Cancer and tumors in dogs

Posted on October 10 2018

Cancer and tumors in dogs

Tumors and cancers are also rife in our four-legged friends. How do they manifest? Are these diseases systematically fatal? Is it possible to treat them?

Great progress has been made in the management of tumors and cancers in both humans and dogs . Of course, we are still far from the totally effective and life-saving therapy, but if the disease is detected early enough , the chances of survival are greater.


A tumor corresponds to a localized hypertrophy of a tissue or an organ . It is not necessarily cancerous and is then called benign (ie localized). On the other hand, we talk about cancer when the tumor is malignant and that metastases develop in other parts of the dog's body. Tumors can be found in udders in females and testes in males. Large dogs may have tumors in their long bones .

It should also be known that a tumor may be benign, but serious, especially if it reaches a sensitive organ or difficult to access for surgery, such as the heart or brain. Whatever the nature of the tumor and its severity, it must be removed.


For its part, cancer is associated with an abnormally large cell proliferation . This phenomenon threatens the survival of the tissue concerned. These cells that behave and multiply in an anarchic way can start to migrate , producing other tumors, even metastases.

Modes and means of diagnosis

In any case, it is necessary to take your dog to the vet for a reliable diagnosis . Tumors are not always obvious to detect, hence the need to pay special attention to some signs that may suggest such a condition: weight loss, anorexia, fever, persistent fatigue, among others.

Tumors and external cancers are visible and the veterinarian can perceive them by palpating . Additional tests are carried out to confirm or rule out the possibility that the animal suffers. Blood tests , biopsies and endoscopies are part of these processes that make it possible to know the nature of the cancer or the tumor, its severity and the prognosis . The treatment protocol to be applied is then established based on these results.


The earlier and more accurate the diagnosis, the greater the chances of successful treatment. Of course, the results are never guaranteed in oncology, and that veterinary is no exception to the rule.
  • Surgery  : Whether it is a benign tumor or a cancer, the use of surgery to remove the affected tissue mass is necessary . On the other hand, surgery can not be a solution to invasive cancers or diffuse tumors.
  • Chemotherapy  : it consists of giving the dog toxic drugs to destroy cells in cell division . The effect of these drugs does not spare healthy cells that are constantly renewed, such as those of the intestinal mucosa and bone marrow.
  • Radiotherapy  : this is the use of radiation (ionizing radiation) to stop the multiplication capacity of cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy  : it relies on the action of substances that stimulate the immune response to support the body in its fight against the tumor. The technique is not yet fully developed and research is continuing in this area.

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