Cancers in pets can strike the bones, skin or organs. Some of these cancers spread rapidly whereas others work slowly to destroy the animal. There are some treatments for some cancers, if the disease is diagnosed quickly enough. That’s why it’s very important to have any lumps examined, report to the vet if your pet’s gums look extremely pale, your pet seems to be weak and sleeping a lot, or your pet begins vomiting for no apparent reason.
Cancer is sometimes treatable in animals, but some cancers, such as hemangiosarcomas, are rarely sent into remission. The disease can attack the spleen, liver, heart or skin. Skin forms are much more treatable than other forms. The ailment can cause a large mas sin the abdomen which will eventually burst and cause massive blood loss. Symptoms include pale gums, weakness and irregular heart beat.
Mammary tumors are the most common of all tumors in female dogs. This type of tumor can be huge and hard or tiny and barely noticeable. Cats and dogs alike can suffer from mammary cancer but it is treatable if caught at an early stage. Mammary tumors are most common in females that have not been spayed, and generally attack dogs that are between five and ten years old. Having your dog spayed greatly reduces the risk of this type of cancer.
In male dogs, testicular tumors are one of the most common. Dogs that have been castrated are at no risk for this cancer, and castration is the treatment for testicular tumors. The tumors generally don’t surface until the dog is about five years old or older. Symptoms include swelling in the testicular area. The rate of recovery for this cancer is usually quite good, after castration.
Another common cancer among dogs is Lymphoma. The disease can strike the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and other organs. Treatment involves chemotherapy, and has a fairly high success rate, if the cancer is caught early. Symptoms include tumors and swelling in the lymph node areas, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and lack of appetite. Some shortness of breath may occur and the dog may also develop lumps in the skin or mouth.
For young dogs, one of the most common cancers is histiocytoma. The disease can attack dogs of any age but generally is seen in pets under three years old. Although the tumor can appear anywhere, it’s generally found on the dog’s head. The tumor will likely become ulcerated, then heal and go away. The tumors often reappear and can sometimes show up as several instead of just one. These tumors are usually benign and will heal themselves, but the vet may recommend a salve that will comfort the dog.
Cancer in dogs, as in people, can be a devastating ailment, causing other diseases or death. Early detection is the best method for finding the cancer and treating it with success. Take your dog for regular checkups, particularly as he gets older. With regular screening, many cancers can be diagnosed quickly and your pet can recover to his old self.