Cancer & Senior Pets

In pets the rate of cancer increases with age. Cancer is responsible for approximately half the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats tend to have lower rates of cancer. Some cancers, such as breast or testicular cancer, are largely preventable by spaying and neutering. Non-neutered/non-spayed geriatric pets are at higher risk of mammary, testicular, and prostate cancers. A diagnosis of cancer may be based on x-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, biopsies, physical appearance of tumors, and other physical signs. 

Common Signs of Cancer in Pets

  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  • Offensive mouth odor
  • Difficulty eating / swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise / loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness / stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating