Signs Of Cancer In Dogs – 12 Types Of Cancer And Signs

    Signs Of Cancer In Dogs- 12 Types Of Cancer And Their Signs

    Have you been worried lately and wondering what are the different signs of cancer in dogs? We clearly get that your pet is not just a canine companion to you, it is no less than a family member that you love and cherish and wish for it to be together.

    It can be quite hard and traumatizing to know about signs of cancer in dogs after building mutual respect and affection for the past few years. But closely locating all the signs of cancer in dogs is very important to get it diagnosed and hence treated. You need to be strong emotionally and comfort other people in your family as well as your furry doggo. You got to have the best options to get your pet treated soon.

    Spreading cancer is no less of a deal than spreading cancer in humans so it requires a lot of care and support. Let’s see different types of possible cancer in dogs to determine signs of cancer in dogs.

    Types Of Cancer In Dogs

    signs of cancer in dogs
    Kennel Club

    The cause of cancer in the body is the uncontrolled and rapid growth of cells. You never know in which part of the body these cells might start originating. They can originate in any tissue and when it is not arrested and found in time, they may also expand further from that tissue reaching the lymph system or circulatory system. It can infect other regions and tissue of the body. One of the most leading causes of death in dogs is causing cancer.

    This usually happens when a dog has aged nearly 10 or above. However, it is not very intimidating as most cancers can be treated with proper diagnosis or timely diagnosis and treatment. It is important for cancer to arrest in early time periods for it to get treated nicely. Once you start looking for signs of cancer in dogs, it becomes easier to treat.

    Types Of Cancers

    1. Hemangiosarcoma

    This form of cancer in dogs results due to a tumor of cells that accumulates and lines in blood vessels known as endothelial cells. Dogs of any breed and any age are susceptible to acquiring hemangiosarcoma, but it occurs mainly and more commonly in dogs that are middle-aged or elder more than the puppies.

    Also, there are some breeds that have more probability of acquiring this type of cancer like the german shepherd and golden retrievers. This type of cancer generally develops very slowly and there is no pain so predicting signs of cancer in dogs having hemangiosarcoma is quite a task. Until this cancer reaches advanced stages, it is really difficult predicting at home whether the dog has cancer or not.

    Common signs of cancer in dogs having this form is an enlarged spleen. This can be diagnosed through radiology or ultrasound and palpation. For the treatment, the spleen can be removed surgically and biopsied for finding out if the developed tumor is malignant or benign. Any medical treatment further will be discussed by the vet to get it treated fully.

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    2. Mast Cell Tumors

    These are certain immune cells that are responsible for causing allergies. Mast cells are found in every tissue of the body but they are typically involved in the formation of tumors on one’s skin which is seen in almost 20% of a total population of canines. Although, it is in limited percentage some breeds are more prone to having this tumor which indicates that genetics is the cause of having it. Their severity range from benign to being extremely aggressive. Boxer dogs are more prone to having this form of cancer.

    3. Lymphoma

    This form has many signs of cancer in dogs belonging to different breeds and being of any age. Mostly it appears like swollen lymph nodes or glands that could be easily seen and felt in front of shoulders, under the neck, or behind the knees. It may also affect lymph nodes that are barely visible from the outside like inside the abdomen or chest, but this happens occasionally. This may also cause digestive troubles and breathing problems. Generally, this form of cancer in dogs is considered to be treated if it is diagnosed well in the early stages itself. Few breeds that are prone to having such type of cancer include standard poodles, Australian shepherds, golden retrievers, etc.

    4. Osteosarcoma

    This form of cancer is a common form of bone cancer in dogs which accounts for 85% of the total tumors that takes place in the skeletal system of dogs. It is very common in older dogs or dogs belonging to giant breeds, they can still be seen in other breeds and dogs of the sizes as well rarely. It might occur in different areas in dogs but the most common bones include the wrist, knee, and bordering shoulders. Signs of cancer in dogs of this type include lameness in the area affected or swelling that seems painful.

    5. Brain Tumors

    Signs of cancer in dogs that indicate brain tumors can be extreme behavioral changes and epileptic-like seizures. Usually, MRI scanning and CAT are used to determine the size, severity, and location of brain tumors in dogs. Radiation therapy and oral chemotherapy are used for controlling inoperable tumors but when the tumor can be operated then surgical intervention may be used by doctors.

    6. Bladder Cancer

    Some breeds of dogs are more prone and at higher risk of having bladder cancer than other breeds. This cancer is different from others as it develops very slowly and signs of cancer in dogs are seen after 3 to 6 months of having bladder cancer. Common symptoms involved are bleeding and urinary obstruction.

    7. Mammary Carcinoma

    Non-spayed female dogs are generally at greater risk of acquiring malignant tumors in their mammary glands, but all females dogs remain at slight risk of this cancer regardless of their reproductive state. Approximately 50% of such types of tumors are malignant. If cancer has not developed largely, then surgical removal is suggested by the doctors.

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    8. Malignant Histiocytosis

    Most often this type of cancer affects sports breeds usually larger in size. It initially occurs as localized lesions inside the lungs, lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, skin, brain, subcutis, and periarticular tissues of joints. It may also occur on multiple lesions inside only one organ most specifically inside the spleen and it rapidly disseminates to other organs. Unfortunately, there has not been any effective therapy to treat such types of cancer.

    9. SCC or Squamous Cell Carcinomas

    This form of cancer is most often located inside the nails and mouth of dogs or the nail bed of their toes. The most common treatment for this type of cancer is early detection and removing the tumor completely through surgery. Less than 20% of the total population of dogs developed this type of cancer. SCC found in tonsils and tongue are more aggressive and less than 10% of total dogs only survive for a year or so after completing the treatment.

    10. Mouth And Nose Cancer

    This form of cancer is quite common in dogs and is mostly seen inside the nose. Signs of cancer in dogs, when developed inside the nose, include bleeding, a mass of gums, odor, and difficulty in eating. Since the swellings are malignant, it requires early treatment. Some other signs include bleeding from the nose, swelling in the face, etc.

    11. Melanoma Cancer

    This cancer is most commonly seen in dogs having dark skin color. There are pigment-producing cells inside the dog’s body known as melanocytes. Melanomas arise from such cells which are responsible for giving color to the dog’s skin. This cancer may occur in regions or haired skin. They usually appear to form small, dark brown, or black lumps, but they might also be seen as flat, large, and wrinkled masses.

    Malignant melanoma that develops inside the mouth or in toenail beds is not curable. These tumors spread to other parts of the body very fast and by the time anyone notices the tumors, they usually reach every part making the surgical procedure nearly impossible.

    12. Testicular Cancer

    This type of cancer is quite common in dogs that are unneutered with retained testes. This cancer can be prevented rarely by neutering and can be cured once it is arrested in the early stages. The signs of cancer in dogs involving testicular cancer vary and are common like itching and burning or the appearance of small tumors. You can get them checked by a vet.

    These were few types of cancer in dogs that you needed to know about. All the types have different signs of cancer in dogs. Let’s see different symptoms and signs.

    Signs Of Cancer In Dogs

    signs of cancer in dogs

    Some signs of cancer in dogs are easier to spot and find out while others are difficult. The signs of cancer in dogs vary depending upon various facts greatly. Here is a list of some common signs of cancer in dogs that you may locate to diagnose it and treat it faster in your dogs. You can also check if the signs you are noticing are present or not.

    • Presence of bumps and lumps underneath the skin of your dog.
    • The abnormal odor from their ear, mouth, or some other parts of the body.
    • The abnormal discharges from their mouth, eyes, rectum, or ears.
    • Swelling in their abdominal region.
    • Non-healing sores or wounds.
    • Irreversible and sudden weight loss.
    • Sudden change in their appetite.
    • Difficulty in breathing and coughing.
    • Depression or lethargy
    • Evident pain and changes in their bathroom habits.
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    If you witness any of the above signs in your dog, it is highly recommended that you visit your vet to get everything checked and treated at the initial stages themselves.

    Some Important Things You Should Know

    Tumors of cancer appear in dogs as solid lumps of the flesh of certain tissues underneath the skin or fur of a dog. You can’t expect all the tumors to be visible from outside and ingore the signs of cancer in dogs, many tumors will not be visible as they might be deep within the dog’s body. The key to getting your dog treated is finding the signs of cancer in dogs while they are in the early stages of cancer. Therefore, it is highly important that you take your doggo for a check-up regularly if you notice any abnormal lumps. Just schedule your appointment without fail.

    Most owners come across any tumors that are visible from outside while they are bathing the dog or petting them. If you run your hand over different parts of their body and come across a lump even if it is very small. you must take them for a checkup. Most likely the doctors will use a needle aspirate for getting some cells from the tumor and get it diagnosed to find out the cause behind having one.

    This diagnosis is very important to determine the type of cancer they have and the type of surgery required. Some tumors in dogs cannot be seen through naked eyes but when touched, they can be felt inside some parts of their body like the neck and shoulders. For example, an enlarged spleen can be easily palpable to the vet but it might not be visible to the owner of the dog.


    signs of cancer in dogs
    The Spruce Pets

    Diagnosis is performed by doctors using MRI or Scans. If you have noticed any unusual lumps developing inside the body or any illness, you should mention it when you visit a doctor. early diagnosis results in early treatment and early recovery of your dog. Cancer is dangerous in humans and everyone is aware of it, uncontrolled division of cells is equally severe in dogs as well.


    There are several factors that might influence the treatment of cancer which includes:

    • The stage at which cancer is arrested.
    • Type of tumor formed.
    • Biological behavior is shown by the tumor.
    • Age of the dog.
    • General health and previous diseases in dogs.

    The overall health status of the dog also plays a vital role in the therapy choices for the dog having cancer. This will include evaluating the dog’s will and ability to tolerate the therapies involved in cancer like chemotherapy.

    Various therapies and treatments involve chemotherapy, holistic or herbal therapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Sometimes, two or more therapies or treatments can also be combined to help the dog recover.

    If you suspect any of the signs of cancer in dogs given above or see any lumps growing, you have to contact the vet to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. They will provide comprehensive care for the dog and support service to help you out with the procedure.

    Make sure you are listing everything to the vet as soon as possible to get your dog treated nicely and successfully.

    This was everything you needed to know about signs of cancer in dogs, their treatment, and early diagnosis.

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