Cancer In Dogs – Types, Symptoms And Treatments

Cancer In Dogs
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Cancer in dogs is one of the major diseases that cause of sudden and, in some cases, painful death in many dog breeds. Research confirms that around 50% of dogs in the age group of 10 -11 years old suffer from this deadly disease.

The most common cancers found in the dog breed include Lymphoma, Oral Melanoma and breast cancer. The ‘Big C’ can be treated if diagnosed early; here’s a complete guide to help you identify the common symptoms of cancer and the various types that are most common these days.

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Early Symptoms Of Cancer In Dogs

Even the slightest negligence on your end might cost your pet’s life. Cancer can be treated if diagnosed at an early stage. The early warning of cancer in dogs is very much similar to the ones found in humans.

You can easily identify at an early stage if you pay keen attention to its health and behaviour; a small lump or bump on its body is the primary sign of cancer in dogs. The following symptoms are very common and just requires a little bit of alertness on your part;

Abnormal Swellings with Continuous growth

If you notice a lump that has an abnormal growth and doesn’t seem to stop, then it is better you take your pet to the vet for a complete checkup.

Unexplained Weight Loss and loss of appetite

Sudden weight loss in your pet shouldn’t be taken lightly, you may also notice your pet to have lost interest in food. Cancer in the intestine could be one cause, so it is advisable that you take your pet for a blood test.

Loss of Stamina

You may find your pet disliking exercise; there are numerous reasons behind your pet’s weakness but it is safer to get a test done and have all doubts cleared.

There are numerous other symptoms including bad body odour, bleeding wounds that won’t heal, difficulty in breathing, etc.. but not all symptoms point towards cancer. Hence, take your pet to a proper pet for diagnosis before you start panicking.

Common Types Of Cancer In Dogs And Treatment Methods

Here are a few most common cancers found in dogs.


It is a type of cancer that affects a certain blood cell (lymphocytes) in the dog and also the lymphoid tissues. Since this tissue is present in the spleen, liver, bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract.


Lymphoma is an easily treatable form of cancer. The cure plan may include treatment on a weekly basis; sometimes the vet might suggest alternate sets of chemotherapy to restore health when the situation is too worse.


This is a type of cancer in the dog’s bone and is most commonly referred to as “cancer in the dog’s leg”. Small tumours in the limbs of giant dogs can turn cancerous if left unattended.


Diagnosis through x-rays and other methods with a treatment at an early stage can prevent your pet from going through the pain.

This type is painful and, in most cases, the doctor might suggest amputating the affected limb in order to provide relief to a certain extent. Chemotherapy is also suggested after amputation in order to slow down the metastases.

Oral Melanoma

Cancer in Dog’s mouth is a very common type of cancer found in ageing dogs. Breeds that have a darker tongue and gum are mostly prone to oral melanoma.


A certified vet should be consulted if you notice a lump in the dog’s mouth; you may be suggested to get your pet operated primarily. The next steps may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Mammary Gland Carcinoma

This mostly affects the mammary glands in female dogs. 50% of the diagnosed pets are reported to have died owing to this form of cancer.


The vet might remove a portion of a tumour and send it for a biopsy in order to diagnose the severity of the disease. Most of the mammary tumours can be treated with surgery; only a few cases would need to go for chemotherapy in order to delay the regrowth of cancer.


It occurs in the cells that line the blood cells. This form could spread into areas around the spleen, skin and the right atrium of the heart. This is a life-threatening form of cancer that may go undetected until the tumour ruptures and causes internal bleeding.


A combination of surgery and chemotherapy will be suggested in the initial stages. If the skin is affected, the vet may also prescribe radiation therapy for 25 days or more, based on the severity.

Tips To Prevent Cancer In Dogs

Apart from Age, genetics is also a factor that might cause cancer in the dogs. Though there isn’t any confirmed thesis on the cause, there are ways to prevent Cancer in Dogs.

  • Proper Diet – Choose a good and trustworthy food brand for your dog.  Proper and safe food play an important role in a dogs health. Cut out too much of carbs from the dog’s diet and ensure to include a lot of omega 3s, vitamins and little fruits in their daily diet.
  • Avoid Exposure to Toxins – Smoking Cigarette near your dog could turn it to be a passive smoker. Limit its exposure to cigarette smoke and also household cleaning chemicals; this way you can help your pet live a pain-free long life.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Vaccines – Always consult a vet before giving vaccination to your dog; do not believe every commercial Ad on the TV.

Cancer is, of course, scary but you can help your pet fight against it with proper care and treatment. Keep a track of your pet’s health and always report to a vet if you notice any kind of abnormality.

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