Well known and feared in the world of human beings, cancer is an increasingly diagnosed disease in the animal universe, affecting pets like dogs and cats in an aggressive and frequent way today. However, cancer in dogs also shows some signs that all pet owners should be familiar with - since, as in the case of diseases that affect humans and almost all canine diseases, the sooner it was possible to define a diagnosis, the greater the chances of treatment and cure of the animals.
Although dogs do not always show the signs of this terrible disease - which today, is already considered by many veterinarians as one of the main causes of death in animals - right from the start, it is worth remembering that the advances made in the field of veterinary oncology were many throughout recent years and, therefore, today the cancer in dog it is already a disease that can be treated through a series of forms and techniques.
Another factor that also greatly increases the possibilities of cancer treatment in dogs is the amount of advances that the veterinary imaging sector; which currently has high-tech imaging tests, providing much more accurate and clear data on the state of health of the animals - which greatly helps veterinary professionals to define diagnoses early, thus increasing the chances of treatment and survival of sick animals with the most varied problems (including cancer).
As previously mentioned, in many cases the animal affected by cancer it does not show any symptoms of the disease until its development is already very large and - with that in mind, it is easy to understand why so many professionals recommend that tutors take their pets periodically for check-up consultations; as a disease of this type can end up being discovered in a routine examination, making room for a treatment to be started immediately.
To stay tuned to the symptoms that your dog may have due to cancer and to be able to take the necessary measures to treat it, check out, in this article, more details about the causes, the main signs of the disease, the types of cancer that affect dogs and the treatment techniques available today.
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Causes of cancer in dogs
Some situations and conditions can increase the chance that a pet may develop cancer; advanced age, depigmented skin, some viral diseases, exposure to the sun, among others
What is known with certainty, however, is that dogs of any type, breed, size and age are subject to developing cancer - which is why taking your pet for periodic consultations with veterinary professionals is essential to maintain the animal health and even prevent it from a range of illnesses.
Symptoms of cancer in dogs
Although cancer symptoms in dogs can take a long time to manifest (or even never appear), there are signs that can be observed in some dogs with the disease - and it is therefore essential that pet owners pets are aware of what they are; since, as explained earlier, early diagnosis can contribute a lot to the viability of an efficient treatment.
Among the main symptoms presented by dogs with cancer, we can mention:
The animal begins to show signs of pain when walking, running, jumping or performing a series of activities that were already common in its day-to-day.
- Change the difficulty in going to the bathroom
The pet may have difficulty urinating or defecating; they may also go to the bathroom too much or too little, presenting significant changes in their habits.
- Discouragement or depression
Low spirits, too much sleep and no mood may be among the signs of cancer in dogs.
- Difficulty breathing
Wheezing with or without physical activity should always be investigated - because, in addition to cancer, they can indicate the presence of other illnesses.
- Frequent coughs
A strong and constant cough can also indicate the presence of different diseases in the animal's body and, therefore, should be analyzed immediately by a professional.
- Change or loss of appetite
The animal may experience difficulties or pain when trying to swallow, stopping eating.
- Weight loss
Weight loss is a very characteristic sign in dogs with cancer - and it can also indicate other diseases.
- Wounds that don't heal
In addition to skin diseases, inflammation or major infections, cancer in dogs can also cause great difficulty in healing wounds that, by chance, appear in the body of dogs.
- Diarrhea, vomiting or bleeding
Secretions with pus, diarrhea, major bleeding and vomiting for no apparent reason can indicate problems.
- Atypical odors and foul smell
Strong and strange smells in the ears, mouth or other parts of the body can also be indications that the dog has cancer.
- Swelling in certain regions of the body
Swellings at specific points - which usually turn into lumps - are among the most classic signs of carcinoma in dogs.
- Appearance of lumps
As explained in the previous point, the appearance of swollen lumps in the animal's body is one of the most common and apparent symptoms in the body of dogs that develop cancer (and, in these cases, it is essential that the animal is referred to a veterinarian as soon as possible). possible - so that the professional can perform a biopsy on the spot and investigate the presence of cancer).
- Lack of courage and difficulty in carrying out activities
Tiredness and apathy in general can indicate that there is something wrong with the animal.
- Episodes of stiffness or paralysis
Paralysis for no apparent reason can also indicate the presence of cancer - as well as other serious illnesses, and the appearance of this type of sign deserves attention.
Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer in dogs
Although there are no concrete ways to prevent the appearance of cancer in dogs, it is possible to reduce the chances that the animal will suffer from skin carcinoma through the use of sunscreens in the most exposed regions - such as the belly and the snout. However, to protect dogs from other types of cancer, the best option is still to take the animal for periodic check-up consultations with a veterinary professional - allowing that, in the onset of the disease, immediate measures can be taken to treat and cure the pet.
Punctures and biopsies are generally the most used ways to diagnose the presence of cancer in the body of dogs - however, diverse laboratory, histopathological and imaging exams are also usually required to confirm the presence and the level of development of the disease.
After the cancer diagnosis, the veterinary oncologist will decide the best form of treatment, which can be surgery, chemotherapy, electrochemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, among others.