Cancer Warning Signs

Cancer Warning Signs, pets may have any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian or seek out a veterinary oncologist’s opinion. Early detection can save your pet’s life!

bump of dog's head

Lumps and bumps

Never ignore a new lump or bump on your pet and have each skin mass checked by your veterinarian.

Closeup of dog mouth

Abnormal odors

Serious bad breath is typically caused by periodontal disease or a tumor in the mouth. Bad smells can also indicate the presence of bacteria which can result from an infection or wound related to cancer.

Cat with discharge from eye

Abnormal discharge

Watch out for blood or pus in your pet’s eyes, nose, or ears. This could be a sign of a tumor or other serious illness.

Dog with wound on face

Non-healing wounds

If your pet has wounds or sores that are not healing on their own or with prescribed medications, this may indicate cancer.

Skinny dog

Weight loss

If you do not have your pet on a diet, he/she is not likely to lose weight. Be sure to have unexplained weight loss checked out by your veterinarian.

Cat not eating

Changes in appetite

Both an increase or decrease in appetite can be a signal of cancer in your dog or cat. Be sure to monitor if your pet is eating more or less than usual.

Dog coughing

Coughing/difficulty breathing

Cancer can impact your pet’s breathing in various ways. Any change in your pet’s normal breathing pattern or a reluctance to exercise should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Cat looking tired

Lethargy & depression

If your pet seems uninterested in daily activities, is sleeping all the time or doesn’t feel up to their daily walk or play session, this might be a big indicator of a serious illness, including cancer.

dog lifting leg to urinate

Changes in bathroom habits

Excessive water drinking, blood in the urine, difficulty urinating or defecating, frequent diarrhea, or blood in the stool are all potential signs of cancer.

dog with cast on letg

Evidence of pain

Many older dogs limp because of painful arthritis, but dogs can also limp due to bone cancer.


While not all types of cancer are preventable, check out our blog for some practical steps you can take to reduce your pet’s risk.