What is Cancer?
Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells on or within the body. They are either localized to one part of the body as a visible mass (tumor) or spread throughout (metastasis). Cancer is common in dogs or cats and the rate increases substantially as pets age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats get fewer cancers. In one survey, approximately 1 of every 250 dogs and cats developed cancer during their lifetime, and cancer accounted for almost half the deaths of those pets over 10 years of age. Since the cause of cancer is not known, prevention is difficult.
Ten Common Signs of Cancer in Small Animals:
- Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
- Sores that do not heal
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
- Offensive odor (especially from the mouth)
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
- Persistent lameness or stiffness
- Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating