50% of dogs over the age of 10 years become ill with cancer. Uncontrolled growth of cells in your pet's body can begin in any organ (bones, muscles, on the skin, in the liver or spleen).
Nobody knows what causes cancer, but it is known that the tendency to its development is inherited. A major role is played by poor nutrition, infections, fleas, mites in dogs , tobacco smoke, asbestos and even some inoculations. Golden retrievers, German shepherds, poodles, boxers, Rottweilers and Shetland are more likely to develop cancer than other breeds.
And the least inclined to cancer are Airedale terriers, dachshunds, Irish setters , Jack Russell terriers, collies and Yorkshire terriers.
Types of cancer in dogs
Dogs have the same forms of cancer as humans. The only difference is the rate of spread of the disease. For example, people have high rates of lung, stomach and intestinal cancer, and in dogs, skin, breast, bone and blood cancer (leukemia) is the first in terms of time.
This is the most common type of cancer in dogs. Especially prone to it are older dogs aged over 10 years. Therefore it is important to regularly check the condition of their skin. If you notice a dog's wounds that are very hard to heal, lethargic and unusual changes in the dog's behavior, it's worth visiting a veterinarian. Determine the signs of skin cancer can be during bathing the dog, carefully examining her head, neck and shoulders.
Poodles and cocker spaniels are most often affected by the development of basal tumor cells. There is squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. It can appear as a result of the harmful effects of the sun and looks like a wart on the abdomen and near the genitals.
It is easier to notice melanoma. In most cases, it is benign, but if pigmented spots spread along the gum line or on the paws of a dog - this is an alarming sign. Benign melanoma are abnormal cells that germinate in one place and do not spread throughout the body. But they can also cause serious harm to the body.
Cancer of the bladder
It develops most often in dogs in families where they smoke a lot. It is also influenced by some shampoos against ticks and fleas that contain ingredients made from oil (benzene, toluene, xylene). This type of cancer is most susceptible to the Scottish Terrier. He suffers from bladder cancer 20 times more often than other breeds.
Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
This type of cancer is most common among large dogs. For example, in dogs weighing over 40 kg, the front paws and the upper part of the hind paws are often affected. Animals begin to limp. Recent studies show that if the dog is not neutered, the risk of bone cancer is sharply reduced.
Amputation of the extremities in osteosarcoma helps relieve pain, but does not treat cancer, which usually causes metastases to the lungs. In cats, bone cancer is rare.
Usually a small area is affected, but then the metastases spread throughout the body. To reduce the risk, the cats and dogs are removed from the ovaries. In the event of a disease, the entire breast line is usually removed.
Another common form of cancer in dogs is lymphosarcoma . Since the lymph nodes are located throughout the body, it needs treatment of the whole body.
There is cancer of the mouth. Its signs are bleeding from the nose, difficulty eating and swelling along the jaw or cheeks.
Prostate cancer in dogs is a rapidly growing neoplasm, unlike a human. This type of cancer quickly passes to the lungs, bones and lymph nodes. The hosts often notice that their dog begins to experience difficulties during defecation. The prostate compresses the lower part of the large intestine. Sometimes there is blood in the urine (hematuria).
If a dog has testicular cancer, then after complete surgical removal, most animals recover quickly. Most of the testicular cancer is affected by domestic dogs that have been exposed to herbicides and medicines used to kill parasites.
The main signs of cancer in dogs are:
- Abnormal edema ,
- Wounds that do not heal for a long time,
- Loss in weight,
- Decreased appetite,
- Blood from the nose , mouth or rectum,
- Fetid smell,
- Problems with eating,
- Loss of interest in games or walks,
- Difficulties with defecation,
- Unusual lameness.
Cancer treatment in dogs
In some forms of cancer, therapeutic treatment is provided, which slows the development of the tumor in the dog . Sometimes only a surgical procedure is indicated. All veterinarians agree that in any case it is necessary to strengthen the immune system of the animal.
X-rays can kill cancer cells in places that are difficult to access for surgery. For example, irradiation is done only in the area of the brain that is affected, without touching the surrounding cells. But radiation is not always effective, because some cells, such as melanoma, have immunity to normal doses of radiation.
Radiation can lead to hair loss, skin discoloration and hair regrowth in unusual places. Especially strongly lose the coat of a poodle and a sheepdog.
Chemotherapy uses highly toxic chemicals to kill cancer cells. It is important for the dog to determine the correct dose. Therefore, the veterinarian measures the surface area of the dog, not its weight. The chemotherapeutic drugs include vincristine, vinblastine, 5-fluorouracil and doxorubicin. For cats, many of them do not fit, as they lead to death.
Chemotherapy can cause loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weakness and hair loss.
Freezing liquid nitrogen, mainly used for small lesions on the skin.
4. Synthetic retinoids
These are compounds of vitamins (for example, acitretin). They are used to treat precancerous conditions in dogs. Often used fish oil, in which the high content of vitamins A and D.
Good work of the immune system increases the likelihood that natural killer cells can kill small cancer cells. For this, herbs, vitamins, minerals, medicinal mushrooms, selenium, turmeric and homeopathic preparations (Hepar, Carcinosum and Lymphomyosat) are introduced into the dog's diet.
It is necessary to exclude carbohydrates from food - this increases the life expectancy of animals with cancer. Studies have shown that wheat, corn and sugar contribute to the growth of cancer cells, so it is better to introduce in the diet of the pet food with fish, broccoli and flaxseed oil. Vets recommend feeding the animal often and with small heated portions to stimulate a sense of smell.
If you notice any signs of anxiety, take the dog to the vet. Visiting a veterinarian twice a year increases the likelihood of recovery from cancer, since in the early stages it is easiest to treat, as in humans.