An Overview of Cancer Causes and Signs in Dogs

Overview of cancer causes and signs in dogs

Better health care and improved nutrition have increased the average lifespan of canines. Unfortunately, with old age comes greater cancer risks. Still, any dog can develop cancer when an abnormal growth of cells occur and stay in one part of a dog’s body or spread.

As pet owners, that’s not what we should focus on. Instead, we can familiarise ourselves with all the possible causes and signs of cancer in dogs so we can take preventative measures now and immediate action in the future if necessary.

What Can Cause Canines to Develop Cancer?

There’s no definite cause of cancer in dogs, but the following factors are believed to contribute to its development:

  • Age: Dogs 10 years and older are more prone to developing cancer and sadly many do.
  • Breed: Bernese Mountain Dog, Bichon Frise, Bouvier des Flandres, Boxer, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever and Rottweiler.
  • Sex: Some cancers can affect males more and vice versa.
  • Environment: Exposure to chemicals, UV light etc.

Common Cancers in Dogs

  • Skin cancers
  • Bone cancer
  • Blood cancers
  • Canine lymphomas
  • Gastrointestinal cancer

What are the Clinical Signs of Cancer in Canines?

Possible signs of cancer in dogs can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Inappetence
  • Bloody urine
  • Trouble breathing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty urinating
  • New bump or lump
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Runny or bloody nose
  • Wounds that aren’t healing
  • Trouble eating or swallowing
  • Altered features of an existing lump
  • An increase in water intake and urination
  • Odorous discharge from the ears
  • Limping or altered gait
  • Difficulty passing stools
  • Stringy stool

REMEMBER: Many of the signs mentioned above are signs of other conditions and diseases as well so it’s best to consult with your veterinary health professional to get your pet thoroughly checked out.

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