Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs

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Just like humans, our canine counterparts are susceptible to many diseases, including cancer. Not only is it a horrible experience for pets and their owners alike, it can also be extremely costly to treat an animal with cancer, and there is no guarantee that treatments will work. Obviously, the sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better the chances are that a dog will survive cancer. It is a good idea to know the warning signs. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, make an appointment with the vet right away.


It is not normal for a dog to collapse. If this happens to your dog, it is important to seek immediate veterinary treatment. When a dog collapses, or is weak or lethargic, these could be early warning signs of cancer. Large breed dogs are more prone to collapsing than smaller dogs.


While a cough isn’t always necessarily a sign of cancer, it is important to watch your dog if it is coughing. Smaller dogs do tend to develop coughs due to problems with their windpipes. But, if you should notice your dog has a cough that lasts for a few days, it is time for a trip to the vet.

Weight Loss

One of the biggest warning signs of cancer in dogs is sudden or extreme weight loss. This can be a sign of a tumor in the stomach. Often, dogs stop eating when they have gastrointestinal tumors, and they lose weight quickly. If your dog is eating normally and still losing weight, it could be cancer and you need to have an examination done.

Changes in Bathroom Habits

All dogs get diarrhea from time to time, but if your dog has persistent diarrhea, or it gets worse and worse, it could be a sign of cancer, such as Hemangiosarcoma. Other signs include difficulty urinating or having bowel movements, vomiting, and blood in the urine or stool.

Lumps and Bumps On and Under the Skin

It is a good idea to start checking your dog’s skin at least once each month. Look for lumps and bumps, and be sure to check around the face and behind the ears. If there is a small lump, get it checked out immediately, especially if there is bleeding or discharge.

Changes in Appetite

Another huge sign that there is something wrong with your dog is if they lose interest in eating. In most cases, a loss of appetite is a sign that there is something seriously wrong. Many health problems can lead to a loss of appetite, including cancer.


Some dogs are naturally lazy, so you can expect them to be a bit lethargic. If your dog is not normally lazy, but has suddenly become lethargic, it is time to see the vet. When an animal begins sleeping more than normal, it is a sign of a serious health issue.

Respiratory Problems

Lung cancer is common in dogs, and there are many signs to look for. If your dog is coughing, seems to be short of breath after doing very little in the way of exercise, or is wheezing, it is important to have them tested for lung cancer.

Behavioral Changes

When an animal becomes sick, their owners often notice changes in their pets’ personalities. If your dog is becoming snappish, it may be that it is not feeling well. Other signs include spending less time with you, walking differently, eating less, and playing less.

Pale Gums

Another sign to look for is when your dog has pale gums. A dog’s gums should be pink and healthy looking. If they are pale, it could mean that your pet is losing blood, which is a symptom of cancer.