If you discover a lump under your dog's skin it may be startling. It is good to know that not all lumps are possible cancer but rarely it may be. Our Somerset vets discuss cancer in dogs and the possible types as well as the signs of cancer and possible diagnosis and treatment.
The Different Types of Cancer in Dogs
Just as with humans, it is possible for dogs to be affected by cancer, and with very similar symptoms as well as dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages being affected. Below are some of the most common types of cancer found in dogs:
Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)
In dogs, this is the most common bone cancer. While any breed of dog can be affected, our vets tend to see this form of cancer most often in larger breeds.
This is a very common form of cancer in dogs and there are a number of treatment options available. Most vets have extensive experience in treating this disease.
Hemangiosarcoma is most commonly found on internal organs and blood vessels, although it may occasionally be found on the skin. These tumors can grow quite large with bleeding into the pericardium. This form of cancer requires emergency treatment, as it can become fatal very quickly.
MelanomaThese skin tumors are typically found in the dog's mouth or on the feet. Melanoma can spread quickly to other areas of your dog's body and tends to be malignant.
Mast Cell Tumor
These tumors are also found on the skin and can be difficult for your vet to remove depending on the location. That said this type of cancer in dogs can be cured if detected and treated early.
This is a slow-spreading form of cancer in dogs but can be difficult to treat. To prevent a recurrence, amputation and radiation are the most common treatment options.
Signs & Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs
Sadly, it's not always possible to know just by looking at your dog that he or she is seriously unwell.
Even blood work often cannot detect certain types of cancers in dogs. However, there are some signs that you can watch for that can indicate that your dog may have cancer.
If your dog is showing any of the following signs and symptoms, make an appointment to visit your vet as soon as possible. Early detection is the key to positive treatment outcomes when it comes to cancer.
- Weight loss
- Lethargy, depression
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Strong odor
- Sores that don't heal
- Bleeding or discharge
- Lumps or bumps beneath the skin
- Pain or difficulty walking, lameness or stiffness
- Straining when going to the bathroom
- Difficulties eating or swallowing
Diagnosis of Cancer in Dogs
It is essential to be aware of changes in your dog's behavior and pay attention to any bumps or lumps you may discover while petting your dog. If your dog is displaying one or more of the signs and symptoms listed above, contact your vet immediately.
When diagnosing cancer in dogs, your vet may perform a biopsy or other test that will be sent to our lab for testing, as well as palpate your dog to feel for any lumps.
Professional diagnosis is important, only your vet will be able to determine if your dog has cancer.
Your dog's best chance for survival is early detection, always be alert to any changes in your dog's behavior that could indicate that there is a health issue.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.