yesterday. Normally, your dog is eager to eat and equally eager to play and get
into mischief. Being the excellent parent that you are, you make an
appointment for your dog to see your veterinarian. While you aren’t sure what
may be going on, in your gut you know that this isn’t normal behavior.
Vet visits are vital to your dog’s health
Your vet comes in and asks qualifying questions. You both agree to run blood
work and various other tests that may need to occur. A few days later,
your vet calls with the test results. Then, the word comes across the phone and
you feel like the wind was just sucked out of you. Your heart drops to your
feet. What is the word? Cancer.
Do you know the early warning signs that your dog may have cancer? It’s
important to note that most of these symptoms could also indicate another
ailment and they are not isolated to a cancer diagnosis. Should your dog
be exhibiting one or any of these symptoms, the best option is call your
veterinarian for an exam and testing. Here are five (5) warning signs of
- Lumps and Bumps: Yes, there are going to be lumps and bumps that your dog will develop throughout their life. The only way to know for sure if the new “growth” on your dog is not cancerous, consult with your vet. One easy thing that you can do weekly, massage your dog. Sitting down on the floor, giving your dog a nice overall massage not only will feel great for your dog (you too) and isolate bonding time, this will also allow for you to identify any new growths.
- Change in Appetite: If your dog goes from being a passionate eater to no or little interest; providing no change in their diet, consult with your vet. A change of appetite in your dog doesn’t necessarily mean cancer, when a dog has no interest, more times than not there is something going on that needs further investigation.
- Pain: Providing your dog did not jump off the bed like Superman, and there is indication of pain, consult your vet. If your dog is limping, sensitive to touch; or, the pain is too great for your dog to move,
your dog needs to see your vet.
- Wound takes long to heal: If your dog has an open wound and it is taking longer than normal to close and heal, medical attention
- Foul odor: You know you just bathed your dog and has
been inside, yet, there is a foul odor. This sign is of concern as cancer
will produce an odor.
Again, not all of the signs above mean that cancer is present within; they do
indicate that medical attention is needed and should be sought as quickly as
possible. The best thing to help “fight” cancer begins with prevention, early
detection, and research. I found myself in this situation twice with my
dogs; I am thankful that I authorized testing as this was a valuable tool in
early detection and did tons of research (nutrition, exercise, well being, etc).
As a result, my one dog is cancer free after three years; my other dog
passed March 2012 but it was not the cancer that took her. Her and I
fought the cancer for two years and we were able to keep it isolated and
non-growing. If I had not done my homework, my outcome may have been
As I sit here today, I truly hope that anyone reading this, has to never get
the phone call that turns your world upside down. Are there any cancer
survivors? How did you help your dog through it?
About Kelly Preston
Kelly Preston and Mr MaGoo
Based in San Jose, Calif., animal lover Kelly Preston is an award winning
author of Real Dogs Don’t Whisper, a book in
which she talks about her experiences and adventures with her special needs dogs
and the life lessons they have taught – how she has learned and grown from them
and they have learned and grown from her. Preston also produces Mr.MaGoo’s
Corner, a free
monthly dog-focused newsletter that features a reader of the month, birthday
announcements, green pet tips, organic dog recipes and more. Kelly Preston also
published a children’s picture and coloring book, Mister Spunky and His Friends; a
book to teach children about love, friendship and helping others with special