!Header Content 1

Southlake Animal Hospital
Give us a call today! 219-942-0909
Call us today! 219-942-0909

3570 E. Lincoln Hwy
Merrillville, IN 46410

Fetch an Appointment!

Signs Of Cancer In Pets

May 1 2023

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month. This is a very important—and very relevant—topic. Over half of dogs that are over the age of ten develop cancer. The numbers are lower in cats, but that doesn’t mean Fluffy is out of the woods. No matter what kind of pet you have, it’s important to watch for warning signs. A Crown Point, IN veterinarian lists some of the more common ones below.

Bloated Tummy 

Abdominal swelling isn’t the same thing as fat. While fat is dangerous in its own way, swelling or bloating can be indicative of many serious medical issues, including cancer. 

Unexplained Bleeding

You would expect to see blood if your animal friend stepped on a piece of glass or otherwise injured themselves. However, bleeding from the nose, ears, mouth, or nether regions is a (literal) red flag.

Respiratory Issues

It’s normal for Fido to pant after running after his favorite ball, but if he seems to be struggling to breathe while at rest, something may be wrong. As for Fluffy, she should always breathe quietly, at least when she isn’t meowing at you.

Trouble Eating

It’s always a sign of trouble when a pet starts having trouble eating or swallowing or just loses interest in food. Diarrhea and vomiting are also warning signs. 

Weight Changes

Unexplained weight gain or loss can also be indicative of cancers. If your animal companion is packing on or taking off pounds, there may be something going on. 

Visible Masses/Lumps

About one in four dogs will sooner or later develop neoplasias, which are basically lumps. Neoplasias are not always cancerous, but they do always need to be checked out. Any sudden swellings or lesions also could be indicative of cancers. 

Behavioral Changes

You may also notice behavioral changes, such as withdrawal, depression, or lack of energy. Pay close attention to your pet: the better you know them, the easier it will be to spot these things. 


Cancer is always a scary diagnosis. However, there are treatments available that can help. We offer a mix of traditional and alternative options, which allows us to give our patients the best of both worlds. The main thing is to make an appointment right away: the sooner the issue is diagnosed and treated, the better! 

Please feel free to contact us, your Crown Point, IN pet hospital, anytime. We’re here to help!