- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Dogs and Cancer - Signs of Tumors and What to Expect
I just recently found out that my beloved PitBull named Kaos has or had cancer. If you are a dog owner who treats him like a member of the family you can imagine how scary and traumatic for both you and your dog it can be to think he may be sick.
I noticed that Kaos had a small bump under the skin on his lower back leg almost on his foot. I thought no big deal and figured it was a bug bite. As the days and weeks went by I was getting more nervous about the bump cause it was still there not changing just sitting there. Then all of the sudden like seriously overnight the bump had turned into this nasty red bubble looking thing. It took a month before it started to change and look serious. Before that it was not red and didn't have the bubble yet.
So I made the appointment and the next day he went to the vet. Vet says well I don't know what it is for sure until we get it out of his leg and send it off to be tested. I thought either way it was not supposed to be there so we might as well take it off now. My boyfriend kept telling me maybe we should get a 2nd opinion. I thought the sooner the better. So we had it removed that day. The vet told me to come back in 30 minutes and it would be gone and Kaos could go home. He would sedate him and he would not feel a thing.
This was the first time I had ever left my dog in a strange new place all alone with some strange man poking and proding at him and I felt terrible but had to do it so I did. When I picked him up he seems fine and has a bandage around his leg.
After we got home I looked at his leg and was upset about how big of a cut the vet had left. He even had 4 or 5 stitches. It looked awful and still does. A week later vet calls with results and tells me it was a mast cell tumor and it was a stage 2 but it was a very nasty and aggressive type that often spread to the lymph nodes and we should keep watching Kaos and checking him to make sure no more bumps came up. Then told me to give him 25 milligrams of benadryl every day.
Anyway the whole week of waiting was hard. I just new my dog was going to die and I cried and cried. I never imagined I would be bawling over a dog like a big cry baby.....but I was. He is the biggest soiled brat but I still love him.
. When he does die I am going to have him stuffed so he will be with me forever.......LOL Just kidding. Im not that crazy. But I do love him a lot.
I am not sure if Kaos is going to get better and stay that way. He doesn't act sick and is still very playful so I am hoping he will be okay and be around for many years to come. He is 5 years old now.
Signs of Tumors And Grade
Check your dog all over like you are petting him and look for any small bumps that were not there before. If the bump changes in any way take him in to get checked out.
The mast cell tumor causes histamine to be released into the blood and may cause your dog to vomit for no apparent reason.
They can also cause the blood pressure to drop or to have a fast heartbeat.
Mast cell tumors are graded according to how serious they are and the potential it has to kill the animal.
Grade I being benign, Grade III being malignant, and Grade II having some ability to go either way.
After removing the tumor depending on how severe it is your vet may prescribe an antihistamine medication or prednisone. Chemotherapy and or radiation may also be prescribed. Chemo and radiation are very expensive but can prolong life for a few years depending on the grade and stage of tumor.
Don't assume the worse if you think your dog may have cancer. If you find out that he does then do what you can to make sure he has a quality life for the rest of the time he has with you. Many times after removing the tumor a dog will be just fine and live a long life and be cured with no returning tumors.