Pet Cancer Awareness Month: Warning Signs to Look Out For

Pet Cancer Awareness

Did you know that over six million cats are diagnosed with cancer every year? With November marked by pet lovers from all over the country as National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, it is the perfect opportunity to discuss the warning signs of this serious disease. Being aware of what to look out for can very well save your furry companion’s life. 

Cat Cancer Warning Signs and Symptoms

Unlike dogs, cats tend to hide signs of illness, so it’s important to pay close attention to any physical and behavioral changes. The most common signs and symptoms of feline cancer include the following: 

  • Bumps or swellings that persist or continue to grow
  • Skin sores that do not heal
  • Enlarged or changing lumps and bumps
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening 
  • A foul odor from the mouth 
  • A cough that won’t go away
  • Appetite changes, chronic weight loss, or weight gain
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Trouble breathing, urinating, or defecating
  • Hesitation to exercise and loss of stamina
  • Extreme fatigue or lethargy
  • Persistent stiffness or lameness

Keep in mind that the above list is not comprehensive, and not every one of these symptoms indicates cancer. However, if your cat demonstrates any of these warning signs or if you have any concerns, talk to your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital. We will evaluate your feline friend’s health and work to uncover any underlying problems. 

What Are the Most Common Feline Cancers?

The following are some of the most common forms of cancer in cats:

Lymphoma: The feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was one of the leading causes of lymphoma until the development of the FeLV vaccine. This blood cancer develops due to the uncontrollable proliferation of lymphocytes, the white blood cells that protect the body from infection. Some cats with lymphoma are responsive to treatment, and 90 percent of cats suffer no side effects after chemotherapy. 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This aggressive skin cancer typically develops in hairless areas, such as the ears, nose, and eyelids. The best way to lower the risk of squamous cell carcinoma is to keep your feline friend indoors and out of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. 

Mast Cell Tumors: These are the most common malignant feline tumors. In some cases, small lesions are easily removed, while in others, lesions develop under the skin, making them more challenging to treat. Mast cell tremors can also appear in the stomach, intestines, or spleen. 

Mammary Cancer: These malignant tumors are easily prevented by spaying. Studies show that cats spayed before they are six months old are seven times less likely to develop mammary cancer than cats spayed after six months. 

Injection-Site Sarcomas: These very rare malignant cancers are triggered by injections of materials that cause chronic inflammation under the skin. People and dogs don’t react this way to injections. The cat’s inflammatory reaction to the shot is what increases the risk of this type of cancer. 

Trusted Veterinary Care Near Me

The best way to keep your cat healthy is to be proactive by paying attention to warning signs of cancer and keeping up with regular wellness exams. Your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital will check for signs of cancer, which, when identified early, has the best chance of successful treatment. Our team is here for you and your furry companion every step of the way!

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Kirkland, WA 98033

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