10 Signs of Cancer in Dogs

3 min read
Jan 17, 2022

Many cancer symptoms are subtle and commonly go unnoticed until cancer is in its later stages.  And, every cancer is different in how it enters your dog’s life. We have compiled ten of the most common signs of cancer in dogs below.

Sign #1: Weight Loss in Dogs

Weight loss is a sign of cancer in dogs. You may notice a decrease in your dog’s appetite. There are some dogs who may continue to lose weight even if they are eating their normal amount of food each day. If you notice your dog losing weight whether slowly or quickly a veterinarian must be contacted to determine the cause.

Sign #2: Collapsing on the Floor

If your dog collapses onto the floor or ground, you must contact your veterinarian immediately. This is a common sign of cancer according to Jake Zaiel, DVM, from Malta Animal Hospital in New York State. Not only is collapsing a sign; lethargy and weakness are also common signs of cancer.

Sign #3: Extreme Coughing

If your dog coughs once or twice, don’t panic. If your dog coughs continuously for days on end, this is when you should begin to worry. This is one of the first signs of lung cancer.

Sign #4: Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds aren’t ever a good, normal sign for a dog (especially if your dog is older). With older dogs, there’s a good possibility this could indicate cancer in the nose. With young dogs, there could be a foreign object in their nose as they are less likely to develop nasal cancer than older dogs.

Sign #5: Seizures

Seizures are a sign to watch for. Seizures can be a sign of brain tumors and are typically found in senior dogs.

Sign #6: Lumps and Bumps

Every single lump and bump should be checked by a veterinarian. Dr. Susan Ettinger, writer of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, always says “don’t wait, aspirate.” Lumps and bumps could be noncancerous, but if they are cancerous then you’re more likely to catch it early and fight sooner.

Sign #7: Pain and Discomfort

Pain and Discomfort is a common sign of cancer in dogs. Your dog’s instincts tell her to prevent her from showing any type of pain. If she’s showing any type of pain, call your veterinarian immediately and explain the type of pain or discomfort she is feeling.

Sign #8: Difficulty Swallowing

If your dog has a lump in the neck, she might not be able to swallow her food and that could be leading to ‘lack of appetite.’ You may not be able to feel a lump in her neck, but it could be putting pressure on the esophagus.

Sign #9: Difficulty Breathing

If there is a mass placing pressure on your dog’s respiratory system, this could result in difficulty breathing. You may notice him gasping for air or experiencing sudden shortness of breath.

Sign #10: Discharge from the Nose or Eyes

If you’re noticing discharge from your dog’s nose and/or eyes, this could be an early sign of a facial tumor or an eye tumor. Be sure to consult your veterinarian should you have any concerns or suspect something might be wrong. 

Consider Investing in Dog Insurance  

Looking for more ways to keep your pup happy and healthy? Consider investing in a dog insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance. Get your free quote today. 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

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