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Possible Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats and Options for Treatment      

The Possible Signs of Cancer

The rate of cancer in our animal companions is alarming. Recognizing the signs that THE disease may be present in your pet is the first step in helping. With many illnesses, early diagnosis and treatment are key to favorable progress. 

The signs of cancer are varied and can be seen in other conditions as well. Any unexplained change in a pet should justify a visit to the veterinarian. Below are some possible signs of cancer that warrant a visit to your veterinarian:

  • Any new lump or bump
  • A change in size, shape, or consistency of an existing lump
  • Runny nose, especially if bloody
  • Difficulty urinating, bloody urine (also very common with urinary tract infections)
  • Vomiting, diarrhea (common with many diseases)
  • Limping, change in gait
  • Foul breath, excessive drooling, teeth that have “moved”
  • Drainage and odor from ears (also very common with ear infections)
  • Increased water intake and urination
  • Lethargy, loss of appetite

When the diagnosis is cancer, loving pet Guardians need to know that there are options for treatment – medically and alternatively.

Holistic Considerations

Holistic vets are advising patients to consume fresh/unprocessed foods or other high-quality biologically appropriate food. By feeding a more natural and holistic food, you are reducing the risk. There are also some complementary therapies you may want to consider, such as:

  • Massage
  • Supplements
  • Acupuncture

Research and clinical observations support the notion that diet and supplements gently usher our canine and feline friends into a healthy and happy old age.


There are several types of therapy used to treat cancer in dogs and cats:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy

These therapies may be used alone or a combination of therapies may work better for your pet.

Risk Factors

Cancer is becoming as common in domestic animals as it is in humans. The same risk factors apply:

    • Poor quality/improper diet
    • Stress
    • Genetics
    • Exposure to chemical or physical carcinogens such as household cleaners, pesticides, herbicides and second hand smoke.


Pet Guardians need to know what steps they can take to minimize the cancer risk in their companions. There are no guarantees when it comes to the prevention of cancer, but there are some steps you can take to keep your pet as healthy and happy as you can:

  • Avoid carcinogens
  • Follow a lifestyle or diet that modifies cancer-causing factors
  • Remember that diet remains the foundation of prevention!


Additional Resources

Causes of Cancer

Cancer and Pets: What’s the Cause?

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