If you are petting your dog and find a lump or bump it can be very concerning. While not all bumps will be cancer it will always be best to have your pet examined. Our Eastham internal medicine vets share some of the different types and warning signs of cancer in dogs.
Cancer in Dogs
Our canine companions mean the world to us so we always hope to never see them sick or hurt, which means when the possibility of cancer arises it can be devastating.
While we don't want to think of the possibility of our dog becoming sick we should know what to look for in case they ever do. Knowing the signs and symptoms of cancer in dogs is helpful so you can spot any symptoms early is one of the best ways to help your dog get treatment while the disease is in its early stages.
One of the most surprising things about cancer is that dogs can get many of the same types of cancer that can infect us humans. Their symptoms can also be very similar.
Here are some of the most common types of cancer that our Eastham internal medicine vets see in dogs:
Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma in Dogs
Lymphoma is a very common type of cancer in dogs, and there are more than 30 categories of lymphoma that can develop in their bodies. Lymphoma is actually a generic team vets use to describe a group of cancers that stem from a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes.
These help the immune system fight off infection. The most common types of lymphoma in dogs are: alimentary, multicentric, extranodal and mediastinal lymphoma.
Melanoma in Dogs
Skin tumors can be caused by melanoma, which is able to spread quite quickly to other areas of the body. It tends to be malignant. Vets often find these tumors in and around a dog’s mouth or on their feet.
Mast Cell Tumor in Dogs
Mast cell tumors affect a dog’s skin, and may be difficult for your vet to remove depending on the location. The good news: This type of cancer in dogs can be cured if the tumor is found early and completely removed.
Fibrosarcoma in Dogs
This slow-spreading type of cancer in dogs can be challenging to treat. Radiation and amputation are commonly used to treat dogs with fibrosarcoma, in order to prevent it from returning.
Hemangiosarcoma in Dogs
This very serious form of cancer requires emergency intervention, or it may quickly become fatal. Hemangiosarcoma tumors in dogs can grow quite large. They are typically found in the spleen, but can grow anywhere blood vessels are and may spread to other organs, including a dog’s heart and lungs.
Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer) in Dogs
Osteosarcoma is the type of cancer most commonly seen by our Eastham internal medicine vets. Though osteosarcoma can develop in any breed, our vets see this type of cancer most often in larger breeds.
It can be challenging to detect signs and symptoms of cancer simply by looking at your dog. In fact, even blood work may not detect certain cancers in dogs. However, you can watch for some signs that may indicate your dog could have cancer.
As with people, early detection is critical to positive treatment outcomes when it comes to eliminating cancer from a dog’s body. If any of the following signs are appearing in your dog, book an appointment with your Eastham internal medicine vet as soon as possible.
Signs & Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs
- Sores that don’t heal
- Strong odor
- Bleeding or discharge
- Unexplained weight loss
- Appetite loss
- Difficulty or pain when walking, stiffness or lameness
- Lumps or pumps below the skin
- Challenges when swallowing or eating
- Disinterest in exercise, lethargy or depression
- Straining to go to the bathroom
- Coughing, or difficult or painful breathing
Diagnosing Cancer in Dogs
Our Eastham internal medicine vets recommend keeping track of your dogs health in order to make recognizing symptoms easier. You should also pay attention to any lumps or bumps you may find on your canine friend’s body while grooming or petting him.
If you notice any of the above symptoms in your dog then you should schedule a veterinary internal medicine appointment as soon as possible.
Your Eastham internal medicine vet may do a biopsy or other diagnostic test, then send it to our in-house lab for testing. The vet may also palpate your dog to feel for any bumps or lumps. By performing tests and a thorough physical exams, your vet will be able to determine whether your dog has cancer, then recommend best treatment options.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.