- Pets and Animals
Common Dog Cancer
Because our dogs are pretty important in our lives for one reason or another, it can be scary to find out that our pet may have cancer. I'm in that boat as we speak, with possible bone cysts or possible cancer. This has prompted me to do a little research as to common dog cancer, and surprisingly there are more than I expected to find.
Below you will find the more common types of cancer that you will find in dogs. Some of which are still more commonly diagnosed than others, but overall the more common cancer in dogs do include the following.
Some of the cancer types below are preventable, but at the same time many dogs are just plain prone to the particular type of cancer. Just remember the sooner that you notice the signs and symptoms, the better the odds of your dog's cancer treatment.
Typically abdominal cancer involves the spleen, liver, kidneys, and the intestines. It is usually pretty hard to recognize any form of abdominal cancer early on because the abdomen pretty much hides the swollen organs for a while. The best way to catch abdominal cancer early is to make sure that you attend regular vet visits because during the typical physical, you vet will be able to notice any swollen organs.
Bladder cancer is common in dogs that live with people who smoke. Dogs who are exposed to flea and tick tips or shampoos, can also develop bladder cancer more often than a dog who has never been exposed to these types of products, as the "inert" ingredients- benzene, toluene, and xylen- are typically made from petroleum, which can cause cancer. You'll find that Scottish Terriers are highly prone to bladder cancer.
Bone Cancer or Osteosarcoma
Bone cancer is common in larger dogs, typically in the dog's ribs or legs. You'll find that dogs that weigh over 80 pounds are prone to developing bone cancer in the foreleg next to the wrist joint and in the hind leg above the knee in the femur. Common signs of bone cancer is overall lameness; you may notice a swollen area on the bone. If the bone cancer is in a limb, you can have the limb amputated to relieve pain, but this will not cure the cancer. In many cases, it can spread to the lungs, which can cause coughing and difficulty breathing. Dogs who develop bone cancer typically survive up to one year.
Large breed males are less likely to develop bone cancer if they are not neutered, but there are still many pros to neutering. You will need to weigh your pros and cons.
Dog breeds that are prone to osteosarcoma include: Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and Irish Wolfhounds, as well as Rottweilers, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Weimaraners, and Boxers.
Breast or Mammary Cancer
Breast cancer is common in female dogs. You will find that the risk of mammary cancer is increased if you spay the female dog early. Generally, half of dogs with breast cancer will only have a small area infected, so to speak, and half will have malignant breast cancer that can spread throughout the body. The breast tumors can be removed, and if you opt for the surgical procedure, you want to make sure that the entire lining of the mammary tissue is removed.
Canine Lymphoma, also known as lymphosarcoma, is probably the third most common type of cancer in dogs. Lymphoma involves the white blood cells, lymph nodes, spleen, liver, intestines, and the bone marrow. Treatment for Canine lymphoma typically will include the entire body since lymph nodes are throughout the body. Common signs of canine lymphoma include vomiting, weight loss and lack of appetite, shortness of breath, and single or multiple lumps in the skin or mouth.
Mouth cancer is often malignant. You want to watch out for bleeding in the nose, difficulty eating, or massed in the jaw and cheek area.
Prostate cancer is a fast growing cancer that is very aggressive and can spread to the lymph nodes, lungs, and the bones. The most common sign of protaste cancer is difficulty defecating because the prostate presses against the lower portion of the colon which makes it so that stool cannot pass. Dogs with prostate cancer may also walk stiffly and/or have blood in the urine.
Skin tumors are the easiest to spot, which means that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. Dogs that have white fur and pink skin are prone to skin cancer. If you have a dog with thin white fur, you want to apply sunscreen on the dog when he's outside.
Dogs that are exposed to environmental toxins, herbicides, parasites, and various medications that are used to kill pests, are at higher risk to developing testicular cancer. Dogs that have a testicle retained within the abdomen are also prone to testicular cancer. Typically, when the testicles are removed, most dogs recover smoothly.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed veterinarian. The methods outlined above may or may not work for your pet. If you have any concerns, you should consult a veterinarian.