Raising awareness about cancer in dogs
In Australia, over two-thirds of households own a pet. Of the 30.4 million pets across the country, over 6.4 million are dogs (around one in five pets). While keeping a dog is a big commitment and responsibility, it is undeniable they can bring many emotional and social benefits to pet owners and their families.
Research suggests that dogs develop cancer at about the same rate as humans, with almost 50% of dogs then dying of cancer. Older dogs especially those over 10 years old are more likely to develop and die of cancer.
Cancer in dogs can be found in the skin, bones, breast, head, neck, lymph nodes, abdomen and testicles. The signs and symptoms of cancer in dogs vary depending on the type and location of the illness. That is why it is important to monitor your dog’s overall health for any changes, either physically or behaviourally, and to speak to your vet if you have any concerns.
Some possible warning signs of cancer in dogs
Fortunately, several cancers in dogs are treatable if they are caught early enough. Knowing some of the possible signs of cancer in dogs and taking a preventative approach to pet health care will help give your dog the best chance at a long and healthy life. You can look for anything out of the ordinary by regularly checking your dog’s nose, eyes, ears, mouth, skin, nails, tail, body and rear end, as well as having regular visits to your vet.
Some possible signs of cancer in dogs to watch for are:
- Unusual lumps and bumps
- Sores or open wounds that do not heal
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Discharge from any opening in the body, including bleeding, vomiting or diarrhoea
- Bad odour from the mouth, nose or anus
- Lack of interest in exercise and play, or decreased stamina. This can be your dog slowing down from old age, but it can also be one of the first signs of illness
- Mobility issues such as limping or stiffness. Although this can indicate arthritis, it can also be a possible sign of illness
- Problems breathing or going to the bathroom.
If you see anything out of the ordinary for your dog or have any concerns about your dog’s overall health, you should speak to your vet. This article gives general information only.
Kodi’s Paw-a-Thon Fur Festival aims to raise awareness about cancer in dogs and humans.
Kodi’s Paw-a-Thon aims to raise funds for The Royal Children’s Hospital and Australian Animal Cancer Foundation in support of research into cancer in dogs and humans. We promote various cancer support groups and share information to help raise awareness about cancer in dogs and humans.