Cancer in Dogs: Types, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

Is Cancer in Dogs the Same as Cancer in Humans?

Dogs and pet owners both share similar systems, even though we look completely different on the outside. With similar organs and internal functioning comes the propensity for very similar, if not identical, diseases. According to research conducted over the ears, cancer that is diagnosed in dogs has shown to be eerily similar to cases of cancer in human beings.

Studies have been published in a journal, called Cancer Research, by researchers at two North Carolina University schools as well as Duke University. These studies uphold the claim that the types of cancer that affect canines are also nearly the same as the types of cancer human beings face.

More specifically, gene expression in the form of B-cell lymphomas was nearly indiscernible from one another across human and canine cancer samples. This discovery essentially shows that cancer of all kinds seems to evolve in the same way no matter the species.

Now, there are differences between when people are more likely to develop cancer, and when dogs are at a higher likelihood of developing cancer. The age at which dogs develop cancer has more to do with the environment, breed, and overall health of the dog.

Some dogs have a higher cancer risk than others simply based on their breeds. Senior dogs have a higher cancer risk than younger dogs as well. These factors play a significant role in which dogs develop cancer.

Symptoms and Signs of Cancer in Dogs

The prospect of your dogs contracting cancer at some point in their lifetimes is a very uneasy feeling to experience. While you cannot predict the future, you can familiarize yourself with the symptoms and side effects associated with cancer in dogs. When you know what to look out for, you can pick up on signs of cancer in dogs much faster than if you don’t register the symptoms as potential side effects of canine cancer.

Whether your dog is acting differently or not, it’s always wise to know about the signs of cancer in dogs. Early detection is key, so being aware of symptoms could save your dog’s life.

A few symptoms that indicate a possibility of canine cancer include…

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Uneven skin under the fur
  • Hair missing in patches of your dog’s coat
  • Swelling of the stomach
  • Bloated abdominal region
  • Unusual discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Odd smells that you don’t recognize
  • Wounds on the skin that will not heal on their own

Loss of appetite and weight loss go hand-in-hand, seeing as a loss of appetite contributes to weight loss because your dog won’t be interested in eating. The weight loss will then likely cause your dog to feel queasy at the sight of food, contributing to even more weight loss overall.

How is Cancer in Dogs Diagnosed?

The number one goal is to improve your dog’s quality of life. In order to maintain a top-tier quality of life for your dog, a cancer diagnosis must first be obtained. A cancer diagnosis is achieved by taking dogs to see specialists that know the right tests to conduct in order to figure out what kind of cancer a dog has.



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