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Can Dogs Get Cancer?

(April 30, 2010)

Cancer (abnormal cell division and multiplication) in dogs develops at about the same rate as it does in normal human beings. It is estimated that 50% of dogs that are over ten years of age die due to cancer, which is the leading cause of death in dogs. Canine cancer is more common among middle-aged and older dogs.

Types of Dog Cancer

  • Primary cancer occurs due to a tumor in the organ or tissues of the organ.
  • In metastatic or secondary cancer the malignant tumor spreads to other organs as well.
Dog Cancer Causes
  • Damage to a cell’s DNA
  • Loss of ability to kill cells with damaged DNA
  • Genetics
  • Infection and inflammation
  • Changes in hormone secretion
The above-mentioned factors result in the growth of abnormal cells, which then spreads in the dog’s body, leading to organ failure and death. In dogs, there are two cancers that occur more frequently than others, namely, dog liver cancer and dog lung cancer. Apart from these, dogs may also get breast cancer, bone cancer, skin cancer, mouth canner, abdominal and bone tumors, and cancer of the lymphatic system.
  • Dog liver cancer: Dogs are usually at a high risk of developing liver disease, which can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Dog liver cancer is commonly caused due to ingestion of toxic chemicals or heavy metals. The most notable symptoms of dog liver cancer are loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, abdominal distension, stomach ache, vomiting, bloody stools, difficulty in breathing, increased respiratory rate, frequent urination, increased thirst, anemia and jaundice.
  • Dog lung cancer: Lung cancer in dogs is caused due to frequent exposure of the pet to the environmental pollutants and exposure to secondhand smoke like tobacco smoke that easily enters their lungs, resulting in the development of tumors. While primary lung cancer in dogs is rare, metastatic lung cancer is common. Symptoms of lung cancer include chronic cough sometimes with blood and mucus, difficulty in breathing, increased fatigue, lethargy, loss of appetite, fever and anemia.
Dog Cancer Treatment

The symptoms of dog cancer can be managed by the administration of proper medications. It is important to notice any physiological and metabolic changes, so that correct treatment can be started immediately. You can reduce the chances of your pet developing cancer by spaying your dog at a young age.

Cancer in dogs is diagnosed through an initial physical examination, followed by X-rays, blood tests, urine tests, and surgical biopsy. Common treatments include radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, which are performed by the vet. Some dog owners prefer to use alternative and natural therapies to treat the cancer in their dogs.
Apart from this, it is vital that your dog has an improved quality of life. You should spend more time with your dog to keep him happy. You should also provide a healthy, balanced, and recommended diet and make your pet comfortable by giving him recommended doses of chemotherapy.

Submitted by N M on April 30, 2010 at 07:03


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