How Do You Know if Your Dog Has Cancer?

According to the National Canine Cancer Foundation, one in three dogs will develop cancer. It’s a sobering statistic, and one that no dog owner ever wants to have to face. But, there are a wide range of cancers that a dog can develop and not all of them have fatal prognoses.

As with any disease, being able to identify the signs and symptoms of cancer will help ensure that you get your dog the veterinary treatment she needs as early as possible. And, when you’re talking about cancer, the earlier treatment can begin, the better.

cancer in dogs

What Is Cancer?

Everybody knows the word “cancer,” but few really understand exactly what it is and how it works. Cancer is a multifactorial (no known single cause) disease in which certain cells in the body start attacking the tissues surrounding them.

Depending on the type of cancer, the disease can metastasize (spread) either very quickly or very slowly, and it can remain either localized or it can spread to other parts of the body.

What Are the Most Common Types of Cancer in Dogs?

Like humans, dogs can develop cancer anywhere in the body, but the most common forms of the disease to affect dogs include:

  • Mast cell tumors
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma
  • Cancer of the mammary
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Transitional cell carcinoma
  • Cancer of the prostate
  • Malignant histiocytosis
  • Hemangiosarcoma

11 Common Signs and Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs

Early detection is crucial for a dog suffering from cancer, as it improves the chance that treatment and recovery will lead to positive results. In most cases, cancer becomes a concern whenever a dog owner feels a lump or mass growing on their dog, but there are ten other signs and symptoms commonly associated with cancer in dogs, and they include:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Difficulty eating
  4. Difficulty breathing
  5. Difficulty urinating and/or defecating
  6. Bad odor coming from the body
  7. Bleeding from any of the body’s openings
  8. Lameness
  9. Sores that don’t heal
  10. Loss of stamina

When a mass is found, it usually doesn’t cause the dog any pain or discomfort. It will also continue to grow, but you don’t want to wait for this to happen before taking your dog to the veterinarian for an examination.

Is There Any Way to Prevent Cancer in Dogs?

Not all canine cancers are the same, and while most forms of cancer can’t be outright prevented, there are some things you can do to reduce your dog’s risk of developing certain types of cancer. One type of cancer that can be prevented is reproductive cancers, which you can prevent by spaying or neutering your dog at an early age.

Healthy nutrition and plenty of exercise can also help lower your dog’s risks of getting cancer. There are also certain nutritional supplements that you can give your dog that many experts believe will help, such as antioxidants, lycopene, selenium, beta carotene, and vitamins A, C, and E. Of course, before you start giving your dog supplements, it’s important to make sure you discuss it with your veterinarian.

If your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with cancer and medications or supplements are prescribed for your pet, you can receive a free quote for the medications from Diamondback Drugs. Try us today – we can help you save money on all of your dog’s medications.

Author: Giano Panzarella