Cancer is the foremost causation of death in dogs, particularly over the age of ten. The current rate of cancer in canines hovers around 50 percent. Abdominal, bone, breast, testicular and Lymphoma are some of the most common cancers for dogs, all of which are treatable when detected early.
The causation of cancer is not widely known, though DNA, over exposure to certain chemicals or UV and some viral infections have been linked to the disease. Cancer occurs when abnormal genes attack cells that then grow at an abnormal rate and infect tissue and surrounding areas. Cases of cancer being inherited have been documented but this is still being studied more aggressively.
Because the rate of cancers in dogs is so prevalent, regular check-ups are vital so detection can be caught as early as possible. Detecting cancer in your canine can be tricky but not impossible. Oral cancers will often present signs such as excessive drooling, oral bleeding or difficulty in swallowing. Limb weakness or rigidity is sometimes an indication of bone cancer. Finding sores and open wounds on your pet could possibly be a sign of skin cancer. As with all diseases, the signs and symptoms are complex and varied, but any change in your pets appearance and behavior is usually an implication that something is going on and its best to have them looked at as soon as possible.
If it is determined that your beloved pet has cancer there are many treatments available today, all of which are similar to the treatments humans receive such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries. Side effects of some of the treatments are also the same as with humans and include nausea, vomiting, hair loss and decrease in appetite.
Deciding on a treatment plan for your inflicted pet will most likely be a difficult path. It can also be very costly. Together, you and trained veterinary doctors will evaluate your dog’s stage of cancer, overall health and treatment options. This will assist in weighing important factors such as emotional well being and financial commitments and strain. Dogs who are diagnosed with cancer need a constant support system and aftercare, as cancer can often cause other health issues simultaneously, and the older the dog, the more prevalent these secondary diseases are. It is important to carefully compare and weigh all treatment options and couple that with what you as the canine owner can realistically manage.
Survival rate in dogs with cancer is dependent on many variables such as the age of the dog during onset, the overall health of your dog, the type of cancer inflicting him or her and the stage of detection. Many of the most common cancers have a survival rate of upwards of 60 percent with proper treatment and early detection. Again, this is something that should be assessed and evaluated by a trained veterinary medical professional who can assist you with determining the best course of action once your dog is diagnosed.