Cancer

With todays advances in modern medicine, dogs are living longer and healthier lives. However, the risk of developing diseases associated with old age, such as cancer, is increasing. About 1 in 4 dogs will develop a tumour during its life and almost 50% of dogs over 10 years old will die of a cancer-related disease. However it can be difficult to spot since most dogs with cancer appear otherwise happy and healthy, so regular annual health checks with your veterinarian are highly recommended to detect any abnormality as early as possible.

  1. Abnormal swellings or lumps that grow
  2. Sores that do not heal
  3. Loss of appetite
  4. Offensive breath
  5. Unexplained weight loss
  6. Difficulty eating or swallowing
  7. Persistent lameness or stiffness
  8. Breathlessness, loss of stamina
  9. Difficulty urinating or defecating
  10. Bleeding or discharge from any part of the body

There are many different types of cancers and the treatment options for each type of cancer will be different. Further tests may be required for a full assessment of the cancer, and as with humans, treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and more. Cancer treatments in dogs often achieve cure or good periods of remission with return to an excellent quality of life.

Age is not a barrier to cancer treatment as long as your dog is healthy. In veterinary medicine, quality of life is the most important consideration when it comes to deciding on treatment options.

Cancers in dogs can be treated and in many cases, cured. The success of the treatment will depend on several factors, including the type and stage of the tumour is when it is first detected. Many tumours, including many that are malignant, can be cured if caught early enough, but some may not be curable. Sometimes, incurable tumours can be kept under control for a good period of time for your pet to enjoy a normal, happy and excellent quality of life. But unfortunately, some tumours may be too advanced and palliative care will be the main aim of treatment.