Preparing for Battle: Cancer in Dogs

In: Health

Preparing for Battle: Cancer in Dogs

Ah, yes. The big C. Cancer.

This is by far the biggest health fear we have for ourselves, for our loved ones and for our furry friends. Simply because it has claimed millions of lives and there seems to be no cure yet.

There can be a number of signs and illnesses that are indicative of cancer in dogs. Signs may include the following and more:
lethargy
decreased mobility
decrease or loss of appetite
sudden episodes of collapse

There is no definite reason on why cancer in dogs happens but we're here to help you get through the questions in your mind. Take comfort in knowing that you can actually do more for your pet than you think you could.

SIGNS OF CANCER IN DOGS

There can be a number of signs and illnesses that are indicative of cancer in dogs. Signs may include the following and more:

  • lethargy
  • decreased mobility
  • decrease or loss of appetite
  • sudden episodes of collapse
  • inability to urinate (could be a sign of cancer in the bladder or kidneys)
  • lumps or masses on legs or paw pads (could be a sign of melanoma or skin cancer)
  • unusual and foul odors from the mouth (could be a sign of oral cancer)
  • abnormal discharge such as blood, mucus (could be a sign of cancer in the GI tract)
  • sudden weight loss (could be a sign of lymphoma or cancer of a type of blood cells)
  • non-healing wounds and bumps (could mean a number of different cancers)
  • trouble breathing or irregular respiration (could be a sign of tumors in the heart or lungs)
  • other symptoms depend on the type of cancer your dog has, where it is located, and how far it has progressed

COMMONLY DIAGNOSED CANCERS IN CANINES

Symptoms of canine cancer can vary in so many ways and the top most common cancer types that occur in dogs are:

Melanoma. Melanoma is a common type of skin cancer in dogs and is the most common. It is a type of cancer that develops from the pigment-containing cells called melanocytes. This is usually found on areas of your dog's body that have hair.

Warning Signs: firm, round, raised masses that are darkly pigmented

Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of a type of blood cell (lymphocytes) and lymphoid tissues.  Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that helps the immune system fight off infection.

Warning Signs: swollen nymph nodes that grew 3-to-10 times their normal size

Bone Cancer. Bone cancer in dogs is also known as osteosarcoma. This refers to the most common bone tumor found in dogs. This type of cancer is extremely aggressive and has great chances of spreading fast into other parts of your dog's body.

Warning Signs: swelling of areas near the joints, joint or bone pain, lameness, and a mass growth on your dog's body

Hemangiosarcoma. This is a highly malignant cancer that can spread fast through the blood cell routes. It is usually found in your dog’s heart and spleen.

Warning Signs: inability of spleen to function, tumor of the liver that will result in liver failure

PREPARING FOR BATTLE

Nutritional Therapy. Cancer in dogs causes great metabolic changes in your dog's body. And providing your dog with nutritional therapy approved by your vet will keep him well-nourished and increase his immune responsiveness.

Nutritional supplements, such as fish oil, are also recommended for supplementation in pets dealing with the big C.

Find A Progressive Veterinarian. Let's admit it, there are vets that will only suggest management procedures that will earn them more. Look for a veterinarian who will explore all possible methods of treatment and will also consider your financial capacity.

Focus On Being Happy, Even Though It Is Difficult. ‘Smile though your heart is aching,' applies in this very trying time. Your dogs can sense your moods and feelings and they may think your sadness is because they've done bad things. This will add on to your dog's stress and I know you wouldn't want that.

Try to focus only on the positive side of things, remembering all the great adventures you've been through together. Live with peace and know that your pet having cancer is not defeat.

The sad thing about cancer is its causes and treatments are still unknown. Everything is uncertain, except for one thing: your goal to maintain your furry friend's overall health and nourishment, providing him the best quality of life possible even with cancer.

May is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month.

"Your dogs can sense your moods and feelings and they may think your sadness is because they've done bad things. This will add on to your dog's stress and I know you wouldn't want that."

The Author:

Micka V.

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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