Cancer is one of the primary killers among all breeds of dogs but some breeds are more susceptible than others to certain types of cancer. Cancer can occur at any time in a dog’s life but it usually doesn’t rear its ugly head until a dog grows older. Treating dogs with cancer can be difficult for a veterinarian because the correct diagnosis can be challenging with the large number of different types of cancer that affect dogs.
Canine cancer can easily spread through a dog’s body, meaning that early detection and treatment is of paramount importance to a pet’s health and longevity.
One of the more common types of cancer found in most dog breeds is oral cancer. These cancers can be identified by the gradual, or sometimes sudden growth of tumors in a dog’s mouth. If these growths are cancerous and malignant, the dog may suffer considerably before any outward symptoms are seen. Even when the growths are benign rather than malignant, they can still be dangerous or deadly to a dog.
Liver cancer is the most common cancer affecting the major organs in the body. Tumors of the liver can develop quite suddenly, but usually take months or even years to fully develop. It’s very possible that a dog may be suffering from liver cancer for quite some time until the tumor becomes large enough that it begins to cause symptoms that indicate the presence of a cancerous growth in a dog’s body.
Bladder cancer is one of the leading forms of cancer in many dogs. Like other kinds of urinary tract diseases, bladder cancer can develop without the owner realizing it, and when it reaches a certain stage of growth it can have very painful consequences for a dog. This form of cancer is one of the most difficult ones to treat, partially because surgical removal of the infected tissue is difficult or even impossible.
Bone cancer is more commonly found in larger dog breeds who tend to have a higher rate of bone cancer and at an earlier age than smaller breeds. It is believed that the reason for this statistic is that the bones of larger breeds are growing and reproducing much more quickly than the bone cells of smaller dogs, allowing mutations to develop which can result in cancer.
A responsible pet owner will want to watch their pet for the ten early warning signs of cancer in a dog:
* Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
* Sores that won’t heal
* Weight loss
* Loss of appetite
* Bleeding or discharge from any opening of the body
* Offensive odor
* Difficulty when eating or swallowing
* Reluctance to exercise or loss of stamina
* Persistent lameness or stiffness
* Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating
It also helps to be aware of known and suspected cancer causing agents which include:
• second-hand smoke
• radiation exposure
• certain viruses
•chemical additives and preservatives in food
No one wants to lose a pet to cancer. When the unthinkable does happen it can be as devastating as losing a member of the family to cancer. Learn to watch for the early warning signs and keep your dog away from all known cancer causing agents.