We understand that finding a lump on your dog can be upsetting. While not every lump will turn out to be cancer there are a number of cancers that our Memphis vets commonly see in dogs. Here are a few of the cancers commonly seen in dogs and their symptoms.
Cancer in Dogs
You may be surprised to learn that dogs suffer from many of the same types of cancer that people do, and with very similar symptoms. Some of the most common types of cancer found in dogs are listed below:
- Mast Cell Tumor - These tumors are found on the skin, and depending on the location of the tumor, can be difficult for your vet to remove. Nonetheless, this form of cancer in dogs can be cured if detected and treated in its early stages.
- Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer) - Osteosarcoma is the most common bone cancer found in dogs. Any breed of dog can be affected by this form of cancer but our vets tend to see Osteosarcoma most often in larger breeds.
- Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma - Lymphoma is a very common form of cancer in dogs and there are a number of ways to treat this disease.
- Hemangiosarcoma - This form of cancer is most often found on internal organs and blood vessels, although it can be found on the skin. Hemangiosarcoma tumors can grow quite large with bleeding into the pericardium. Hemangiosarcoma requires urgent treatment, since it can quickly become fatal.
- Fibrosarcoma - In dogs, fibrosarcoma is a slow spreading form of cancer but can be difficult to treat. In order to prevent recurrence, amputation and radiation are the most common treatments used to fight this disease.
- Melanoma - Melanoma is typically found in and around the dog's feet or mouth. This type of cancer can spread quickly to other areas of the dog's body and tends to be malignant.
Signs of Cancer in Dogs
It can be difficult to know just by looking at your dog that he or she is seriously ill. Even blood work often cannot detect certain types of cancers in dogs. That said, there are a number of signs that pet-parents can watch for which may indicate that their dog should be examined and tested for cancer.
If your dog is displaying any of the following signs and symptoms, make an appointment to visit your vet as soon as possible. Positive treatment outcomes rely on early detection.
- Sores that don't heal
- Weight loss
- Difficulty breathing
- Lethargy, depression
- Loss of appetite
- Strong odor
- Pain or difficulty walking, lameness or stiffness
- Bleeding or discharge
- Lumps or bumps beneath the skin
- Difficulties eating or swallowing
- Straining when going to the bathroom
Diagnosing Cancer in Dogs
As a pet-parent it is essential to aware of changes in your dog's behavior, and to pay attention to any bumps or lumps you may discover while petting your canine companion. If your dog is displaying one or more of the signs and symptoms listed above, be sure to contact your vet immediately.
If your vet is concerned that your dog could have cancer they may perform a biopsy or other test that will be sent to a lab for testing, as well as palpate your dog to feel for any suspicious lumps or bumps. Professional diagnosis is important, only your vet will be able to determine if your dog has cancer and which form of cancer it is.