Cancer under any form is RUTHLESS!
While dog bodies don’t function the same way as human’s, they can become sick just like us and cancer is no exception. In fact, cancer has become one of the foremost causes of deaths in dogs aged more than 10 years.
The disease sounds dreadful. However, due to the scientific advances, half of all the cancers caught at an early stage are curable. In this post, we will be discussing lung cancer and symptoms that can help identify the problem when it’s still treatable.
The Growth of Lung Cancer:
75% of the lung tumor in dogs resides in the adenocarcinoma of the lungs. Adenocarcinoma is the affected tissue that proliferates in lungs and spreads pathogens to distinct parts of the body.
Types of Lung Cancer:
Unlike humans, canine lung cancer is primarily of two types: primary lung cancer and metastatic lung cancer.
Primary lung cancer is a tumor that originates in the dog’s lung or lungs. This tumor is mostly malignant and can be clearly detected through the x-ray of chest. Also, it can originate from any part of the body and can easily hamper the functionality of lungs.
No matter what form it is, canine cancer is aggressive and can spread easily. Sometimes it could spread through the lymph nodes or sometimes through the thorax tissue or central nervous system.
Enlisted below are some other types of canine cancer:
It is a malignant skin cancer that affects the melanocytes or the pigmented cells. Mostly seen on the canine’s mouth and in mucous membranes. Sometimes, the spots also appear on the dog’s coat. While this cancer is benign, in some cases, it can be quite aggressive and spread swiftly.
Also known as Lymphosarcoma, it is another most common form of cancer found in dogs. It originates from the blood cells called as lymphocytes and in lymphoid tissue which occurs in the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes, liver and gastrointestinal tract.
It is a malignant tumor that is found in the bladder of the dog. Bladder cancer spread easily to the lungs, lymph nodes and bones.
Cancer Of Blood Vessels:
Hemangiosarcoma or the tumor of blood vessels directly attacks the blood vessels. Although it is mostly found in the heart and spleen, it can cause cyst anywhere in the canine’s body. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is hard to detect until it reaches the advanced stage.
What Causes Lung Cancer In Dogs?
The cause behind a dog's lung cancer is never cut and dry! Cancer is mostly considered as the cell damage that is caused by genetic mutations in DNA. However, the quantity and the cause of these mutations are still vague. Some of the common causes are:
- Consumption of chemicals
- Cell damage by the genetic mutation of DNA
- Hereditary factors
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Old age
Dogs with medium to short snouts are more prone to the lung cancer as they are not that effective at filtering out carcinogens through nasal.
How Common Is Cancer In Dogs?
Lung cancer has now become quite common, especially in pets. On an average, about 50 per cent of dogs at the age of 10 become the victim of cancer. Malignant lymphoma, the tumor of lymph nodes; cell tumor in the form of skin cancer; the mammary gland tumor are the most common forms of cancer that affect dogs. Bone cancer is also common among various canines.
Signs Of Lung Cancer In Dogs
There are no particular symptoms for all the different types of cancer. However, some signs can be noticed if the owner pays attention to its pooch’s behavior. Take note of the following symptoms to ensure good health of your furry friend.
Difficulty in breathing or coughing is one of the most alarming symptoms of canine cancer. However, it doesn’t directly relate to the signals of cancer. Some small breeds cough because they are suffering from the windpipe issues.
So, how can one identify if its something to worry about?
If a dog cough’s once, twice or thrice, it’s not a concern, but if you notice frequent coughing, you must consult a vet.
Nose bleeding may not necessarily mean that the dog is suffering from cancer. But it certainly is one of the common symptoms observed among dogs suffering from cancer.
If your pooch collapses, seek help from the vet immediately. Internal weakness, being lethargic all the time and frequently collapsing are some severe signs of a potentially dreadful illness. While these are less common in small breeds, large breed dogs are more prone to show such symptoms.
Difficulty in swallowing or eating
Is your dog showing tantrums while eating? It might be because of the lump in his neck. As cancer grows, dogs start losing appetite and find it difficult to consume food. Breathlessness makes gulping or swallowing difficult, and hence the pooch stops eating. This further affects the body weight, and you will notice your pooch shedding pounds rapidly.
The most visible and common sign of cancer is the abnormal swelling that keeps on growing under the skin. The swelling could be a bump or a lump anywhere on the skin of the pet. If you observe abnormal swelling, consult a vet.
Sudden weight gain:
While some dogs swiftly shed pounds when they have cancer, some have sudden weight gain or bloating. If your dog is eating less but is still bulking up, it means your dog needs a trip to the vet.
Any strange smell or repulsive odor that comes from your pooch’s nose, mouth, ears or skin is a sign of the formation of a tumor. This could not necessarily be cancer, but it is an alarming sign that you shouldn’t ignore. Take a trip to the vet to see if it’s just an infection or any serious issue that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Diarrhoea isn't a symptom of cancer in dogs but continually going out to pee or having difficulty in moving bowels can be alarming. You might notice some traces of blood, pus or mucus in your pooch’s faeces or urine. They are the early signs of bladder or digestive tract issues. If not treated can result in severe health issues and can even lead to cancer.
Keep an eye on every change (bump, lump or skin color) in the dog. Touch his body and feel the swelling bumps or lumps in your pooch’s body.
How Can You Prevent Your Pooch From Cancer?
Some of the most common methods to reduce the risk of cancer are:
- Maintain a healthy pet diet and give health supplements
- Spay and Neuter often
- Don’t give unnecessary vaccinations
- Reduce the use of flea or tick preventive chemicals from your home
However, if your pooch is already suffering from cancer, there are several steps that you can take to battle the disease and optimize the quality of life for your furry friend.
Having a pet with lung cancer should not treat like it’s the end; instead, proper care and treatment can cure. Also stay positive. Keep in mind that your healthy/tensed state of mind will be reflected in your pooch!