Find out what the main symptoms of cancer in dogs are and stay on top of the means of treating the disease
Well known and feared in the world of human beings, cancer is a disease increasingly diagnosed in the animal universe, affecting pets such as dogs and cats aggressively and frequently today. However, cancer in dogs also shows some signs that all pet owners should be familiar with – since, as in the case of illnesses that affect humans and almost all canine diseases, the sooner it is possible to define a diagnosis, the greater the chances of treating and curing the animals.
Although dogs do not always show the signs of this terrible disease – which today is already considered by many veterinarians as one of the main causes of death in animals – right away, it is worth remembering that the advances made in the field of veterinary oncology have been many over the last few years and, therefore, today, cancer in dogs is already a disease that can be treated through a series of ways and techniques .
Another factor that also greatly increases the possibilities of treating cancer in dogs is the amount of advances that the veterinary imaging sector has made; which, currently, already has high-tech imaging tests, providing much more accurate and clear data on the state of health of the animals – which immensely helps veterinary professionals to define diagnoses early, thus increasing the chances of treatment and survival of sick animals with the most varied problems (including cancer).
As previously mentioned, in many cases the animal affected by cancer does not show any symptoms of the disease until its development is already very large and – with that in mind, it is easy to understand why so many professionals recommend that tutors take their pets periodically for check-up appointments; as a disease of this type may end up being discovered in a routine examination, opening space for treatment to be started immediately.
To stay aware of the symptoms that your dog may have due to having cancer and be able to take the necessary measures to treat it, check out this article for more details on the causes, the main signs of the disease, the types of cancer that affect dogs and the treatment techniques available
Causes of cancer in dogs
Some situations and conditions may increase the chance that a pet may have cancer; being advanced age, depigmented skin, some viral diseases, exposure to the sun, among others
What is known for sure, however, is that dogs of any type, breed, size and age are subject to developing cancer – and that is why taking your pet to periodic consultations with veterinary professionals is essential to maintain the health of the animal and even prevent it from a series of illnesses.
Cancer symptoms in dogs
Although the symptoms of cancer in dogs can take a long time to manifest (or even never appear), there are signs that can be observed in some dogs with the disease – and, therefore, it is essential that pet owners are aware of what they are ; since, as previously explained, early diagnosis can greatly contribute to the viability of an efficient treatment.
Among the main symptoms presented by dogs with cancer, we can mention:
The animal begins to show signs of pain when walking, running, jumping or performing a series of activities that were already common in its day-to-day.
- Change the difficulty in going to the bathroom
The pet may have difficulty urinating or defecating; they may also go to the bathroom too much or too little, showing significant changes in their habits.
- Discouragement or depression
Little cheer, too much sleep and no mood can be among the signs of cancer in dogs.
- Difficulty breathing
Wheezing with or without performing physical activities should always be investigated – as, in addition to cancer, they may indicate the presence of other illnesses.
- Frequent coughs
A strong and constant cough can also indicate the presence of different diseases in the animal’s body and, therefore, must be analyzed immediately by a professional.
- Change or loss of appetite
The animal may experience difficulties or pain when trying to swallow, failing to eat.
- Weight Loss
Weight loss is a very characteristic sign in dogs with cancer – and it can also indicate other diseases.
- Wounds that don’t heal
In addition to skin diseases, inflammations or important infections, cancer in dogs can also cause great difficulty in healing wounds that, by chance, appear on the body of dogs.
- Diarrhea, vomiting or bleeding
Secretions with pus, diarrhea , major bleeding and vomiting for no apparent reason may indicate problems.
- Atypical odors and bad smell
Strong and strange smells in the region of the ears, mouth or other regions of the body can also be indications that the dog has cancer.
- Swelling in certain regions of the body
Swelling in specific points – which usually turn into lumps – are among the most classic signs of carcinoma in dogs.
- Appearance of lumps
As explained in the previous point, the appearance of swollen lumps in the animal’s body is one of the most common and apparent symptoms in the body of dogs that develop cancer (and, in these cases, it is essential that the animal is sent to a veterinarian as soon as possible – so that the professional can do a biopsy on the spot and investigate the presence of cancer).
- Lack of cheer and difficulty in carrying out activities
Fatigue and apathy in general can indicate that there is something wrong with the animal.
- Episodes of rigidity or paralysis
Paralysis for no apparent reason can also indicate the presence of cancer – as well as other serious illnesses, and the appearance of this type of sign deserves attention.
Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer in dogs
Although there is no concrete means of preventing the appearance of cancer in dogs, it is possible to reduce the chances that the animal will suffer from skin carcinoma through the use of sunscreens in the most exposed regions – such as the belly and muzzle. However, to protect dogs from other types of cancer, the best option is to take the animal for periodic check -ups with a veterinary professional – allowing that, when the disease appears, immediate measures can be taken to treat and cure the pet.
Punctures and biopsies are generally the most used ways to diagnose the presence of cancer in the body of dogs – however, laboratory, histopathological and various imaging tests are also usually required to confirm the presence and level of development of the disease.
After the diagnosis of cancer, the veterinary oncologist will decide the best form of treatment, which can be surgery, chemotherapy, electrochemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, among others.