In elderly dogs, cancer is the number one cause of death. As is already known, cancer is an incredibly severe disease that can infect pretty much any and all areas of the body of your dog. The spread of cancer is more quick when particular areas of the body are reaches, such as the liver or lungs, though. As there are far too many forms of cancer to touch on right now, we will talk about different warning signs you can keep in mind and of the veterinary options available to you.
Several symptoms can be watched for that could lead you to believe your dog may have developed cancer. It is vital to remember that some of these symptoms could be signaling different illnesses, so do not jump to the conclusion of your dog having cancer until your veterinarian has performed a thorough examination and he has been officially diagnosed. The symptoms to look for are abdominal distention, difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, blood or mucus in the stool, changes in bowel consistency (constipation or diarrhea), respiratory distress, lameness, unusual discharge or bleeding, growths you can feel through your pet’s skin, and any areas of discoloration of the skin should be announced to your veterinarian. Realize these are simply indicative that your dog should see his vet.
Sadly, we cannot detect cancer in dogs through a blood test. Thus, it is often called for to send a sample of the tumor for a biopsy to a specialist for a microscopic examination. If the lump is minimal, cancers can often be cured by removing it if seized early enough. After the removal, though, your veterinarian might still desire sending the sample to a pathologist to make sure the growth margins are cancer free.
Should your pet be diagnosed with cancer, several of similar treatment options for humans are also accessible for dogs. There are chemotherapy and radiation therapy offered to pets at many veterinary specialty practices. You can learn more about these options from your veterinarian. It is key to realize these therapies can be expensive and some types of cancer are capable of treatment much more easily that others.
If these therapies are not options for you, it is possible to treat your dog symptomatically. Your dog may be able to live for months to even years longer depending on the aggression of the cancer. Your veterinarian may provide information regarding other therapeutic options and medications.
You can take steps to prevent cancers. If your dog is spayed or neutered, his chances of differing reproductive cancers will decrease dramatically. Keeping your dog fed at a healthy weight and feeling his a high-quality diet will also be an aid in these efforts. It is not possible to avoid all cancers as genetics certainly play a role in the root of this disease. Do not hesitate to speak with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet, or if you have any further questions about this delicate subject.