How to Tell If My Dog Has Cancer on Global Cancer Awareness Day

Canine Cancer

How to tell if my dog has Cancer?​

It is reported that 1 in every 3 dogs will develop cancer. Early detection is key. Our partners at the National Canine Cancer Foundation recommend checking your dog on the 14th of every month or at the same time you give flea/tick medicine. Use the pictures and tips below to help you check every area of your dog.

Canine cancer is not a fun subject, but it is very real and, sadly, all too common. A clean plant-based diet with regular vitamin supplements and limited exposure to toxins can reduce the chance of your furry best friend getting cancer, but there isn’t a clear answer on how to avoid it all together. Early detection is key. Visit The National Canine Cancer Foundation for more information. 

What Does Dog Cancer Look Like?

Characteristics to look for when differentiating between Skin cancer and a normal mole include the symmetry, color, and diameter of the mole. Anything larger than a pencil eraser or irregular in shape could indicate melanoma. When the edges are more ragged, blurred, or irregular this could also indicate melanoma.

How to Prevent Dog Cancer

Preventative medicine is always the best medicine as treatment after a problem arises can be expensive and painful for your pet. A healthy plant-based diet that includes a vitamin supplement such as NatrixOne Camelina oil can help your dog fight free radical cancer-causing agents. Exercise can also help boost immune response and increase white blood cells that help fight free radicals in the bloodstream.

Check The Eyes, Nose, Ears, & Mouth

Differences in symmetry or swelling is a good indicator that something could be wrong. Excessive drainage, debris, or lesions is a sign something could be wrong. Note any discharge and know what is normal for your pet. Increased redness, graying, or change in shape should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian. A normal, healthy mouth should have ping gums and white teeth free of tartar. Check for bad breath, swelling, and under the tongue for changes in shape or lesions. The roof of the mouth and jaw line should be symmetrical and sensitive to the touch. A foul smell or bumps around the ear can indicate a growing problem or infection.

Check the Legs, Torso, Coat, and Underbelly

Keep track of your dog’s muscle tone and weight as a sudden change can indicate something is wrong. Check for range of motion in the limbs as they should move freely and not hurt. Painful lumps, bumps, or sensitive skin should be brought to the attention of your veterinarian. Some Vets will want you to send a picture for comparison. Examine the nail bed for mass or discoloration and excessive heat in the pads of the paws. Feel down either side of the spine and take note of the normal color of your dog’s coat. Excessive red spots, dark spots, or skin flakiness can indicate a more serious issue. If a lump is 1cm or larger and has been there for over a month, it is time for a full exam by a qualified veterinarian.

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About the Author

Rich Coleman
Dr. Rich Coleman grew up in Fairfield, Ohio and began his journey into veterinary medicine as a kennel attendant at the age of 15. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati before graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Dr. Rich took over Plum Veterinary Clinic in December 2006, changed the name to Four Paws Animal Hospital in 2007, built a new facility in 2012 and began a remodel in March 2019 to allow for more growth and opportunities for our community. Dr. Rich Coleman is the Chief Veterinary Officer for NatrixOne™ and completed our 100 dog study in 2018. After seeing results firsthand, he joined the NatrixOne team!