Cancer in dogs: a not so fun topic
As much as we try to provide cute and informative articles here on the blog, there’s some not so fun topics that deserve to be covered as well. Having known a few people that have had dogs that passed away due to cancer, knowing the signs and symptoms before hand can save a lot of heartache. The following post was contributed by Diana Smith, an awesome blogger. Give the post a read and learn about cancer in dogs. May not be cute, fluffy, or adorable, but worth knowing? Absolutely. – Alec
Clear Indicators of Cancer in Dogs
Quite often people associate certain diseases such as cancer to affect solely humans. Unfortunately, this dreadful disease has found a way to strike even the man’s best friend – dogs. According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death in 47% of dogs, especially dogs over the age of ten. Similar to humans, cancer in dogs is not caused by any factor alone, just as the body’s immune system fails to fend of the cancer cells. But what is interesting is that dogs are actually affected by more types of cancer than any other animal species. These are some clear signs that might indicate that your canine companion is suffering from this atrocious disease:
Types of Cancer
There are still no known reasons why dogs are more prone to specific types of cancer. However, these are some of the most common types of cancer that affect canines: hemangiosarcoma or more commonly known as the blood vessels cancer. It originates in the lining of blood vessels and can easily spread to organs such as the liver, spleen and even the heart. Lymphoma is one of the most common types of cancers in dogs and it usually originates in the lymphoid tissues. Mammary cancer or breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in female dogs and this form of cancer is three times more common in dogs than in humans. Skin cancer or mast cell tumour is mostly associated to hereditary and environmental factors, as this type of tumour is actually quite rare to occur to humans or cats for that matter. Also, osteosarcoma is the most common type of bone cancer and it usually affects middle-aged to older dogs.
While most of these cancer types are quite vicious and could have fatal consequences, the good news is that the majority of these cancer forms can be treated if only caught on time. This is why it is important to watch out for the most common symptoms that could show you that your dog is in risk of a certain carcinoma. For instance, if you notice that your dog indicates an unhealthy weight loss, loss of appetite or any abnormalities in his eating habits, it is time to pay a visit to the vet. Also, some of the clear warning signs are sores, lumps or wounds that cannot heal, unusual swellings and loss of stamina. Stiffness and difficulty while breathing, urinating and defecating are also factors that might indicate a much bigger issue. Any type of atypical odour or some kind of bleeding or unusual discharge is another reason to be alerted.
Prevention and Treatment
When it comes to treating cancer, it all comes down to two crucial things: what kind of cancer is in question and how far along has it developed. When you have established these two things, the vet will suggest an appropriate type of treatment for your pet. Of course, while most cancers cannot actually be prevented, there are certain ways to lower the risk of falling ill of a certain cancerous form. Some veterinarians claim that giving your dog vitamins, certain supplements and chewables like nexgard might boost their immune system making it less prone to certain diseases. Of course, healthy diet and exercise are also important factors that should be considered. Also, spaying or neutering your dog at a young age can possibly be a good prevention from certain reproductive cancers.
Succumbing to any form of cancer is a dreadful experience for all beings, whether they are our human friends or four-legged companions. While sometimes it is difficult to make a certain diagnoses, in order to catch the signs in an early stage, the best solution is to nurture your dog the best way you can and make regular appointments at the local vet.