heat, this will almost eliminate the all possibilities of the dog ever developing mammal tumor and the male dog can be neutered to in order to prevent testicular cancer.

Also by keeping an eye on the causes of cancer that was earlier enumerated in this article can greatly help in keeping your dog free from cancer. But if all these fail then early detection of the signs of cancer in dogs will make treatment a whole lot easier and greatly increase the chances of survival.


One thought on “Signs of Cancer in Dogs:Vet’s 13 Common Warning Signs”

  1. I have found a lot of informative stuff in your article. Thanks for sharing this dint knw there is cancer in dogs

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