Mar 10

Cancer in Pets

Cancer in Pets

Over the past several years, preventative veterinary medicine has provided our pets with an increase in both quality of life and longevity.  As the average age of our pet population increases, so does the rate of cancer.  In fact, a 2011 study in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Fleming et. al.) reported that cancer is the leading cause of death in adult dogs.

The following are 10 common signs of cancer in pets.  While many of these are nonspecific signs and could indicate other chronic disease processes, evaluation by a veterinarian is always recommended when these types of health concerns are noted.

  1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  2. Lesions or sores that do not heal
  3. Persistent lameness
  4. Loss of appetite or difficulty eating/swallowing
  5. Weight loss
  6. Lethargy or exercise intolerance
  7. Offensive odor
  8. Difficulty urinating or defecating
  9. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  10. Labored breathing

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can often be unexpected.  Recent advances in diagnostic and treatment capabilities have allowed for a more individualized approach to veterinary cancer care, leading to more successful outcomes.  The Oncology Service, LLC at Friendship Hospital is here to help and provides state-of-the-art treatment options for pets with cancer.  To schedule a consultation, please contact us at (202)567-2080.



Dr. Courtney Mallett is board certified in medical oncology by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Dr. Mallet is part of The Oncology Service at Friendship Hospital for Animals team.



* Featured image courtesy of The Animal Rescue Site.

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