It’s a topic that no one wants to think about, but the reality of pet cancer and diabetes shouldn’t be swept under the rug. Though no one wants to address the elephant (or dog!) in the room, November is awareness month for all those struggling or at risk of this awful disease- and knowing the signs can help save your beloved bud’s life in the long run.

Cancerous signs to look for:

  • Abnormal swelling
  • Wounds that won’t heal
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing or urinating
  • Lameness, stiffness and lethargy
  • Bleeding or discharge
  • Persistent odor

These key symptoms can signal cancer, and even the healthiest of pets can be vulnerable to things like tumors, abnormal tissue growth and lymphoma with old age or unhealthy habits. Things like skin tumors, most common in older dogs, can be harmless- but a trip to the vet can help determine whether or not there’s a risk of cancer. However, warning signs like difficult breathing, bleeding or facial swelling can point to abnormal tissue growth, and should be a red flag to pet owners.

The most common and severe form of cancer for cats and dogs is lymphoma, and this is characterized by enlargement of the lymph nodes, lethargy, weight loss and lack of appetite. If you see your pet start to lose interest in physical activity or food, a trip to the vet is the best option to help save your pups life.

When it comes to diabetes,
pet owners should look for:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Excessive hunger while losing weight
  • Lethargy
  • Cloudy eyes (dogs)
  • Doesn’t groom (cats)
  • Thinning, dry, and dull hair

Reduce the risk:

You might not be able to prevent cancer or diabetes altogether but you can certainly take some precautions! Simply spaying or neutering your pet can significantly reduce the risk of testicular or mammary gland cancer. And just like humans, following a healthy diet and exercise routine can help reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes and cancer, as well as regularly brushing and oral hygiene can make a huge difference in the longevity of your pets life - and most importantly, the quality!