Dogs are actually susceptible to many of the same types of cancers that afflict humans. However, the symptoms may be very different, and the treatment options are rather specific for the type of cancer diagnosed. We encourage pet parents to educate themselves on how to detect possible signs of cancer and other serious diseases their dog may contract.
Types of Canine Cancer
Dogs may suffer from many different types of cancerous growths. One of the most common is osteosarcoma, or bone cancer. Bladder cancer is also a common form of cancer in dogs. Brain tumors, lymphomas, lung cancer, skin cancer, and mammary carcinomas also occur, and the symptoms of these malignancies are quite varied.
Bone cancer in dogs usually occurs in one of the limbs. The dog may appear to be lame, and swelling often occurs at the point where the malignancy is developing. A brownish color or blood in the urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer. Tumors in the brain can cause staggering, forgetfulness, a failure to recognize the owner’s voice or to follow commands. Lymphomas often have such symptoms of swelling of the glands in the neck, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Lung cancer is often accompanied by coughing, weight loss, and shortness of breath. Skin cancer signs include areas of color change, crusty lesions, and wounds that do not heal. Mammary carcinomas usually occur in older female dogs, especially those animals that have never been spayed. Symptoms include multiple swell points around the mammary gland and an irregular shape to the mammary gland or nipple.
These include antiangiogenic, chemotherapy, anti-cancer diet, radiation therapy, and surgery. Antiangiogenic therapy involves the cutting off of new blood vessels formed in and around the malignancy. Chemotherapy is the introduction of drugs that actually destroy the cancer cells. An anti-cancer diet includes foods that are high in antioxidants, a blend of ingredients high in complex carbohydrates, simple sugars, and easily digestible proteins.
Radiation therapy for dogs involves the direction of high-energy electromagnetic radiation streams at the afflicted cells. This kills the malignant growths. Surgery may be recommended as the most effective treatment for tumors that are localized and when the malignancy has not spread to other parts of the body. Surgery is generally performed as a two-step operation. The first surgery removes the cancerous cells, and the second surgery removes scar tissue.
Dogs are family members; we love them wholeheartedly. Be proactive and observant when it comes to your dog’s behavior and overall appearance. Doing so may just save his life!