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Cancer in Dogs-Symptoms,Prevention and Treatment

Since cancer is becoming a leading cause of death in dogs, it is a nightmare for a dog owner to hear that their dog has got cancer. The quicker you find and diagnose cancer; greater are the chances of treating it and saving the life of your dog. Needless to say, annual check-ups are really important to bring anything unusual in dog’s health to your notice. Cancer accounts for 50 % of deaths annually, but it can be treated if diagnosed at early stage. Here are the warning signs, prevention and treatment for cancer in dogs.


Warning signs of cancer in dogs are very similar to those of in human beings. Here are the common symptoms of canine cancer:

    • Unusual odors: If you notice some offensive smell coming from nose, ear, mouth or rectal area, it may be indication for cancer. Consult your veterinarian in any such case.
    • Bumps on skin: As a responsible dog owner, it is expected from you that you are regularly examining the skin of your dog. It is not so that every bump or lump on your dog’s skin is cancerous tumor, but still don’t ignore it and go to veterinarian ASAP.
    • Rapid weight loss: If you notice sudden loss in your dog’s weight (if the dog is not on diet), it may be a reason to worry.
    • Loss of appetite: Oral tumors may be a reason your dog suddenly starts refusing to eat. As a good pet owner, discuss the issue with your vet.
    • Lethargy: You are familiar with the energy level of your dog. If you feel that your pet is not acting like itself and is feeling lack of energy; it is high time you must take it to the vet.
    • Problems in respiration: Cancer tumors may lead to breathing problems as cancer can metastasize through the lungs. Shortness of breath after very little exercise, wheezing and cough are symptoms that your dog is likely to suffer from lung cancer.
    • Vomiting: Vomiting may be a serious concern if it is accompanied by other symptom. Also, examine your dog’s abdomen for bloating and swelling.
    • Non-healing wounds: If it is taking more time for wounds to heal, it may be a serious medical problem, sometimes cancer.
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How about avoiding the illness in the first place? Actually cancer cells are present even in healthy dogs, but these create problems when our habits start encouraging their growth. There are few steps which can help you in preventing canine cancer:

  • Make sure that your dog is not susceptible to toxic products like lawn chemicals, herbicides and weed killers in the lawn. Since dogs have a shorter height, they are more likely to get affected by herbicides and other toxic chemicals sprayed in lawn or garden.
  • Ensure that your dog is getting only pure water. Tap water may contain chemicals like led, nitrate, arsenic etc. which are cancer causing agents.
  • If you have detected that your pet is already suffering from cancer, make sure that you don’t put him on vaccination as it may weaken the immune system of the pet.
  • Keep a check on weight of your dog. This will not only prevent cancer but also avoid any possibilities of other fatal diseases such as diabetes, hypertension etc.
  • Don’t smoke near to your dog. Keep the indoor environment pollution free as much as possible.
  • There are cancer preventives available which can be used for keeping your dog cancer free.
  • Some medicinal herbs such as mushroom, turmeric and garlic are known to have anti-tumor properties. Keep a specified amount of anti-cancer agents in the diet of your dog to ensure that your dog doesn’t get affected by this deadly disease.
  • Make sure that your dog exercises daily. Exercising regularly not only makes the dog fit but also strengthens immune system and keeps it stress free.

Treating Canine Cancer:

Treatment options for cancer differ with the type of cancer and the stage of the disease. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy are some of the most common treatments used for treating cancer in dogs. Chances of success largely depend on the aggressiveness of the therapy and the amount of cancer. A combination of therapy may work more effectively. Not everyone can afford the expensive treatment of cancer, so palliative care is very important. Even if the condition of disease in your pet is not curable, you can improve its quality of life by showing more attention and care towards it.

In an effort towards offering an effective treatment of cancer in dogs, Pfizer Animal Health has developed Palladia.

What is Palladia?

Palladia is an oral therapy used for treating grade II or III recurrent cutaneous mass cell tumors. It blocks the activity of main receptors which play an important role in the development of tumor supplying blood vessels, and receptors which are important for survival of tumor. Consult your veterinarian before making mind related to adopting Palladia. If your dog is a candidate for palladia, he can receive the therapy at home or at vet clinic.


Swati takes pride of being a dog lover. Her current passions include blogging, writing and collecting dog pictures of various breeds. She is an active member of stray dog care society.

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