Is cancer in dogs common?

Unfortunately, yes, cancer in dogs is quite common. In fact, there's a study out there that shows that six million dogs are diagnosed every year with new cancer cases. That means about one out of three dogs will be diagnosed with cancer sometime throughout their lifetime.

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

What are the common types of cancer in dogs?

Some of the more common types of cancer seen in dogs are lymphoma, mast cell tumors, bladder cancers, bone cancers (osteosarcoma), liver tumors, and splenic or liver tumors (hemangiosarcomas). There are several different types that your pet might develop.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of dog cancer?

Cancer is one of those silent killers, meaning you as a pet parent often don't see your dog's signs of cancer until maybe it's more advanced. Some of the general signs of cancer include finding a new lump or bump, enlarged lymph nodes, loss of appetite, lethargy, abdominal swelling, and swelling of the limb. Some dogs may not present any external signs of cancer, as it depends on the type of cancer, the affected organs, and the degree to which it has spread.

Why is early detection and diagnosis of cancer in dogs so important?

Early detection helps us give better management and hopefully lead to a cure for that cancer. It can result in less invasive treatments for your pet and more successful outcomes the earlier it is found.

How does a veterinarian diagnose cancer in a dog?

Oftentimes, veterinarians diagnose cancer by feeling the tumor themselves, then they might perform a fine needle aspirate, use an ultrasound, or take biopsy samples. Advanced testing usually with x-rays and ultrasound can also help in diagnosing cancer.

What treatment options are available for dogs with cancer?

Treatment options for dogs with cancer can include consulting with a veterinary oncologist, oral and/or injectable chemotherapeutic agents, surgery to remove an organ, or even limb amputation. The specific treatment depends on the type and severity of the cancer.

What are some possible side effects caused by cancer treatments?

Some common side effects of cancer treatments include gastrointestinal issues (upset tummy, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite), bone marrow suppression (which can lead to secondary infections and pneumonias), and tiredness. Hair loss, unlike in humans, is not a common side effect for dogs undergoing chemotherapy.There is a lot of information to impart about cancer, consulting with your veterinarian is very important to find the best way to treat and manage that patient.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media,

Dog Cancer - FAQs

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

Is there a test to screen my dog for cancer?

Yes, there are tests available to screen your dog for cancer. One popular test is the IDEX NewQ test. This test has become available within the last year or two and can help detect cancer in your dog at an early stage.

How often should my dog be screened for cancer, and at what age should I start screening?

If your dog is a breed with an increased prevalence of cancer, such as Golden Retrievers, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Mastiffs, or Great Danes, you may want to start screening at a younger age. For mixed breed dogs or those with no prior history of cancer, a good rule of thumb is to begin screening around seven years of age. Once you begin screening, it is recommended to do it at least once a year or whenever your dog is not feeling well and the cause of illness remains unknown.

What's the most common treatment for cancer in dogs?

The treatment for cancer in dogs depends on the type of cancer your dog has. Surgical removal is often the best option if the tumor is accessible, such as a lump on the skin or an internal organ like the spleen. In cases where the tumor is in a difficult location or is very large, radiation may be used to shrink the tumor before surgical removal. Other treatments include oral and IV injectable chemotherapy medications.

Can medications or diet be used to treat dog cancer?

Yes, medications can be used to treat dog cancer. There are many different options on the market, some of which are borrowed from human cancer treatments. Newer treatments are targeting specific cancer types and their genomes, there is a company called FidoCure, which partners with oncologists to find more targeted medications for your dog's cancer. Diet modifications may also be recommended by your veterinarian as part of your dog's overall treatment plan.

How frequently would my dog need treatments in these situations?

The frequency of treatments depends on the type of cancer and the specific treatment plan. Treatment cycles can vary from once a week to every three to four weeks. It is important to follow the recommendations of your veterinarian or oncologist to ensure the best outcome for your dog.

Is cancer treatment in dogs painful?

Cancer treatment in dogs is not necessarily painful. While surgery and IV treatments can induce pain or discomfort, your veterinarian will work with you and potentially a pain management specialist to provide appropriate pain management for your dog. The medications or treatments themselves are not known to be painful.

What are the biggest factors in having a successful treatment of dog cancer?

Partnering with your veterinarian and, when possible, an oncologist, is crucial for successful cancer treatment. Early detection of cancer also increases the chances of successful treatment. If you have any questions about canine cancer, consult your veterinarian or contact Blue Oasis Pet Hospital.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media,

Dog Cancer - FAQs 2

Dr. Noël Lucas
Blue Oasis Pet Hospital

Can dog cancer be cured?

Yes, some types of dog cancer can be cured. The likelihood of a cure depends on the type of cancer and how early it is diagnosed.

How long can my dog live with cancer after treatment?

The survival time for a dog with cancer after treatment varies depending on the type of cancer. Some cancers can be cured, while others may go into remission for months or even years. In some cases, treatment can help slow down the progression of cancer and provide your dog with a better quality of life for a limited time, such as three to six months or up to a year.

How do I know if my dog is suffering when they're in cancer treatment?

Some dogs tolerate cancer treatment well and may not show outward signs of suffering. However, others may experience symptoms such as fatigue, lack of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, or a loss of their usual sparkle or brightness in their personality. If you're concerned about your dog's quality of life during cancer treatment, it's important to discuss your concerns with your veterinarian, who can help guide you in making the best decisions for your pet.

What else should I know about end-of-life care?

End-of-life care, also known as palliative or hospice care, focuses on addressing your pet's symptoms and providing support to make their final days as comfortable as possible. Veterinarians can help guide you through this difficult period and help you decide when it's time to say goodbye. If you have questions about canine cancer or end-of-life care, don't hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian for guidance.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (615) 975-2583 , or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media,