Understanding the Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer in Dogs

symptoms of pancreatic cancer in dogs

Did you know that dogs get cancer, too? Like their human counterparts, canine pancreatic cancer shouldn’t be taken lightly! If you suspect your pup may be showing signs of pancreatic cancer, be sure to have them checked out by a veterinarian.

A sign of the most common form of dog cancer might not be as obvious. Additionally, they may not exhibit symptoms of pancreatic cancer at all. Early detection may save your dog’s life.

Check out this guide to learn about the symptoms of pancreatic cancer in dogs.

Reduced Energy

A noticeable decrease in activity and energy levels can indicate the disease early. Owners will typically notice that their pet sleeps more, has difficulty completing exercise, and requires more time to recover after walking.

Additionally, the dog may exhibit signs of fatigue, such as a lack of interest in routine activities or wandering. Owners should observe their pets closely, and if the dog shows a significant decrease in energy levels, it’s essential to take them to the vet for a checkup.

Lack of Coordination

This could include anything from the dog walking as if it is staggering to more severe symptoms like falling over unexpectedly when walking. A dog’s coordination can also be affected if the cancer has spread to its nerve endings.

If your pup is exhibiting any signs of clumsiness, it is important to discuss concerns with your veterinarian as soon as possible. If this occurs in conjunction with a lack of coordination, it is essential to seek veterinary advice.

Muscle Twitching

Muscle twitching is a common symptom of a pet struggling with pancreatic cancer. Taking them for an immediate checkup with your veterinarian is essential.

Further assessment and diagnostic testing will be necessary to diagnose and address the issue accurately. Ignoring unexplained twitching may lead to rapid progression of the disease. This may lead to the death of your beloved pet.


Seizures can occur due to the tumor growing in the pancreas and causing pressure on other organs within the abdomen. This pressure can cause stress on the nervous system, resulting in seizure-like symptoms.

Seizures can also occur due to the tumor interfering with the effectiveness of certain medications or treatments. Seizures can be caused by a decrease in the production of certain hormones, including:

  • insulin
  • glucagon

It is essential to be vigilant and take appropriate action should your dog start displaying any seizure-like symptoms. Seek veterinary advice and further investigation, such as X-rays or MRI scans, may be required to diagnose the cause.

Reduced Appetite

As early as the first stages of the disease, a loss of appetite may be observed. The dog may often lack interest in food or timidly approach their food bowl only to reject it. The cause of the reduced appetite is due to the cancer-causing increased pressure or inflammation.

If the dog is not eating, it is essential to seek veterinary advice. Dogs suffering from pancreatic cancer must be monitored and supported throughout their lives.

A vet may be able to recommend therapeutic foods and supplements. This is to aid weight maintenance and provide nutritious meals that the dog can enjoy.


Vomiting, or attempting to vomit, could indicate digestive problems or pancreatic infection. If your dog is vomiting several times a day, it is essential to visit the vet. If left untreated, pancreatic cancer can quickly spread to other organs, making it difficult to treat.

Cancer or the build-up of toxins in the bloodstream can cause the vomiting. If your dog is vomiting, it is essential to visit the vet and have tests done. Catching the cancer early is crucial to giving your dog the best chance for a full recovery.

Abdominal Pain

This is often the first symptom of pancreatic cancer in dogs and can cause canines to experience:

  • general discomfort
  • cramping
  • tenderness
  • bloating

Abdominal pain associated with pancreatic cancer can also occur if the disease spreads to organs such as the small intestine, lymph nodes, or spleen. Abdominal pain in dogs with pancreatic cancer can be sudden and acute or worsen with time.

Suppose your canine companion shows signs of abdominal pain. In that case, it is best to have a veterinarian examine and test them to determine the issue’s root and effectively address the pain. Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in dogs is critical to providing your pup the best quality of life.

Weight Loss

A tumor impacting the pancreas can be a sign of it not functioning correctly, leading to inadequate production of digestive enzymes and malnutrition. In dogs with pancreatic cancer, weight loss often accompanies decreased appetite.

It can further compound the problem of insufficient nutrition to prompt significant body weight loss. One way to combat weight loss in dogs with pancreatic cancer is by regularly monitoring their body weight and proper nutrition. Feeding them a combination of low-fat proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats is essential to provide an adequate nutritional base.


It is a yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and whites of the eyes caused by the build-up of bilirubin in the body. When the pancreas is malfunctioning, it can lead to a decrease in the ability of the organ to secrete sufficient enzymes to break down food, leading to the excessive accumulation of bilirubin, causing jaundice.

Decreased enzymes and hormones can also lead to digestion issues and an enlarged gallbladder. Dogs contracting pancreatic cancer may also itch more, be more tired than usual, and lose their appetite.

If you check early signs of cancer on your dogs, you may consider a vet visit and apply for insurance from the best pet insurance companies. If your pet becomes extraordinarily ill or wounded, the finest pet insurance can cover 90% or even 100% of the associated medical expenses. As a result, you won’t have to worry about money as you concentrate on caring for and healing your pet.

Understanding the Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer in Dogs

Pancreatic cancer is a severe illness that can significantly affect your furry friend. Early detection is critical to ensure your pup has a full recovery.

Understanding the symptoms of pancreatic cancer in dogs can help you determine if your pup is exhibiting signs, and if they are, take your puppy to the vet immediately. Make your pup’s health a priority today.

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