A Pet Owner’s Guide to Managing Cancer in Dogs

Hearing the news that their dog is diagnosed with cancer could be overwhelming for any pet parent. No person wants to hear that their fur baby will be fighting cancer, yet it typically occurs to dogs more than ten years of age; however, it does not eliminate the possibility of affecting younger puppies.

Like in humans, canines are susceptible to getting different kinds of cancer. Fortunately, a lot of it can be treated, and the way veterinary oncology manages cancer in dogs is very much the same treatment used in humans.

Common Types of Cancer in Dogs

  • Mammary Cancers – are more common in female dogs that are not spayed or were spayed after two years of age. Mammary tumors make up 42% of female dogs’ cases; this risk is much higher than breast cancer for women.
  • Mast Cell Tumors (MCTs)- are common in dogs, accounting for around 20% of all skin tumors in dogs. MCTs can develop in any part of the body and vary in appearance. It can be very invasive and often grow back even after surgical removals.
  • Melanomas – malignant melanoma is a type of skin cancer in canines; most happen on the mouth or mucous membranes, although 10% are found on parts of the body covered with hair. They tend to escalate and affect other organs such as the liver and the lungs.
  • Lymphomas – are a diverse group of cancers. This is also among the most common in dogs, accounting for 7-14% of all cancers detected. Lymphomas may likely affect any organ in the body but are most common in lymph nodes.
  • Hemangiosarcomas – are malignant tumors originating from the cells lining blood vessels. It’s prevalent in geriatric canines making up around 5% of cancer cases. Hemangiosarcoma can develop anywhere where there are blood vessels.
  • Osteosarcomas – are malignant tumors of the bone. This cancer has the same appearance as human pediatric osteosarcoma. The long bones in arms and legs are the most commonly affected, although the jaw, hips, and pelvis may also be affected.
  • Lung Cancers – are relatively uncommon in dogs; of all the cancers diagnosed, lung cancer makes up just 1% of the cases. This type of cancer has a moderate to high risk of metastasis.

Dealing with Canine Cancer

Acknowledge that cancer in dogs is common; about 47% of deaths in dogs are because of cancer. Early avoidance is the key to cancer prevention; it should start while the dog is very young. Your family vet is still the best source of information regarding your dog’s overall health.

There are also numerous animal care clinic Lexington KY, with a vast array of fields of expertise that you can visit when your dog starts showing symptoms beyond the reach of the regular vet.

Cancer treatment starts here with an appropriate diagnosis and staging. Therapy could be a mix of chemotherapy and surgery, radiation, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy only. Your pet’s oncologist is in the best position to chart the treatment options that would suit your dog’s condition best.

Emergencies like when lung cancer is in its advanced stage would render the dog unable to breathe. Other issues like a malignant tumor pressing on critical tissue and your dog’s life hang in the balance; or when a blood vessel ruptures in case of hemangiosarcoma. You have to bring your dog rapidly to emergency facilities for quick medical interventions in these situations. 

Visit sites like BGVets.com to know more about emergency responses.


The innovation of veterinary oncology gives hope to so many pet animals. Vaccines are available for some types of cancer for dogs. Spaying and neutering also reduced the chance of getting some cancer. Treatment options to fight cancer abound.

Animals tolerate therapies like chemotherapy a lot better than humans. After treatment, some dogs have diarrhea or vomiting, yet most do not experience side effects. Cancer research for animals is making good advancement; hopefully, this will translate to preventative, treatment, and cure soon.