Everything You Need to Know About Pet Cancer

Unfortunately, cancer is as frequent in canines as it is in humans. It can affect all canine breeds and ages, particularly older ones. Every veterinarian knows getting a cancer diagnosis in your animal companion can be devastating and heartbreaking. But like humans, dog cancers caught early can be treated or sometimes successfully cured.

As we proceed, 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 disturbing. Although not all lumps are cancerous, there are a few cancer types usually found in dogs.

Here are five to name a few:

1. Melanoma

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 look out for. Generally, melanoma can be treated by removing the tumor and addressed through early detection. Pet parents can spot unusual masses by regularly inspecting their pet’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 vet surgeon to be examined and treated. You may visit websites like to see the common vet surgical procedures.

2. Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)

Osteosarcoma is a painful form of bone cancer typically found in longer or larger bones of dogs, such as the pelvis or leg bones. Although any dog breeds are vulnerable to osteosarcoma, veterinarians often see this condition in larger dog breeds like Golden Retrievers, rottweilers, German shepherds, weimaraners, dobermans, Irish Wolfhounds, and boxers.

3. Lymphoma

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 dog cancer types, the reasons for its high occurrence rate remain unknown. Lymphomas in canines have no known cause, although particular aspects like genes and environment are believed to be contributors.

Some of the common signs of lymphoma in dogs include:

  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased urination and thirst
  • Swelling or enlarged lymph nodes

If you notice these signs altogether, don’t try any home remedies and make your dog feel better. It’s best to have them checked by a vet oncologist so diagnosis and treatment can begin right away. You may check websites like to learn more about what pet oncologists do.

4. Mast Cell Tumors

A mast cell tumor is a type of skin cancer in the connective tissues, especially the vessels and nerves near the dog’s external surface (mouth, nose, lungs, and skin ). 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 pets, so are brain tumors. However, brain tumors often occur in older dogs and are treated by veterinary neurologists.

If you suspect a brain tumor in your pet, don’t delay its treatment to ease your pet’s suffering. Take them to animal facilities like The Regional Veterinary Referral Center so diagnosis and treatment can begin immediately.

5. Soft-tissue Sarcoma

Soft-tissue sarcoma can develop outside or inside a dog’s body. These cancer bumps can be easily spotted outside, particularly in their early stages. However, sarcomas that develop inside a canine’s body are difficult to recognize until they grow large enough to be discovered.

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 potentially treatable. However, this does not mean every cat or dog cancer can be cured. Factors like tumor type, size, location, specific treatment options, and early detection will determine the result for individual patients.

Depending on the type of cancer your animal companion has, treatment may include the following:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Conventional Radiation Therapy
  • Palliative Care
  • Holistic or herbal therapy

Final Thoughts

Cancer can be a terrifying medical diagnosis for dogs and their fur parents. While the road ahead may be full of worries and mixed emotions, you can still improve your pet’s quality of life by connecting them with professional vet oncologists who can provide tailored treatment plans to guide you through this difficult process.

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