Signs of Cancer in Dogs: A Vet’s Guide to the Symptoms of Canine Cancer
What are some signs of cancer in dogs?
There are many symptoms that can indicate canine cancer. These include:
1) Weight loss or weight gain (or both).
Your dog may lose weight or gain weight, but it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with him. If he gets sick, then he will get sick!
2) Lumps under the skin.
Some breeds have more than others. You might see them under the belly button, around the neck area, or even on their chest. They could be lymph nodes, which means they are benign tumors that don’t need to be removed immediately; however, if they grow into vital organs like the liver or lungs, then they must be removed right away!
3) Hair loss.
Hair loss is not necessarily a sign of cancer in dogs. However, if it starts at the base of the tail and spreads down over the rest of the body, then it is a good indication that something is wrong.
4) Changes in behavior.
If your dog suddenly becomes very moody or withdrawn, or if he stops eating altogether, then he probably has cancer.
5) Appearance changes.
Sometimes a tumor grows slowly in one part of the body and then suddenly appears elsewhere on your pet’s body. This is a sign!
Maybe your dog doesn’t have a lump on his body, but he acts like there is something wrong with him. If that is the case, then take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you see blood in the stool, this can be a serious sign of cancer in dogs!
8) Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Your dog’s tongue may be thick, or he might have difficulty breathing. If this happens, then take him to the hospital immediately.
9) Mood swings.
There are some animals that can sense something is wrong with them even before it happens, which is why they are sometimes grumpy! It would not surprise me if your pet is becoming moody because he knows there is something wrong with him.
10) You find lumps or scar tissue on his body. These are both signs of cancer in dogs!
What are the most aggressive types of dog cancer?
As sad as it is to say, the most aggressive types of dog cancer are in the following order:
1) Bone cancer.
This type of cancer can be very painful for your pet, and if it is not caught in time then your dog might not survive.
2) Bladder cancer.
The second most aggressive type of dog cancer is bladder cancer. This cancer can start very small and then spread to vital organs in a very short amount of time.
3) Testicular cancer.
This type of cancer is very common in dogs as they mature. It is a very slow-growing type that starts as a small lump on the testicle.
4) Nasal cancer.
This type of cancer starts inside of the nasal passages and then begins to grow inside the skull, blocking the brain and spinal cord from absorbing vital nutrients.
5) Bone cancer.
This type starts as a small lump and then spreads to the rest of the bones in your pet’s body, including the spinal cord.
6) Liver cancer.
This type can spread from the liver to other vital organs in the body, such as the lungs and brain, quickly if it is not treated early on.
What should I do if I think my dog has cancer?
There are many different types of dog cancer, but the best thing to do is contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice anything strange about your pet’s behavior or physical appearance. Sometime these lumps are just benign tumors that can be removed with no problems at all.
Cancer in dogs is not a kind disease, but if caught in its early stages than it can be easily treated with very high success rates. Be vigilant and watch your dog for any signs of illness, because the sooner you catch cancer, the better chance your pet has to survival.
How is dog cancer treated?
Some types of cancer are easier to treat than others. For example, skin cancers and benign tumors can easily be removed by a professional with little to no problems, assuming your pet isn’t allergic to the anesthetic.
Other types of cancer are much more difficult to treat because they spread quickly throughout the body. The best way to go about treating cancer is to cut out the tumor as soon as possible, and then giving your pet chemotherapy. This can be done either orally or with injections.
Chemotherapy is a very aggressive treatment because it tries to Stop the growth of cancerous cells by introducing poison into your pet’s body. This sounds bad, and it is, but in some cases it is necessary to save your pet’s life.
What is the prognosis for dog cancer?
The prognosis for dog cancer is unfortunately not a good one. Even if you catch and treat your pet’s cancer in its early stages, there is still a chance that it will come back later on. The further the disease spreads, the less chance of survival your dog has.
Furthermore, not all types of cancer are curable, and some types, such as brain and lung cancer, have very low survival rates. Dog’s with cancer should be treated with love and affection because even if the odds are against them, they will still enjoy whatever time they have left with their owners.
What should I avoid when dealing with dog cancer?
There are many myths about dog cancer that you should avoid. First of all, NEVER place a garlic clove in your pet’s mouth when it has a skin cancer. This is an old wives tale and may actually cause more harm than good. Some people also believe that sewing a silver dollar into the tumor will also help heal cancer. This is not only false but it will also be very expensive and potentially harmful to your pet.
If a tumor appears on your pet’s skin, do not try to burn it off with a match or other open flame. Some people believe that this will help the skin heal itself, but it may actually cause more harm than good. In some cases, it can actually cause the cancer to spread to other parts of the body.
Dog cancer is very serious matter, but with early detection and treatment most types of skin cancer can be easily cured in dogs. While most skin cancers are curable, other types of cancer such as brain and lung cancer are much harder to treat. To learn more about dog cancer signs of dying, different stages of dog cancer and how to treat them, continue reading this blog.
What are the main types of dog cancer?
There are several different types of dog cancer that can affect your pet. These include but are not limited to bone cancer, blood cancer, skin cancer and brain cancer among others. In this article we will be covering the three most common types of dog cancer, and what you can do at home to cure them.
Skin cancer in dogs: Skin cancer is one of the most common types of dog cancer. There are three main types of skin cancer that can occur in dogs: Melanomas, Basal cell carcinomas and Squamous cell carcinomas. All three of these types are treatable as long as they are caught early on.
If you notice a small bump or patch on your dog’s skin that continuously grows, itching or looks abnormal in any way, you should take your pet to the vet immediately.
Bone cancer in dogs: Bone cancer is one of the more rare types of dog cancer, mainly because it is not as common for animals to get as it is for humans. Although it is rare, it is usually discovered early and treatment is fairly effective. The bone cancer that dogs get most commonly is osteosarcoma, which usually affects the limbs.
Bone cancer is not contagious to other animals or humans, so there is no need to worry about your other pets getting it.
Blood Cancer in dogs: While uncommon, blood cancer can affect dogs. It mainly affects the blood and bone marrow of dogs, and it’s symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, bruising easily and feeling generally unwell. Just like humans, dogs with blood cancer often have a low red blood cell count.
While there are three main types of dog cancer, there are many other types and subtypes that we did not cover. If you believe your pet has cancer, it is important to set up an appointment with a veterinarian immediately. This way you can confirm what type of cancer your pet has and begin treatment right away.
How do I know if my dog has skin cancer?
The following are symptoms of skin cancer in dogs:
Pigmented lesions that are dark in color (black or brown)
Suspicious growths or patches on skin
Open sores that do not heal
Irritated blemishes or skin growths
Change in size, shape or color of existing moles or skin lesions
Telangectasias (areas of skin that have become thin and wrinkled)
How do I know if my dog has bone cancer?
Some symptoms of bone cancer in dogs include:
Limping (especially if a dog has a broken bone in the limb)
Less movement of limbs than usual
Reluctance to move one or more limbs
Swelling, stiffness or pain in one or more limbs
Bruising easily or bleeding from the nose and mouth
How do I know if my dog has blood cancer?
Blood cancer in dogs has the following symptoms:
Vomiting and diarrhea
Pale or white gums
Unusual tiredness or weakness
Bruising easily or bleeding from the nose and mouth
Anemia (low red blood cells)
How do I treat skin cancer in dogs?
Treating skin cancer in dogs is fairly straightforward. Your veterinarian will scrape off the cancerous growths from your dog’s skin. After this has been done, your veterinarian may suggest the following treatments:
Corticosteroids: These medications reduce any inflammation or swelling caused by the cancer.
Antibiotics: These medications prevent and treat infection in the treatment area.
Immunosuppressants: These medications help your dog’s body from rejecting the transplanted skin.
How do I treat bone cancer in dogs?
Treating bone cancer in dogs is often a long and tedious process. Your veterinarian may suggest the following treatments:
Surgery: Surgery is usually only used to remove very large tumors that are inoperable or have spread to other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy: This involves administering anti-cancer drugs directly into a dog’s blood stream or into the tumor itself.
Radiation Therapy: High levels of radiation are used to kill cancer cells.
How do I treat blood cancer in dogs?
Treating blood cancer in dogs is a complex process and requires your veterinarian to be extremely vigilant. Some treatment options for this condition include:
Surgery: This can be used to remove tumors or blood vessels that are feeding the cancer.
Chemotherapy: Anti-cancer drugs are used to kill the cancerous cells.
Immunotherapy: This helps a dog’s body fight off the cancerous cells.
Bone Marrow Transplant: This is a complex procedure where healthy bone marrow is transfused into your dog.
Radiotherapy: High levels of radiation are used to treat the cancer.
Stem Cell Transplant: Healthy stem cells are transfused into your dog.
If your dog is suffering from any of the above conditions or needs surgery, you should contact a veterinarian immediately.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Canine prostate carcinoma: epidemiological evidence of an increased risk in castrated dogs (E Teske, EC Naan, EM Van Dijk… – Molecular and cellular …, 2002 – Elsevier)
- A comparison of radiographic and computed tomographic findings in 31 dogs with malignant nasal cavity tumors (DE Thrall, ID Robertson, DA Mcleod… – Veterinary …, 1989 – Wiley Online Library)
- The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs (S Messonnier – 2006 – books.google.com)
- Canine thyroid carcinoma (JM Liptak – Clinical techniques in small animal practice, 2007 – Elsevier)