How serious is this battle against cancer in dogs & cats for Joplin veterinarians? As I write this post, in the last four days your Joplin veterinarians at Cornerstone have treated bone cancer, eye cancer, lymph node cancer, intestinal cancer, breast cancer, and cancer of the foot. A variety of treatments were used including surgery, chemotherapy, and herbal therapy. Those lumps and bumps on the skin are easy for owners to observe and feel by regular evaluation and then for your Cornerstone veterinarians to identify as benign or malignant. However, many of the cancers your Joplin veterinarians are required to identify are early in their course and not as easily diagnosed. That is not to presume that you should wait to take your pet to your Cornerstone veterinarian, for you should take them as soon as it is noticed.
Your Joplin veterinarians at Cornerstone have compiled a list of warning signs that should act as red flags. While these signs may be associated with cancer, they can be present at other times also.
- Unexplained weight loss is the number one warning sign of cancer. In fact ,cats with unexplained weight loss for any reason that is not quickly resolved, have a life expectancy of less than eighteen months.
- Decreased or loss of appetite for more than a day or two.
- Black, tarry stools (a symptom of stomach or intestinal bleeding- often associated with cancer)
- Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating
- Listlessness or lethargy ( lack of energy is often attributed to age when the real problem is a disease process to include cancer)
- Unexplained swellings anywhere on the body
- Persistent non-healing sores
- Abnormal discharge from any part of the body
- Bad breath
- Sudden lameness
Cornerstone Joplin veterinarians recognize that older pets have a greater risk for cancer, although cancer may develop at any age. Your Joplin veterinarians at Cornerstone are always watching for cancer. Early detection is the best treatment. Please have your pet examined on a regular schedule for signs of cancer by your Joplin veterinarian.