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Dogs and Cancer: Types, Signs & Symptoms

Dogs and Cancer: Types, Signs & Symptoms

If you've felt some lumps and bumps while petting your dog, you may have some questions. Here, our Memphis vets discuss some common forms of cancer and signs to watch for.


Most Common Types of Cancer in Dogs

Dogs can get many of the same kinds of cancer that people do, with similar symptoms. Listed below are some of the more common types of cancer that a dog can become affected by.

Melanoma

Skin tumors, often found in the oral and foot regions. Melanoma can be quick to spread to other areas of the body and tend to be quite malignant.

Mast Cell Tumors

These tumors are found on the skin as well. They can be difficult to remove, depending on the location, but can be cured if removed completely and early.

Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma)

This is the most common bone tumor in dogs. Any breed can be affected, but typically larger breeds tend to have a higher rate of occurrence.

Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma

Vets have the most experience treating this type of cancer and there are quite a few treatment options available to dogs suffering from lymphoma.

Hemangiosarcoma

This tumor is most commonly found on internal organs and blood vessels, although it may occasionally be found on the skin. These can grow quite large with bleeding into the pericardium. Emergency intervention is essential or the dog will not survive.

Fibrosarcoma

This type of cancer is slow to spread to other areas of the body, but difficult to treat. Amputation and radiology are two treatment options to prevent it from recurring.

Signs & Symptoms

It is not always possible to know by looking at your dog that he or she is ill. In fact, blood work often can't detect the different types of cancer either. That said, there are some signs that you should not ignore if you see in your dog, as they might be the key to early detection.

  1. Sores that do not heal
  2. Bleeding or discharge from body openings
  3. Lumps or bumps beneath the skin
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Weight loss
  6. Disinterest in exercise or lowered stamina
  7. Lethargy and/or depression
  8. Strain or pain in breathing, coughing, or when going to the bathroom
  9. Repugnant odor
  10. Challenges with eating or swallowing
  11. Swollen areas that continue to grow
  12. Pain or difficulty with walking, lameness or stiffness

Diagnosis

It is important that you are aware of changes in your dog's behavior and pay attention to any bumps or lumps you may feel while petting your dog. If they have one or more symptoms, make an appointment with your vet immediately.

Your vet may perform a biopsy or other test that will be sent to a lab for testing, as well as palpate your dog to feel for any lumps. Ultimately, only your vet will be able to determine if your dog has cancer. Your dog's best chance for survival is early detection, so be sure to pay close attention to any changes.

If you suspect your dog may have cancer, contact our Southeast Memphis vets to book an appointment immediately.

Dogs & Cancer | Memphis vets | Southwind Animal Hospital

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