We can understand how painful it is for dog owners when they find out that their canine friend is suffering from cancer.
It’s easy to think about all the harshness that chemotherapy will bring in their lives, the radiation treatments to go through or going under the scalpel and losing their four-legged friend in the end.
But, treating cancer is not difficult anymore and in most cases, it is even curable. There are many treatments that can cure cancer. However, that doesn’t mean every pet’s cancer can be cured, there are various factors to consider, such as type and size of a tumour, detection of cancer in your pet, and treatments taken to cure it.
But with advanced technology and clinical ability available to us, it has become fairly easy to explore whether each dog patient can be cured or not.
So, we are here to tell you about some common cancers that occur in pets and the effective treatments you should avail to cure your pet.
Common Type Of Cancer In Dogs
Dogs are no different than humans, so they’re also susceptible to same cancer types as them. Cancer in dogs is considered as the main cause of death for dogs above the age of 10.
However, many types of cancer in dogs are treatable if they are diagnosed in early stages. Here are some common types of cancer that can be found in dogs.
It is one of the most dangerous forms of dog cancer which is incurable in most cases. Dogs of any age or breed can be susceptible to this cancer, but it often occurs in middle-aged or elderly dogs.
The worst thing about Hemangiosarcoma is that it develops very slowly in dogs and is effectively painless, so you wouldn’t be able to observe any clinical signs of it unless it reaches the advanced stage.
There are few dogs that survive this type of cancer and some die from internal bleeding. So, we recommend you to take your dog through additional screening after the age of 5.
This type of cancer can affect any dog at any age. The most common symptoms of Lymphoma are swollen glands that can easily be observed below the neck, behind the knee, or in front of the shoulders.
But, sometimes it can also affect the areas that are not easily visible from outside like the abdomen or the chest.
Lymphoma can cause difficulty in breathing and digesting for your dog. But, this form of cancer is easily treatable if it is diagnosed in early stages.
Australian shepherds, Golden Retrievers or Standard Poodles are the common breeds that easily come in contact with this cancer.
- Brain Tumours
It’s hard to deal with brain tumours in dogs as it cannot be treated easily, though its symptoms are easily noticeable through extreme behavioural changes and epileptic-like seizures in dogs.
It is easy to determine the size, location and severity of a brain tumour in dogs through CAT scanning or MRI.
It is a form of skin cancer which most often occurs in pets with dark skin. This form of cancer arises from pigments known as melanocytes, which is responsible for colouring the skin. It often occurs in areas where the quantity of hair is higher, that’s why it is not easily visible. So, it’s best to keep your dog well groomed before it spreads to various parts of its body.
- Bladder Cancer
It develops very quietly in dogs and the symptoms are not apparent for 3 to 6 months. However, it doesn’t occur in every breed, only a few dog breeds like Labrador, American Bulldog or Rottweilers are more at risk of this cancer. The common symptoms of bladder cancer are urinary obstruction and bleeding.
- Mast Cell Tumours
This type of cancer contains immune cells that create allergies in dogs. It can easily be found in all the tissues of a canine’s body, but most often it occurs on the dog’s skin. It can make your gentle and affectionate pup extremely aggressive.
Certain breeds like Boxers are more at risk of this cancer.
- Mouth And Nose Cancer
It is a very common form of cancer and easily treatable, it more often occurs in the mouth than the nose. Also, the symptoms of this cancer are easily discernible and can be noticed in the early stages. The symptoms include bleeding, odour or difficulty in eating.
However, if the cancer develops inside the nose, then the common symptoms are difficulty in breathing, bleeding through the nose or facial swelling.
- Testicular Cancer
It often occurs in dogs that are not neutered on time or probably stay unneutered for long. However, it can be prevented if the neutering is done at the right time.
It can be cured easily with surgery if diagnosed in the early stages. But, it’s best to neuter your dog at the right time rather than risking surgery for testicular cancer.
Some Effective Treatments For Dog Cancers
If your canine friend is diagnosed with cancer, then there are some effective treatments that can be implemented to cure that cancer. Let’s have look at the most common dog cancer treatments.
It is the first common treatment that can be used to remove any localised cancer completely. In most cases, the tumour is completely removed from the patient. However, if it seems that a tumour cannot be taken out with surgery, then it becomes more difficult to save the patient.
If a surgery fails to remove the cancer completely, it leaves a curative option like Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS) for further removal of a tumour. SRS will reduce the size and encapsulate a tumour while increasing the chances of a successful surgery.
- Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS)
SRS was first invented to treat human cancer, but now it is a leading treatment option for dogs as well. It is an advanced form of emission therapy and can be highly influential in treating any form of dog cancer.
In most cases, it is considered as a better treatment than surgery, as it directly targets a tumour without affecting other healthy tissues of a patient.
SRS can cure cancer in sensitive areas of the body as well which were not treatable in the past and this includes the spine, brain or lungs. The good thing about SRS is that it doesn’t require any surgery which is why there are no side effects. Also, it requires only 3-4 treatments to completely get rid of the cancer.
- Conservative Radiation Therapy
This therapy is used to reduce the size of the tumour or destroy it by using targeted radiations that are untreatable with surgery. Many vets also use this in place of chemotherapy or if the initial procedure of surgery was unsuccessful.
Generally, it requires 15-20 treatments to completely eliminate cancer from the dog’s body with a time period of 4-6 weeks.
It is a chemical process in which influential drugs are used to demolish the cancer cells. It is especially used in the cases of Lymphoma and Leukaemia, or cancer that has spread in the whole body.
These influential drugs are either given in the form of pills or directly injected in the tumour. It is often seen that humans cannot tolerate chemotherapy, but pets are stronger in this regard, which is why it is an effective treatment for them.
- Palliative Care
Many dog owners opt out of treatments simply because there is no cure available. So, palliative care is the best option left for them. With palliative care, you can manage the pain of your pet, and increase their comfort and quality of life.
The main goal of this treatment is to relieve pets from their cancer symptoms, such as bleeding, pain and decreased mobility. It usually takes 3-6 weeks for this treatment to work.
It is an organic therapy that uses antibodies to enhance the dog’s natural defences by stirring the immune system to deal with cancer or by counteracting signals produced by cancer cells that suppress the immune system.
If you take care of your pet from the beginning and observe any changes in its behaviour or any symptoms of any cancer, then take immediate action. Cancer is not something that can be avoided if found in the early stages.
Take the above mentioned points into consideration to save your pet from all the pain that is a part of this disease.