It is absolutely true that dogs are a man’s (or woman’s) best friend.
Throughout history, dogs have provided tremendous service and been amazing companions so it is devastating when a pet becomes sick.
While every breed is prone to certain health-related issues, finding out that a dog has cancer is something no pet owner wants to experience.
It is important to know that while pet cancer is scary, there are viable treatment options.
Depending on the type and degree of cancer, but also the dog’s age, owner’s budget, and overall belief system, treatment could be conventional or homeopathic.
With this being such an important topic, we wanted to offer some key information pertaining to symptoms but also treatment options.
Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs
Although cancer is sometimes detected during a routine visit to the veterinarian, just as with humans it is most often suspected first by symptoms.
Based on the type of cancer and the actual pet, symptoms could vary to some degree but overall, the following are things an owner would notice if a dog had this type of health problem.
- Appetite Change – One of the first symptoms of cancer seen in dogs is decreased appetite. In fact, based on the type of cancer but also the degree of intensity a pet might stop eating altogether.
- Weight Loss – Quick and extreme weight loss is also a common symptom. This is primarily because of a decreased appetite but it is also caused by reduced activity and the body’s reaction to cancer.
- Lumps – Not all cancers result in the development of a lump beneath the skin but most do. Therefore, if an individual notices a lump, especially one becoming larger, proper testing should be performed right away.
- Depression and Lethargy – Just as humans, dogs can become depressed when not feeling well. For something serious such as cancer, depression that leads into lethargy is common. Notable changes would include a pet that sleeps more and plays less.
- Urine and Stool Changes – Cancer can also have a direct effect on a dog’s bathroom habits. This might consist of the animal having a difficult time going, needing to use the bathroom more frequently, or perhaps having blood in urine or stools.
- Wounds – Another sign that a dog might have cancer is the development of a skin infection or having one or more wounds that either heals very slowly or not at all.
- Pain – There are certain types of pet cancer that are very painful so if a dog wince or cries out in pain veterinarian attention is critical.
Keep in mind that the exact type of treatment would depend on a variety of factors but following are the three methods used by veterinarians most often for all types of canine cancer.
- Surgery – While surgery is not an option in all cases, it has been shown to be beneficial for removing cancerous areas within the body or stopping malignant cancer from spreading. Sometimes, reducing the size of a tumor provides the dog relief and extends life for several years.
- Radiation Therapy – There are times when radiation therapy is used as the main treatment for certain forms of cancer but also cancer in specific areas of the body. However, this is also a treatment that often follows surgery as a means of removing any malignancies leftover.
- Chemotherapy – As imagined, chemotherapy is very hard on a dog so it is not a treatment considered in all cases but there are some newer drugs being used that still work great to reduce or destroy cancer but without side effects being quite so harsh.
If an owner prefers a more natural approach to treating a pet with cancer there are some good alternative options that could be considered. The exact course of action would be determined based on several factors associated with a dog that has cancer but usually, this involves a very specific diet, herbal supplements, vitamins, detoxification, and a variety of homeopathic remedies based on the type of cancer the pet suffers with, as well as the dog’s age and tolerance.