10 Red Flags that Signal Lymphoma in Dogs

For people who keep pets, pets are considered not as just domesticated animals but as family members. If you have a dog, surely your dog is not merely an animal either. You probably consider your dog as a family member and as your best friend. It is a fact that we naturally care for family members with all our hearts. We are willing to give our all to keep our family healthy, safe and sound, aren’t we? Just imagine if one of your parents discovered that he or she has cancer, found at a late stage. It would be so devastating for everyone in the family to know! Every member would wish it was discovered sooner because the earlier it’s discovered the better chances for successful results from the treatment.

It is the same with your canine family members. There are many factors that contribute to the development of cancer in canines, hence there is no single cause that you can eradicate to prevent your pet from ever suffering from cancer.  It could be caused by hereditary factors, but there are also environmental factors that could cause it. Since we can’t safeguard our dogs from getting lymphosarcoma the next best thing to do is to detect the symptoms early so that your dog’s veterinarian can diagnose and treat it sooner. Just like in everyone else, the earlier cancer is treated, the higher chances of survival.

So what are the symptoms in your pet that should alarm you and make you suspect that it could be cancer? We compiled a list for you.

  1. Lumps – Just like in humans, lumps are always suspicious. When your dog has a lump somewhere, it does not necessarily mean cancer. It could just be a harmless lump. Just the same, our dog’s veterinarian should check it out to be sure. Lumps, after all, are the best indicator of cancer. Hence, it’s the first red flag to watch out for.
  2. Persistent sores – If your canine friend has sores that do not seem to heal, you should be suspicious. It could be nothing but chances are it is already a symptom of cancer. And even if it happens to be just ‘nothing’, you won’t want your pet to suffer from the discomfort of sores, would you? It’s better to have it checked out by a professional.
  3. Swelling – Be alarmed when your pet exhibits any kind of swelling. If there is swelling in your dog’s body parts that you can’t explain, it’s safer to get it checked. It could be a sign of cancer.
  4. Abnormal Discharges – Especially if your dog already has the symptoms mentioned above, abnormal discharges are something to be alarmed about. It’s basically a tell-tale sign, for your dog to have a lump plus strange discharges. You really must consider getting it checked in the soonest possible time.
  5. Rapid Weight Loss – If your pet also loses weight drastically for no apparent reason, it could be a sign of cancer. Even in humans, most cancer patients go through unexplainable weight loss. Your beloved pet might be suffering the same thing.
  6. Sudden Loss of Appetite – Although it might not be a sign of cancer by itself, it usually shows that something is wrong. Even if it turns out to be something else, having no appetite usually shows that there’s something seriously wrong. If your dog suddenly refuses to eat its favorite food, it would make you anxious, right?
  7. Difficulty in Breathing – Another symptom that should alert you is when your dog seems to have difficulty breathing. Yes, like some of the other symptoms mentioned, it could be something else but it is usually a sign of something serious.
  8. Lethargy – When your normally playful pet suddenly stops moving and keeps sleeping, it will make you wonder whether there is something wrong. It’s better to follow your instinct and get it checked out.
  9. Tarry, Black Stools – This kind of stool could be a sign of ulcers in your dog’s digestive tract, another sign of some specific cancers. Your dog will probably need lab tests to determine this for certain. It’s always better to get your pet examined, just to be sure.
  10. Difficulty in Defecating and Urinating – When your dog has trouble in excretion, you should definitely be worried. It’s obviously a sign that something is wrong.

If your dog has one of these red-flag signs, you should suspect that there is something wrong. If your dog exhibits several of these signs all at the same time, then you should suspect cancer. Have your dog checked by the vet right away, so that if it’s indeed cancer, your dog can start treatment right away.

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