Bladder Cancer in Dogs

Updated: July 07, 2022

Bladder cancer in dogs. This is one of the biggest fears of every pet parent. It is scary and it makes you feel like it's the end of the world.

You see, it is always in these trying times where it's always a good idea to know more about how your dog's body functions and what could've gone wrong along the way. In this article, we'll run you through what bladder cancer is all about, symptoms from its early to late stages, and ways to make your dog's life a bit better, one step at a time.

"This cancer begins as a tumor in the urinary tract and can metastasize and spread to other areas of the body like the bone, liver or skin."

Getting a Clearer View of Dog Bladder Cancer

Of all urinary problems in dogs, cancer is probably the most common and most diagnosed among canines. According to The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, cancer of the urinary tract in dogs can have an effect on the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, prostate, or urethra. Within the urinary system, the bladder is the location very often affected with cancer. Unlike cancer in dogs in other locations in the body, bladder cancer is strange, containing an estimated of 2% of all cancers in the dog. With more than 70 million pet dogs in the United States, however, even unusual cancers like bladder cancer, are problems for thousands of dogs and their pet parents.

To understand better, here's how your dog's urinary system works: 

A dog's urinary system is consists of the ureters, the urinary bladder, the urethra, and the kidneys. The kidneys are the ones responsible for removing waste in the blood and balancing out the electrolytes in the body. Now the wastes filtered by the kidneys become urine, the urine moves to the bladder through the ureters, and is then collected in the bladder. Depending on the quantity of the urine, the bladder has the ability to expand its inner linings and walls. When your dog urinates, the urine is then eliminated via the urethra. 

There are many types of bladder cancer in dogs but the most common is the TCC or the Transitional Cell Carcinoma. This cancer begins as a tumor in the urinary tract and can metastasize and spread to other areas of the body like the bone, liver or skin.  

Signs and Symptoms of Bladder Cancer in Dogs

The following symptoms are listed from the early stages of bladder cancer in dogs to its late stages:

Early stages of bladder cancer in dogs:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Presence of pain while urinating (whelping, crying, etc.)
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Presence of blood in the urine
  • Constant licking of the vulva and penis
  • Presence of inflammation on the private areas
  • Decreased appetite

Late stages of bladder cancer:

  • Worsening of the early signs of bladder cancer
  • Weight loss
  • Constant vomiting
  • Weakness, lethargy
  • A bloated abdomen that's painful to touch
  • Pacing and panting
  • Difficulty in moving (walking, running, sitting, etc.)
  • Urine scalding (skin irritation from constant contact with urine)
  • Anorexia

Signs that mean immediate vet assistance:

  • Respiratory issues, breathing difficulties
  • Constant seizures
  • Non-stop vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Sudden collapse
dog bladder cancer panting, bladder cancer in dogs

What causes it?

Bladder cancer in dogs still doesn't have any known causes but genes, heredity, lifestyle, age, urination habits as there are some dogs who hold urine in for too long, persistent untreated urinary infections, etc. can pre-dispose your furbaby into developing one in the long run.

Preventing bladder cancer from happening to your dog

As its causes are still unknown, preventative measures can be a challenge since you don't know exactly what you're avoiding. But here are a few things you can do to be able to guide your dog into a healthy lifestyle, away from those nasty bladder cancer cells.

Good exercise. Keeping your furbaby moving will increase their blood flow and this appears to help reduce the risks of any form of cancer to develop. A good exercise can help your furbaby get the daily activity his body needs to fight off cancer.

Low stress. Stress can cause a number of health problems in your dog that's why it's important to keep him anxiety-free.

Plenty of water. Having your dog drink a lot of water will help his body flush out all those nasty wastes and will help lessen the chances of him developing urinary infections.

Pee often. Holding urine in for a long time can cause urinary problems. This is why it's very important to help your dog pee on time. You can use pee motivators: every time after he wakes up, after playtimes, and after meals. What comes in must always come out.

Bladder supplements. Providing your dog with natural supplements daily is best for him because a dog’s bladder health is as important as his overall well-being. Supplements specifically made for your dog's kidney and bladder health will help protect your furbaby's bladder from irritants, soothing the urinary tract for comfortable urination minimizing discomfort associated with urinary problems. 

How can Pet Parents® help?Pet Parents® Bladder Supplements contain a branded form of cranberry extract, Pacran®, D-Mannose that helps promote bladder health by not allowing bad bacteria to stick to the uterine walls and flushing them out. 

It also contains pumpkin seed extract that greatly supports proper bladder muscle function. Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants and help support urinary health. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron, and help reduce the risks of cancer.  

Powerful Probiotics. Providing probiotics promotes the growth of good, friendly bacteria boosting a healthy immune system.

How can Pet Parents® help?Pet Parents® Probiotic Supplement supports proper digestion in your dog as well as the proper distribution of vitamins and minerals throughout the body. Probiotics are great for daily use, especially when good bacteri are needed most by your dog to prevent resist bad bacteri and protect them from an array of undesirable diseases such as cancer. It also consists of a powerful probiotic blend that helps prevent disease, improve digestion nutrient absorption, strengthen the immune system.

"Providing your dog with natural supplements daily is best for him because a dog’s bladder health is as important as his overall well-being."

Bladder cancer in dogs can be tough and no pet parent will ever want that on their dogs. That's why we're here to help you to prevent those nasty cancer cells and continue living a happier and healthier life ahead.