We are all very aware that cancer is present all around us. Everyone has been affected by this disease in one way or another either through the personal experience of a friend, acquaintance, family member or even themselves. It is often forgotten that our pets, too, can acquire cancer. November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, so please be aware of some common symptoms and signs to keep an eye out for:
Unsolicited weight loss Loss of appetite Lethargy Non-healing wounds Lumps and bumps Coughing or increased effort to breathe
Most of these signs are non-specific and can accompany a variety of illnesses. However, it is important to remember that noticing these subtle little signs and being proactive in your pets’ healthcare can make all the difference to their overall health. Even though our pets are domesticated, they are still pack animals living cohesively within the small pack of your home and family life. The fact that they are pack animals means they may try to hide their illnesses so as not to disrupt harmony within the pack. All the symptoms listed above are not specific to cancer, but it is important to plan a visit to your primary care veterinarian if you observe any of these symptoms in your pet.
And Remember: Regular annual check-ups with your primary care veterinarian are essential to catching this and many other diseases early on.