Unfortunately, cancer is as frequent in pets as it is in humans. It can affect all canine breeds and ages, especially older ones. Every veterinarian knows getting a cancer diagnosis in your animal companion can be heartbreaking and devastating. But like humans, dog cancers caught early can be treated or sometimes successfully cured.
As we get going, we’ll discuss the different types of cancer in dogs and the treatment options commonly used to treat them.
Dog Cancer Types You Should Know About
Finding a lump on your four-legged friend can be upsetting. Although not all lumps are cancerous, there are a few cancer types usually found in dogs.
Here are five to name a few:
1. Mast Cell Tumors
A mast cell tumor is a type of skin cancer in the connective tissues, particularly the vessels and nerves near the dog’s external surface (mouth, nose, skin, and lungs ). Mast cell tumors are graded and evaluated according to their presence of inflammation and location in the skin. Just as mast cell tumors are common in canines, so are brain tumors. However, brain tumors usually happen in older dogs and are treated by pet neurology specialists.
This type of pet cancer can cause cancer bumps on the lymph nodes and targets the dog’s immune system. While lymphoma is among the most common pet cancer types, the reasons for its high occurrence rate remain unknown. Lymphomas in pets have no known cause, although specific factors like genes and environment are believed to be contributors.
Some of the common signs of lymphoma in canines include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased urination and thirst
- Swelling or enlarged lymph nodes
If you see these signs altogether, don’t try any home remedies and make your pet feel better. It’s best to have them examined by a vet oncologist so diagnosis and treatment can begin right away. You may visit their website to learn more about pet oncology services.
3. Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)
Osteosarcoma is a painful form of bone cancer often found in longer or larger bones of dogs, such as the pelvis or leg bones. Although any dog breeds are at risk of osteosarcoma, veterinarians often see this condition in larger dog breeds like Golden Retrievers, German shepherds, rottweilers, dobermans, weimaraners, Irish Wolfhounds, and boxers.
Melanoma tumors can be found anywhere on a dog’s body and are usually 1/4 inch to 2 inches in diameter. Swollen lymph nodes are among the primary symptoms you should watch out for. Generally, melanoma can be treated by removing the tumor and addressed through early detection. Pet parents can discover unusual masses by regularly inspecting their dog’s eyes, toes, and other body areas.
When you see suspicious round masses that quickly develop, this could be an alarming sign of melanoma. Take your pet to a veterinary surgeon in Springfield, VA, to be examined and treated.
5. Soft-tissue Sarcoma
Soft-tissue sarcoma can develop inside or outside a dog’s body. These cancer bumps can be easily spotted outside, especially in their early stages. However, sarcomas that develop inside a dog’s body are difficult to recognize until they grow large enough to be noticed.
Pet Cancer Treatment Options
As veterinary medicine continues to advance, treatments for pet cancer are being made more available and effective than ever. In some cases, it’s even possibly curable. However, this does not mean every cat or dog cancer can be cured. Factors like tumor type, location, size, specific treatment options, and early detection will dictate the result for individual patients.
Depending on the type of cancer your animal companion has, treatment might include the following:
- Conventional Radiation Therapy
- Palliative Care
- Holistic or herbal therapy
Cancer can be a terrifying medical diagnosis for pets and their fur parents. While the road ahead might be full of uncertainties and mixed emotions, you can still enhance your pet’s quality of life by connecting them with professional pet oncologists who can provide tailored treatment plans to guide you through this difficult process.