The word "cancer" is probably the last thing that you want to hear your veterinarian say during a checkup with your dog, but this disease is unfortunately something that affects a lot of pets. As with many cancers in humans, early detection can often play a critical role in the treatment of cancer. Dogs are susceptible to several different cancers, including one called osteosarcoma. This cancer affects the bones, so it can appear in numerous locations throughout a dog's body. While it's possible for a dog to have osteosarcoma with little to no obvious symptoms, it's also possible for there to be some warning signs. Here are three changes that you should watch for.
Even though it develops inside of a bone in your dog's body, osteosarcoma can create a lump that is evident for you to see. If you can see the lump, it's a sign that this cancer has progressed to some degree, so you should seek care from your vet as quickly as possible. It's always good to look at your dog and run your hands over its body. Doing these things regularly will make it easy to detect when there's a change. For example, dogs often get osteosarcoma on one of their legs, and you might see or feel a bulge somewhere on a leg.
Osteosarcoma, particularly when it affects one of your dog's legs, can often cause pain when the dog walks. A good warning sign that something is wrong is that your dog walks in a labored way. If you're used to the pet moving energetically, whether you're taking it for a walk or it's running around the backyard, this change should be an immediate concern to you. The animal might walk with a limp, moan as it walks, or be reluctant to move more than necessary.
Resistance To Touch
Given that osteosarcoma can be a painful condition, you may notice that your dog is resistant to you and your family members touching it — particularly if you're touching the pet around the source of its pain. The dog could pull its leg away from you when you attempt to touch this part of its body, for example. In some cases, the dog might attempt to walk away from you. In extreme situations, it might even show some signs of aggression. If you see any changes that may suggest the presence of osteosarcoma, visit your local animal hospital.