Awareness of pet cancer has been growing in recent years. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that nearly half of all dogs and cats will be diagnosed with some form of cancer over the course of their lifetime. This year, the month of November is designated as National Pet Cancer Awareness Month to draw attention to this topic.

Cancers can be sneaky and hide in your pet’s body for months before they show symptoms. This is why it’s so important to stay vigilant and check on your furry friends on a regular basis, especially during Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Even if you don’t notice anything different, such as an unusual lump or sore, it doesn’t mean your pet is cancer-free. There are many cancers that don’t show outward signs of the disease. Here are common cancer symptoms in pets.

  • Growing lumps or sores that fail to heal
  • Changes in appetite and weight loss
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating
  • Bleeding or discharge from any bodily opening
  • A sudden change in willingness to exercise
  • Offensive odors coming from a pet
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing

Pets are an important part of our lives, but they don’t always understand when their health needs attention. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. By regularly monitoring your pets for these symptoms as well as taking them to the vet for routine check-ups during vaccination time frames and immunizations to prevent more serious health conditions from developing.