May has been named Pet Cancer Awareness Month by Pet Cancer Awareness and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for Cancer Research
It’s heartbreaking when we watch our beloved pets suffer with illness and diseases like cancer. We’re helpless other than to find them the best care possible and make them as comfortable and happy as we can.
Pet Calendar: Pet Cancer Awareness Month
Do you know the signs of cancer in your pets? Here are a few to look for:
- Swollen lymph nodes. There are lymph nodes on your pets behind the jaw or behind the knee — there are others, but these are the easiest locations to notice swelling. Your vet would likely order a biopsy to test for cancer.
- Any lump that is growing larger or changing. If there is a rapidly growing lump or mass, take your pet to the vet so he can be tested.
- Is your pet losing weight with no explanation? If he is still eating the same amount and exercising the same, but is losing weight it could be a sign. It may not be cancer, but chronic weight loss can be a sign something is wrong.
- Diarrhea or vomiting without a cause you can determine. If your pet is having unexplained vomiting or diarrhea you should call your veterinarian. Tumors in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to these conditions.
- Any unexplained bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums or other areas that were not caused by any trauma should be investigated.
- Limping or lameness that can’t be explained.
As pet parents, we pay close attention to our dogs, cats and other pets and we are their first line of defense when they just aren’t acting like themselves. Our veterinarians rely on us to fill them in on changes we are noticing and to help them get the full story on what is prompting a visit. Pay attention to your pets. When you’re lying with them on the couch or in bed run your hands all along their bodies and make note of any differences you feel or see.