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According to a survey, the rate of cancer in dogs is increasing these days compared to the past years. This has created a wave of awareness among pet parents to work out to safeguard their pets from this fatal disease.

Statistics show that cancer is becoming far more fatal disease compared to other diseases.

Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year.

Source: The Veterinary Cancer Center

Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

Although cancer is not as common in cats as it is in dogs, the cancers found in cats tend to be more aggressive.

Source: Wignall Animal Hospital

Let’s find facts related to cancer and how you can safeguard and treat cancer in your dog.

Cancer in Dogs: Some common cancers found in dogs

Cancer is becoming quite common in dogs these days especially older dogs. At some point, 50 per cent of dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer.

Dogs suffer from different kinds of cancer such as mast cell tumors – a form of skin cancer and malignant lymphoma – a tumor of the lymph nodes. The other forms of cancers include mammary gland tumors or breast cancer, soft tissue sarcomas and bone cancer being most common in dogs.

Symptoms of cancer

The warning signs of cancer are similar to that of human. There are some common signs that you must watch for.

The most common symptoms are

  • Unusual lump or a bump anywhere on the body
  • A wound that never heals
  • Any kind of swelling that persists or continues to grow
  • Swollen glands
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Lameness
  • Swelling in the bone
  • Abnormal bleeding

These are clinically signs but sometimes there are no or little signs at the earlier stage. If you find any of these symptoms in your pet, take him or her immediately to a vet for clinical examination.

Reasons for cancer in dogs

People are taking good care of pets still the rate of cancer in dogs is increasing dramatically. We can see that as pet owners are taking more and more care of their pets, the life span of these pets has increased reasonably. As animals age increase they are at the stage where the possibility of cancer is more.

In past, pets used to die due to illnesses, or were hit and run by a car. But, due to advancement in medical field, the innovative drug formulations are helping in curing dangerous and once incurable diseases. Moreover, there are vaccines to prevent harmful disease and further, keeping dogs and cats indoors decrease the rate of accidents.

Some cancers are caused due to the genetic component, as some breeds seem more prone to cancers than others do.

Preventive Measures To Stop Cancer

Spaying is the first thing to help your dog from getting cancer. When a dog is spayed before its first heat, it reduce chances of mammary gland cancer eight-fold, this is because of hormonal influence.

Taking good oral care helps in lowering the chances of getting oral cancers. When buying a pure breed, it is crucial that you check the line of breed to see whether it is prone to cancer or not.

Overall, taking preventive measures is difficult, as the causes of the most cancers are not known. Rather than preventing cancer, identifying this fatal disease at the early stage and treating it quickly at the earliest is the best way to prevent and control this disease from becoming fatal.

Cancer treatments for dogs

In case, your dog has been detected with cancer through medical diagnosis then you need not have to panic. There are different options available to treat your dog and bring him back to normal health. There is surgery through which malignant tumor is removed, added to it Radiation therapy also helps in curing cancer at an early stage. Chemotherapy is common whereas at some places researchers are clinically treating patients with immunotherapy tumor vaccines, where the doctors use immune system to trigger the destruction of the cancer cells.


Jesse McDaniel is an animal activist that raises concerns and spreads awareness regarding pet health issues. She is also a self-proclaimed pet lover who tends to support many pet shelters, assisting them with supplies and medical aid on a regular basis.