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Gastrointestinal tumors in dogs

Stomach Tumors in Dogs:

Gastrointestinal tumors in dogs can be of several different types, and although the symptoms can often be quite serious, not all tumors are life threatening.

Only some gastrointestinal tumors are cancerous, and the rest are benign and can be treated quite easily. Tumors that are cancerous can of course be fatal. In fact, in many cases, these tumors are detected very late, and therefore not much can be done to treat them.

Gastrointestinal tumors can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, but stomach tumors in dogs tend to be more common.

However, the location also depends on the type of tumor. Adenocarcinomas, for example, are among the most common gastrointestinal tumors in dogs, and usually develop in the colon, rectum, and stomach. Certain breeds also seem to be predisposed to certain types of gastrointestinal tumors. For example, mast cell tumors in dogs seem to be most common among miniature breeds.

Symptoms of Stomach Tumors in Canines:

Symptoms of gastrointestinal tumors vary greatly depending on the type and location of the tumor. Vomiting is a common symptom, and sometimes you might also notice blood in the vomit. At other times, the dog may frequently suffer from diarrhea. Here too, you may notice blood in the stools. On the other hand, these tumors can also cause constipation in dog. Gastrointestinal tumors also tend to affect the animal's appetite. Weight loss is another common symptom, although this of course needs to be considered along with the other symptoms. Often, there will also be abdominal pain – this may sometimes be localized, or it may affect the entire abdominal area. In serious cases, this may be the result of a rupture in the affected part of the digestive tract, leading to peritonitis. Canine stomach tumors can also lead to other medical conditions such as anemia or hypercalcemia.

Causes of Dog Gastrointestinal Tumors:

There is no known cause of gastrointestinal tumors, and therefore it is difficult to take any precautions to prevent it. It is however important to refer any symptoms to a doctor, so that treatment can begin at the earliest. This is particularly important in cases where the tumor turns out to be cancerous.

Treatment of Gastrointestinal Tumors in Dogs:

Treatment of gastrointestinal tumors typical involves removal of the tumor. Beyond this, treatment depends on the type of tumor and how far it has progressed. Prognosis is often poor, but with aggressive treatment and pet health care, including chemotherapy or radiotherapy, it may be possible to prolong the dog's life and considerably reduce the pain and discomfort.


  Submitted on May 7, 2010  

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