top of page
  • Writer's pictureMarcy Santos

Dog Cancer: How to Spot the Symptoms

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

Do you think your dog might have cancer? Dogs are prone to developing the same types of cancers as humans. The best thing you can do is recognize the signs so that you can get your dog the best possible treatment. Statistics show that almost half of all cancer in dogs is treatable if it is diagnosed in early stages. Find some of the most common signs of cancer in your pets listed below.

Lumps or Sores on the Skin

Regularly check your dog’s skin for any unusual lumps or bumps. Older dogs to get fatty tumors, but vets should still check on any lumps found under the skin. Skin lesions can also be an indicator of cancer. Take time every month to check your dog for any skin abnormalities. If you find anything unusual, keep an eye on it and report it to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Sudden Unexplained Weight Loss

Your dog’s weight should remain steady throughout his or her lifespan, unless he or she has been put on a diet. If your dog suddenly has a rapid loss of weight, this could be an indicator of cancer.

Abnormal Odors from the Mouth

If you notice that your pet’s breath smells worse than usual, this could be a sign of oral cancer. Pets can get tumors in their mouth. Another sign of this problem might be if your dog changes the way that he or she chews food, or suddenly starts preferring soft foods. If you notice this, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Scans are necessary to diagnose this type of cancer.

Chronic Illness

If your dog starts displaying chronic coughing, diarrhea, or vomiting, this could indicate an underlying cancer. Sometimes signs early on of cancer can come across like a general illness. If you notice a change in your dog’s typical health and it goes on for a long time, it is best to bring it to the attention of your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Changes in Bathroom Habits

Look out for changes in your dog's bathroom habits. If they usually have no problem going to the bathroom, and this suddenly changes, that is something to pay attention to. It may simply be something they ate, but if your dog suddenly has persistent trouble urinating or defecating this requires an immediate trip to the veterinarian.


Lethargy is a sign that something may be wrong and is often one of the first indicators that your dog is sick. If you dog shows a decrease in stamina or a disinterest in exercise and play at the same levels, this might mean that it is time for you to take a trip to the vet.

Lookout for any of these signs of cancer in your dog and be sure to take them to the vet immediately if you notice anything concerning.


bottom of page