When your dog has a dog cancer diagnosis, your first thought might be: "Why did not I know the warning signs and symptoms?" Many veterinarians will tell you the following is what you should have been looking for and how to identify cancer in dogs when you see it. Here are the top nine symptoms:
1. Change of gait, Limping, obvious pain when walking, favoring one limb over the other.
2. Strange odors, bad doggy breath, ears that drain and stink, extra drooling, change in the dog "bite" by the having missing teeth.
3. Change in water consumption habits, whether drinking a lot of water or vice versa, without wanting to drink at all. With the intake comes outgo, check the constancy of your dog’s urination.
4. Weariness, lack of interest in anything around them, sleepiness all the time, no longer wants to chase squirrels or play.
5. Any new lump or strange shape that stays for more than a few days. Any lump that grows or changes shape, size or appearance.
6. Blood running from the dog's nose. An excessively running nose.
7. Difficulty urinating, bloody urine or excessive urination. Any change in urinary habits, such as going all the time or incontinence.
8. Straining to poop, then the poop looks strange. The poop may be thin and stringy looking, or black and bloody or tarry.
9. Vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, loss of appetite, having to coax or persuade your dog to eat
If you observe any of these symptoms or warning signs in your dog, take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up. Before your veterinarian gives a dog cancer diagnoses, he or she will perform blood tests and x-rays to confirm the diagnosis. After a formal diagnosis, your veterinarian can refer you to an oncology veterinarian, a specialist in cancer treatment for dogs. You can decide to get a second diagnosis to compare. Search for a cure for your dog's cancer just like you would for yourself.
Take the time and resources to confirm your dog's cancer diagnosis before you settle on a firm diagnosis or treatment plan. Ask about names of patients or clients who have gone through what you are attempting. Find a support group for you and your dog. Do not assume that your veterinarian choice in treatment is the only preferred way to treat cancer.
When deciding on your final treatment, consider the age and your dog quality of life. Although there are many advances in the treatment of cancer in dogs, it is still just a life-extender and not a life-preserver. The treatment can prolong the life of your dog, but it does not guarantee that your dog will never die.