Pet Cancer Awareness
By Michael K. Guy, DVM, MS, PhD, Vice President and Clinical Veterinarian, Jaguar Health
For many reasons, our dogs and cats are living longer than ever. However, with a longer life comes an increased chance of a beloved pet acquiring cancer. As a practicing veterinarian, I have seen heartbreak and anguish as well as some amazing recovery stories that a diagnosis of animal cancer can bring to a family, and this makes it vital for you to know how to detect the early signs of cancer in your pet.
If you notice any of the following signs in your older pet, please take them in to your veterinarian for a complete physical examination (there is nothing better than a complete physical examination), a review of medical history, and possibly some blood and urine analysis:
- Rapid weight loss
- Wounds that heal slowly, or not at all
- Continued loss of appetite
- Abnormal swellings on the body that continue to grow
- Bad odors
- Lameness, unwillingness to exercise, or loss of stamina
- Difficulty breathing, defecating or urinating
Hopefully your older pet is not experiencing any of these things, which makes this an ideal time for you to take your pet in to your veterinarian for a wellness checkup! You see your dog or cat every day, whereas your veterinarian only sees them occasionally and therefore they may see notice subtle changes in health that are not apparent to you. Regular physical examinations by your veterinarian are the single most important thing you can do to maintain the health and longevity of your aging pet.
Also published on Medium.