Pet Insurance and Cancer

5 min read
Jan 30, 2022

Cancer is the number one disease-related cause of death for dogs and cats and it’s important that we know the signs and symptoms to detect the disease as early as possible. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there are signs you can search for to detect cancer as early as possible. 

Below are ten common signs and symptoms you should look for in your pet when watching for cancer. 

Sign #1: Weight Loss in Dogs

Weight loss is the number one 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, 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.  Not only is collapsing a sign; lethargy and weakness may also be 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 a vet may be needed. 

Sign #4: Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds can be a sign of something more serious. If your dog is experiencing nosebleeds, discuss the symtpoms with a vet.

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. Lumps and bumps could be noncancerous, but it can be a good idea to make sure.

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, which can lead to a ‘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 your dog gasping for air or experiencing sudden shortness of breath.

Sign #10: Discharge from the Nose or Eyes

If you’re noticing a discharge from your dog’s nose and/or eyes, this could be an early sign of a facial tumor or an eye tumor.

It's important to remember that many cancer symptoms may be subtle, or commonly go unnoticed until cancer is in its later stages.  Regular vet visits can help ensure your pet stays healthy and that everything gets checked regularly. 

Early Detection

Early detection can be very important. Keep an eye on your pet. Pet him or her often to check for lumps or bumps under the skin (especially older dogs).

Visit your veterinarian regularly for checkups to ensure your furry friend is happy and healthy.

Cancer is Hard on All

Cancer can be scary. 

Consider investing in a pet insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1 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.