About half of dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer. Dogs and cats can develop many of the same cancers that are seen in humans, but some types are much more common than others. Lymphoma (a type of blood cancer) is frequently seen in both dogs and cats, as is melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. There is a high incidence of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in dogs, and fibrosarcoma (a tumor that develops from connective tissue) is common in cats.
The warning signs of cancer in dogs and cats are similar to those in people; for example, a lump or bump, a wound that won’t heal, swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, or abnormal bleeding. Pet owners should contact their veterinarian as soon as any of these signs appear, or if their pet simply doesn’t feel well or doesn’t seem “quite right.”
The good news is that many treatment options are currently available, with more on the horizon!