Pet Cancer Awareness Month: Types of Cancer and Symptoms

Pet Cancer Awareness Month helps pet owners become more aware of the potential for cancer in their cats and dogs. Cancer in pets was once thought of as rare and a non-issue as there were few reported cases. Now cancer has become more pervasive and common. The disease has many causes that include pollution in the environment, pets living longer lives which brings the increased risk of cancer, and retroviruses. Following is a look at cancer in pets, symptoms, and bringing your pet in for treatment at our vet clinic in Bend.

The Different Types of Cancer in Pets

Both cats and dogs can develop the same types of cancer, but some cancers are specific to species. That is, cats and dogs don’t always share the same common diseases that can eventually lead to cancer. Other small mammals, such as rats, can develop cancer as they age. In the event you notice a visible tumor, or are noticing unusual behaviors in your pet, make an appointment with your veterinarian in Bend for an examination and diagnosis. Cancerous tumors are considered malignant, but they can be non-malignant and still be considered cancer. The sooner you catch the cancer, the better your pet’s chances of survival and quality of life.

Common Cancers in Dogs

The odds of a dog developing cancer as they age are unfortunately strong. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 dogs will develop a tumor, and almost half of all dogs over 10 years old will develop a tumor somewhere in their body. Some dog breeds are more likely to develop cancer than others. Dogs can experience cancers that include:

  • Osteosarcoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Malignant lymphoma
  • Transitional cell carcinoma
  • Mammary gland carcinoma
  • Melanoma
  • Mast cell tumor
  • Brain tumor

Common Cancers in Cats

Cats develop cancers at a slightly lower rate than dogs with an average of 1 in 5 cats at risk of developing cancer. Cats tend to have a stoic in that they tend to act like nothing’s wrong even though they’re sick. If your cat is acting strange, or you’re finding strange lumps and bumps on their skin, call the vet clinic in Bend for an appointment with the veterinarian to rule out cancer. Here’s a look at common cancers in cats:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Bone cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Mast cell tumors

Cats are most at risk of developing lymphoma which is associated with feline leukemia (FeLV). It’s important that cats receive vaccination for FeLV when they’re young to prevent cancer later in their life.

Unaltered cats and dogs have an increased risk of cancer as well. These cancers include:

  • Uterine
  • Testicular
  • Breast or mammary gland cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

Signs Your Pet May Have Cancer

Both cats and dogs show signs of cancer in similar fashions, but dogs are prone to canine gliomas and meningiomas, also known as brain tumors. If your pet is exhibiting any of the following, make an appointment with our veterinarians in Bend for help:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Personality changes
  • Lumps of any size or shape
  • Loss of appetite
  • Odor from body or mouth
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Extreme hunger