You’ve found an unusual lump on your cat and you’re concerned—could it be cancer? Before you get worked up, take a breath and know that pet cancer is actually extremely common and that a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence for your cherished pet.
The first step is to bring your pet to the vet where she can undergo a physical exam and any other tests that the vet determines are necessary. It is important for the vet to determine how advanced the disease is, so the vet will need to know when you first noticed symptoms (see list of symptoms below).
After diagnosis your vet will present to you various options, depending on prognosis, with quality of life being the top priority. Treatments including chemotherapy and radiation may be an option. If your vet deems it necessary, they may refer you to a veterinary oncologist.
- Abnormal lumps, bumps, or swellings anywhere on the body
- Sores or lesions that do not heal
- Unexplained weight loss or changes in appetite
- Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
- Unpleasant odor
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
- Persistent lameness
- Drooling or any signs of mouth discomfort
List courtesy of vetstreet.com
If you notice any of these symptoms please call us at 734-662-4474.
Just like in human cancer, early detection is important, so make sure to examine your pet regularly when you’re petting and grooming them. Follow this link for more information on the pet cancer services offered at the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital.