The tumor in dogs is a common disease, especially in older specimens.
It is thought that the tumor is the leading cause of death in dogs over 10 years old. The most common types are:
malignant lymphoma, a cancer that affects the lymph nodes of the dog
mastocytomas, a form of skin cancer
tumors of the mammary glands
soft tissue sarcomas
Fortunately, 50% of cancers can be treated in dogs today if they are diagnosed early.
Dog cancer: which breeds are most affected
There are breeds in which the incidence of cancer is more common. The most targeted breeds are:
Métis dogs, on the other hand, are less likely to develop genetic tumors, as their genetic heritage is enriched by the presence of different breeds; this feature makes them stronger and less susceptible to cancer.
Tumors in dogs: symptoms
There are many alarm bells that must catch our attention and that can reveal a serious health problem for our dog: the tumor.
The most common dog cancer symptoms are listed below:
– fainting: the dog seems lethargic, does not do the usual parts, seems to be very weak or even fainting suddenly. These symptoms require timely monitoring by the veterinarian. Fainting is often one of the first signs of a spleen tumor, especially in large dogs. The discomfort should not be underestimated even if the dog seems to get better the next day.
– Cough: Do not worry if it is a sporadic and minor phenomenon. In addition, small dogs are often prone to tracheitis and cough for this reason. However, if the cough is deep and persistent, it could reveal the presence of a lung tumor. If you notice other symptoms on this list, you must be tested.
– weight loss: weight loss is one of the first symptoms of a dog’s cancer; should be concerned that the dog is eating as usual but that the scale continues to drop and that the dog is losing weight and lack of appetite may indicate the presence of a tumor in the gastrointestinal tract. intestinal.
– Weight gain: otherwise, weight gain can be a sign of cancer. Especially the increase in unmotivated appetite or swelling unaccompanied by a change in eating habits.
– mouth changes: homeowners generally do not pay much attention to changes in the mouth, perhaps because it is a difficult area to inspect and the dog often does not have a small resistance. Unfortunately, it is precisely at the pharyngeal level that one of the most aggressive and devastating cancers can develop. which mainly affects older dogs. This type of tumor is initially manifested by wounds, nodules, bloody gums, a change in gum color and bad breath. Brushing your teeth regularly and enjoying the yawning or frosty moments of our friend can be a way to make sure there are no disturbing changes.
– nosebleeds: Epistaxis is a particularly worrisome sign in older dogs and may indicate the presence of nose cancer. In the puppy, the bloody nose may indicate the involuntary inhalation of a foreign body. Despite this, it is still a symptom that should cause concern.
– Pee and shit: written as it can also make you smile but the feces and physiological needs of our dog can tell us a lot about his health. You must be concerned about persistent diarrhea, continued demand (much more than normal), difficulty urinating, blood in the urine and vomiting.
– ocular and nasal secretions: they must worry the owner, if they are continuous, they can be in the first case symptomatic of a cancer of the eye and for the second of a tumor in the face
epileptic seizures: they occur with uncontrolled movements, foam in the mouth and spasms; may be a sign of brain cancer, especially in older dogs
– cutaneous changes: they can take various forms, such as masses, swelling, alteration of the coat; they should also be concerned about wounds that do not heal and lesions that cause itching or pain. While pampering your dog, do not forget to caress it carefully, so that it is always well controlled.
-Pain: If we notice suffering in our dog, when we stroke it or hold it in our arms, it is better to call the veterinarian. If the dog feels widespread or radiating pain, he may have a tumor.
Tumors in dogs: therapies and treatments
The dog diagnosed with cancer begins a process very similar to that to which humans are subjected. Generally, the cancer is removed surgically and, if necessary, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are placed side by side.
Even for dogs, researchers are studying vaccines and drugs that help the immune system fight cancer.
For now, however, prevention and timely diagnosis are the most critical factors against cancer.
How much a dog lives with a tumor
Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, the dog’s chances of healing are about 60%, although it depends a lot on the type, stage of development of the tumor and the general clinical picture of our dog.
Dog cancer: diet
If the dog is fighting cancer, he can be helped with a proper diet; the diet must provide the energy needed to fight the disease and be supplemented with supplements to help it recover.
The scheme should be:
low in carbohydrates and sugars: simple sugars from corn and wheat feed the cancer cells. It is also best to avoid potatoes and carrots, but rather whole grains, rice and oats.
increase protein and fat: protein sources must be of high quality and digestible, better if they come from lean parts of fish, poultry, beef, game. Unsaturated fats are very important for fighting cancer, especially omega-3s.
cooked vegetables: source of vitamins and minerals
supplements: the most appropriate are the digestive enzymes to allow the dog to draw all the nutrients contained in the ingested food and vitamins A C E to strengthen the immune system and fight against lack of appetite.