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JoAnna Lou
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Signs of Canine Cancer
One in three dogs will be affected by cancer
Lulu (1998

I still remember when I first heard that cancer affects one in three dogs. I was at an agility trial fundraiser for canine cancer research and the organizers asked anyone touched by the disease to raise their hand. Almost everyone had their hand up.

It's a scary statistic that hit home recently. Three of my friends have lost dogs to cancer in the last month. The disease has become so commonplace that last week there was an Internet hoax last week about a canine hero who was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma.

So I thought it was a good time to review the National Canine Cancer Foundation's 10 early warning signs of canine cancer:

  • 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 odor
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  • Persistent lameness or stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecation


Between research and early detection, hopefully one day we'll be able to make cancer a thing of the past.

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Chris Chang.

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