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World Cancer Day 2017

4 February 2017

Cancer cell and Lymphocytes

A cancer cell


Today is World Cancer Day, an annual event which sees the world unite to raise awareness and stand up to Cancer. Unfortunately, cancer is all too common in our pets and will affect around one quarter to one third of our faithful friends.

Developments in the veterinary field of medical and surgical oncology are closely following the human oncology discipline and this means that we can help our pets live longer.

Often we are asked what are the signs of cancer in our pets that we need to look for?

There are various clinical signs that an animal might show if it has developed cancer and of course, presence of any of these signs does not automatically mean that your pet has cancer - they may well be caused by other conditions. Nevertheless, identification of any of these abnormalities should prompt an investigation as to the cause.

Potential clinical signs include:

  • Abnormal swelling or mass
  • A wound that won’t hea
  • Loss of weight, particularly if the appetite is maintained
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Lethargy and lack of interest in exercise or playing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty passing urine or faeces
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body orifice, e.g. mouth, rectum, vulva
  • Offensive odour
  • Unusual and persistent lameness or stiffness 

If you are worried that your pet has any of these symptoms please discuss them at an early opportunity with your vet.


A mast cell tumour on a dog’s back

A mast cell tumour on a dog’s back


A mast cell tumour on the muzzle of a Labrador Retriever

A mast cell tumour on the muzzle of a Labrador Retriever


Soft tissue sarcoma in a dog

Soft tissue sarcoma in a dog


To find out more information on how we can help pets with cancer please see our Oncology Pet Health Information Sheets and Oncology Specialist Page.


See more about World Cancer Day.