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Uterine Cancer In Dogs

Uterine Cancer In Dogs

What Is Uterine Cancer In Dogs?

Uterine tumors are malignant growths in the uterus, which serve as the implantation site of fertilized eggs (ova) and for the growth and development of the fetus. Uterine tumors are rare and it accounts for less than 0.5% of dogs.

The most common canine uterus tumor is benign mesenchymal tumors (leiomyomas). Other reported but rare uterine tumors include hemangiosarcoma, fibroma, fibrosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, lymphoma, lipoma, and angiolipoleiomyoma. Rarely, epithelial tumors are reported and most epithelial tumors are cancerous, however, benign histologies also have been reported.

Leiomyomas typically are noninvasive, slow growing, and non-metastatic. Unfortunately, they are difficult to differentiate from their malignant counterparts. Canine leiomyomas and leiomyosarcomas are incidental findings during ovariohysterectomy or necropsy as they are not always associated with clinical signs.

Most commonly, Middle-aged to older dogs is affected, although uterine tumors have been reported in dogs < 10 months too. The usual occurrence of uterine tumors is in female dogs >10 years of age. No specific breed predisposition has been reported.

Symptoms Of Uterine Cancer In Dogs

  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Malignant ascites (carcinogenic fluid inside the abdomen)
  • Hormonal dysfunction
  • Pleural effusions - in case of thoracic metastasis
  • Absence or problems in “going into heat” period
  • Excessive infiltration of endometrium cells
  • Persistent estrus
  • Overproduction of steroid hormones (estrogen, progesterone)
  • Sanguineous discharge in the vulva/ Vulvar enlargement
  • Alopecia
  • Uncomfortable with being touched or petted

Treatment Options For Uterine Cancer In Dogs

  • Chemotherapy (Intracavitary cisplatin) – This technique involves an increased dose of chemotherapy drugs into the tumor, while the rest of the body receives only a very low dosage. This is useful in the control of malignant effusions.
  • Oophorectomy – This is an alternative to ovariohysterectomy - Surgical removal of the ovary/ovaries
  • Ovariohysterectomy - The best treatment for uterine cancer. Ovaries and the uterus is removed

Home Remedies For Uterine Cancer In Dogs

There are no home remedies for uterine cancer and the better option to do is to take care of overall health of the dog. Follow the instructions given to you by your veterinarian.

Don’t forget to follow up with abdominal/ thoracic radiographs once in 2 months if any metastasis is found or owners can simply check for recurrence.

How To Prevent Uterine Cancer In Dogs?

Spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is the only way of preventing uterine cancers and this totally prevents the chance of this happening.

Spaying also lowers the incidence of uterine tumors by over 50%, and eliminates the risk of uterine infections and accidental pregnancy.

Affected Dog Breeds Of Uterine Cancer

Boxer, Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, German Shepherd, Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Middle Age Dogs, Senior Dogs, Female Dogs

Risk Factors And Prognosis For Uterine Cancer In Dogs

1. Risk factors:

  • Mostly Hereditary/ idiopathic
  • Old age
  • Intact dogs
  • Overweight or obese

2. Stages:

Stage I: The initial stage of uterine cancer. Least advanced stage

Stage II: Tumor has reached organs close to the uterus (ovaries, fallopian tubes, or both)

Stage III: Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and GI tract

Stage IV: Metastasized cancer and most advanced stage. Cancer has spread to distant organs such as the lungs and liver

3. Grading:

Grade 1: Well-differentiated cancer; less probability to spread or recurring

Grade 2: Reasonably differentiated

Grade 3: Looks more atypical. Poorly differentiated cancer. More possibility to spread or recur

4. Mortality:

No apparent symptoms (asymptomatic nature) during the development of the tumor or deferred onset of clinical signs and absence of proper diagnostic tests are the reasons for the high mortality rate of uterine cancer.

5. Diagnosis:

  • Baseline tests - biochemical profile, complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis
  • Abdominal radiographs (X-rays) and thoracic radiographs.
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Cytology (evaluation of cells) – to check the presence of abdominal or thoracic fluid
  • Microscopic evaluation and Biopsy are necessary for a definitive diagnosis.

6. Prognosis:

Stage I and II dogs: Good prognosis. Stage I and II dogs five year survival rate is approximately 70%. Once the tumor is removed, the survival rate is estimated less than or equal to six years.

When all types of genital organs cancer are considered almost 3 in 4 dogs' survival rate is at least 1 year after diagnosis.

When To See A Vet For Uterine Cancer In Dogs?

Contact your vet right away, if you notice any of the following:

  • Malignant ascites (carcinogenic fluid inside the abdomen)
  • Blood in urine
  • Pleural effusions - In case of thoracic metastasis
  • Absence or problems in “going into heat” period/ Persistent estrus

Food Suggestions For Uterine Cancer In Dogs

  • Whole, organic foods / Semi-Homemade Food / Low-carb dog food
  • Vitamins: Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, spinach, kale, papaya, strawberries, and pineapple
  • Add Probiotics, digestive enzymes, and/or oregano or basil
  • Chicken soup bone broth ( or use lamb/beef bones)
  • Dark-green, leafy vegetables/ other vegetables: Cauliflower, cabbage, cantaloupe, Brussel sprouts, spinach, Kale, and silver beets
  • Beef liver, Mutton Liver, lean meats, raw egg yolk, canned sardines, salmon, pumpkin, and green vegetables


For dogs with uterine cancer, the prognosis for long-term prognosis is generally poor, in spite of proper treatment. Dogs can be looked after to have a comfortable quality of life for a period of time with proper treatment.

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