The symptoms of cancer in a cat or dog will depend on the particular variety of cancer that your pet has contracted. Since catching cancer early can help with treatment, keep an eye out for the symptoms below, and always be mindful any time your pet seems off, or acts differently than usual, since that could be a sign of something wrong.
While the symptoms vary according to the variety of cancer, some major issues to watch for are:
Lumps and bumps
If you spot any lumps or bumps on your pet’s skin, it’s important to take note of their size and location, and follow up with the veterinarian promptly. They could be a sign of a minor skin problem, but they also could be cancerous and require surgery or other treatment.
Problems with everyday functions
If you notice your pet behaving differently -- either in their mood or physically -- it’s important to let your veterinarian know. Changes in eating habits, exercise, urination, or any other routine body functions can be a signal that your pet is sick, with cancer as one possibility.
If your pet is not on a diet, any loss of weight or disinterest in food can be a sign of a problem, and your vet should be alerted if the change continues.
Discharge and sores
Any discharge or sores that you spot on your cat or dog should be investigated at the veterinarian’s office.
Depression or lethargy
Pets don’t have an easy way to communicate with their owners if they are feeling under the weather. So it’s up to you to keep track of any change in your cat or dog’s disposition -- if you pet seems disinterested in playing or the usual day-to-day routines, it’s important to monitor the situation. It could be just a fleeting mood, but again, it could be a symptom.
More on Types of Cancer
Mast Cell Cancer in Pets
Bone Cancer in Pets
Lymphoma in Cats and Dogs
Histiocytosis in Pets
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.