10 signs that your cat might have cancer
Many people do not realize that cancer is not just a human condition; it affects our pets as well. In fact, cancer is the number one disease-related killer of dogs and cats.
According to Dr. Lorie Huston, she tells her clients to be on the lookout for the following signs.
1. Lumps and Bumps
Not all lumps and bumps on or under your cat’s skin will be cancerous, but there is no way to know for sure without getting your veterinarian involved – this is especially important if the lump is not resolving itself or is growing in size. A needle biopsy is commonly done and a veterinary pathologist can let you know if the cells are cancerous or not.
2. Abnormal smells
Offensive odors from your dog or cat’s mouth, ears, or any other part of your pet’s body, should be checked out. Oftentimes cancers of the mouth, nose, or anal regions can cause such foul odors.
3. Abnormal discharges
Blood, pus, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other abnormal substance being discharged from any part of your cat’s body should be checked out by your veterinarian.
In addition to that, if your cat’s abdomen becomes bloated or distended it could be a sign of an accumulation of abnormal discharge within the body.
4. Non-healing wounds
If your cat has wounds or sores that are not healing, it could be a sign of infection, skin disease, or even cancer.
5. Weight loss
Cancer is among the list of diseases that can cause weight loss in a pet.
If you notice sudden weight loss in your cat (and it is not currently on a diet), along with other signs from this list, be sure to mention it to your veterinarian.
6. Loss of appetite
Cats do not stop eating without a cause. While a lack of appetite does not automatically indicate cancer, it is still something to be discussed with your veterinarian. Oral tumors can also cause difficulty or pain when eating or swallowing.
7. Difficulty breathing
Coughing or abnormal breathing can be caused by heart disease, lung disease, and also cancer. Cancer can metastasize through the lungs and cause these symptoms.
8. Lethargy or Depression
If you notice your cat is not acting like him/herself – sleeping more, less playful, less willing to exercise/explore – this can also be a sign of cancer. Yes, cats can be lazy, but you know your kitty.
Once again, lethargy or depression is not a symptom confined to cancer, but an accumulation of any of these signs is reason enough to speak with your veterinarian.
9. Changes in bathroom habits
Changes in your cat’s urinary or bowel habits – difficulty using the bathroom, frequent bathroom use, blood in urine or stool – these are all potential signs of cancer.
10. Evidence of pain
Limping or other evidence of pain while your cat is walking, running, or jumping is mostly associated with arthritic issues or joint or muscle diseases, but it can also be a sign of cancer (especially cancer of the bone).
While these symptoms are not purely indicative of cancer, if your cat begins to exhibit them you should visit your veterinarian immediately. Just like with people, the earlier cancer is caught the better.
via pet md
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