Dog Cancer refers to a fatal tumor that is caused by the disordered multiplication of cells in an organ or tissue. As in man, cancerous tissues can sit in any part of the animal’s body. Tumor cells proliferate and invade other organs through the bloodstream or lymphatic ducts.
This phenomenon, called metastasis, is characteristic of cancer tumors. Genetic abnormalities, aging, inappropriate lifestyle can predispose the dog to this fairly common health disorder. Decrypting the causes of cancer in our domestic pets and the corresponding veterinary treatment.
How To Diagnose A Dog Cancer ?
The dog is no different from man in every respect. He needs proper nutrition and physical exercise to stay fit and active. But this does not prevent him from developing cancer if he has factors that promote this disease.
Fortunately, there are symptoms that indicate the presence of latent pathology in the animal. First, the owner may feel an abnormal size that persists when petting his small dog. But that doesn’t mean it has to be cancer.
Because a cyst can be benign and poses no risk. The benignity of a hump is recognized by its nature. It does not develop in adjacent tissues and remains localized. But a mass under the skin or a wound that has trouble healing can also be a sign of malignant disease.
Signs of cancer include lethargy and sudden weight loss. He seems down and has trouble moving or feeding. A dog with a limp can also suffer from bone cancer. In addition, as in humans, rapid weight loss would also suggest a serious disease that requires early intervention by a veterinarian.
The same applies to persistent cough, repetitive vomiting and chronic breathing difficulties. If an animal’s cough lasts for a period of time and breathes even with little effort, this could indicate symptoms of lung cancer. A dog that has the habit of vomiting everything it ingests can mean either food poisoning or a serious stomach or intestinal cancer disease. A veterinarian should be consulted promptly as soon as these warning signs are noticed.
On the other hand, diarrhea can also accompany this desperate pathology although this is not necessarily an indication of a malignant tumor. The malaise of the animal due to cancer can also be manifested through fever, depression followed by loss of appetite, bad breath, foul odor and livid gums. This last symptom heralds a lack of blood flow that can be caused by a serious disease or even cancer.
Do not forget that the normal temperature of a dog is around 38°C. If it’s 40 degrees, there’s something to worry about. And if there is also a change in behaviour and a refusal to eat, it is also time to react. Finally, the malignant melanoma of the inside of the dog’s mouth causes his teeth to open and makes him smell bad breath.
Thus, vigilance is required not to worsen a tumor that could be treated early. The annual visit to the veterinarian is also to be recommended in order to guard against the formation of cancer.
Factors Leading To The Development Of Cancer In Dogs
Some dog breeds such as labradors, boxers, terriers are more prone to skin cancers. Nodules form under the skin of the animal. The latter may become anemic, or may suffer from digestive or nerve disorders.
When the nodules metastasize, they cause his death in a few months. Unsterilized bitches who take contraceptives are also prone to cancer formation, especially if they are advanced in age. Because the immune system of an elderly animal is weakened. Finally, dogs that are exposed to chemicals such as pesticides can also show cancer risk.
Good to know: researchers have discovered that good nutrition is an important factor that can improve the life expectancy of an animal being treated for this serious disease. A good amount of protein, fatty acids and fat need to be in the dog’s food to allow it to recover quickly.
How To Treat Dog Cancer?
The veterinarian is the only one able to give an accurate diagnosis of the disease from which his small ball of hair suffers. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the case. Note that some cancers do not reach the dog’s vital process. This is why it is important to have it diagnosed by the animal doctor. As a reminder, canine cancers can affect the liver, bone, skin, lymphatic system, udders, testicles etc.
The veterinarian confirms the cancer of an animal after examining it and after doing an X-ray, biopsy of the affected area, endoscopy or analysis. Depending on the proliferation of cancer cells, the animal health specialist may offer treatment such as surgical ablation, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy consists of exposing the tumor to ionizing radiation 3 sessions a week for 1 to 1 and a half months. Chemotherapy is indicated when a tumor metastasizes locally. In the extreme case, the veterinarian may also propose amputation or euthanasia of the dog with the agreement of its owner.
As in humans, cancer treatment can be expensive and requires regular interventions (e.g. chemotherapy). This then indicates a substantial budget including radiotherapy. It is advisable to make a subscription in a health insurance for dogs in order to have a refund of the treatment. Most animal mutuals offer affordable rates, but you can also use an online simulation tool, if you want to find the one that offers the best value for money.
Are There Any Side Effects Of The Treatment ?
Before choosing the right treatment, the veterinarian first examines the dog’s condition. The final decision is then up to the owner, who must also consult his budget. The veterinarian should explain to him the benefits of the treatment and the improvement of the animal’s health.
As for the side effects of cancer therapy, they are not as feared as in humans. The substances used in animals are less toxic than in human medicine, so the effects are less significant. In the case of chemo treatment, hair loss or vomiting are not common.
The administration of Anesthesia also reduces the animal’s pain and stress. And with the attentive care of its owner after the surgery, the dog will quickly regain its strength and its old playing habits.
If an aging dog becomes weirdly slimming, loses its appetite or shows signs of fever, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian. If there is also a wound or wound that is difficult to heal, the diagnosis of the animal doctor is essential. With the progress of Veterinary Medicine, dog cancer is best cured if treated early.