Apr 30 , 2021
Just like in humans, there are many types of cancers in dogs. Canines can have malignant skin tumors and malignancy of the lymph nodes or lymphoma. Large canines are especially prone to having bone tumors. Canines can have malignancy in the anus, blood and connective tissue cells. They can also get breast tumors and have malignancies of the oral cavity and spleen. Just about every organ and tissue in dogs could be the site of a malignancy.
There is a full range of symptoms that may point to canine malignancy. Abdominal swelling is one sign, as is bleeding from the mouth, nose or other body orifices and sudden weight changes. Malignancy should be investigated if a canine is experiencing any type of lump or discolored skin, especially swollen lymph nodes on the neck or the groin. Difficulty breathing or eating should be looked at closely in addition to lethargy. If a canine has pain and his skin is hot in one area, in addition to wounds that don’t seem to heal, malignant disease should be explored. Uncontrolled vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms that may indicate malignancy in canines. Lameness in canines should be evaluated. Difficulty urinating and defecating should be taken seriously.
Canine malignancy may look like a whole list of other ailments, and diagnosing it can be very time consuming and difficult. For instance, a canine that is vomiting may be treated for gastritis or prescribed a bland diet. Breathing problems may be diagnosed as an upper respiratory infection and subsequently treated with antibiotics before malignancy is explored. Lameness may be interpreted as arthritis only. Lethargy in older canines may be first diagnosed as being related to advanced age.
The only way to make a reliable diagnosis of malignancy in canines is through testing. One way is by a needle aspiration or tissue biopsy that is examined under a microscope at the cellular level. Imaging, such as an x-ray, sonogram, CT scan or PET scan can reveal malignancy. Lastly, blood work can reveal anemia or elevated blood levels that may point to cancer.