Pet Care 

Dog Cancer: What You Should Know About Symptoms and Treatment?

No matter the context, cancer is a chilling word. Pet owners are often shocked when their veterinarian tells them that their dog suffers from canine cancer. It’s devastating news for them. Dog owners often feel guilty about not having their pets checked sooner since canine cancer is difficult to detect.

These emotions are normal. However, pet owners need to be aware that modern treatments for dog cancer have been proven to be very effective.

This blog will discuss what to do if your dog is diagnosed with cancer and provide useful information about treatment options.

Common Types Of Cancer in Dogs


This type of dog cancer affects bones. It is most common in large-sized dogs such as St. Bernard, Great Danes and German Shepherds.

Osteosarcoma occurs when abnormal cells accumulate and form tumors. It is most common in the limbs but can also occur in other bones like the jaw, ribs or pelvis.

Although the outlook for dogs with this type of pet cancer is grim, 28% of those who have had surgery or chemotherapy treatment are alive for at least two years.

Oral Melanoma

7 Percent of all malignant canine cancers are located in the oral cavity. 1 Pet owners should be aware of this type of dog cancer.

Oral melanoma tends to be more common in male dogs. Chow Chows, Golden Retrievers and Pekingese breeds are particularly susceptible to developing oral cancers. Oral melanoma is more common in breeds with darkly pigmented tongues and cavities.

Positive news: The average age of oral melanoma presentations is 11.4 years, 2. There is now a preventative DNA vaccine that can protect your dog by preventing the development of cancerous oral cells.


Lymphoma is a rapidly-growing dog cancer that affects lymph nodes and bone. There are currently more than 40 types of dog lymphoma. Each type has its own set of symptoms and progression patterns. The most obvious sign of canine lymphoma is the hardening of lymph nodes. These lymph nodes become tender and swollen when cancerous cells accumulate inside them.

Lymphoma is more common in senior and middle-aged dogs. Bull Mastiffs and Bull Dogs are particularly susceptible to lymphatic cancer.

Signs and symptoms of canine cancer

It is not easy to determine if your dog has cancer. Different symptoms may appear depending on the type and stage of cancer. Dog cancer symptoms can vary from one dog to the next.

These indicators may indicate that your pet is suffering from cancer.

These are some of the symptoms and signs that you might notice:

  • Bloated stomach
  • Sudden or excessive weight gain
  • Appetite loss
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Unusual swellings or bumps
  • Do not discharge from any organ of the body
  • Diarrhea and changes in bathroom behavior
  • Any sign of discomfort or general pain
  • Excessive drooling

A consultation with your veterinarian is recommended if you notice any of these symptoms.

Dog Cancer Diagnosis

Your veterinary specialist will likely order bloodwork as a first step. Although this is a routine procedure, some types of cancer are not easily detected by lab work. Your vet may recommend additional precautions.

Additional examinations include:

Screening Tests

Screening tests look for dog insurance policies that can be tailored to your pet’s specific needs. *

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