Getting up early in the morning is a lot easier when you have a dog who’s excited to see you open your eyes.
Your fur baby gets even more excited when you get dressed to go out and grab its leash by the door. When you see how delighted your dog is, you surely can’t help but smile.
But what if your canine companion suddenly gets ill? What if the diagnosis is cancer? Perhaps the dreadful sickness is something you don’t want to talk about.
Still, if such a thing happens, you have no choice but to deal with it.
This article will talk about why some dogs are more susceptible to cancer than other breeds. It also includes some helpful tips to lessen your fur baby’s cancer risk.
Why Are Some Dogs More Susceptible to Cancer Than Others?
A smaller dog is less likely to get cancer. The cancer rate in breeds such as chihuahua, Maltese, and other small breeds is less than 10%.
Researchers believe that IGF-1, a hormone that influences tissue and bone growth at lower levels in small breeds, can be a reason.
Among large breeds, golden retrievers are at the highest risk of developing cancer. In the 1990s, over 60% of this particular breed that lived in the U.S.A. died of the disease.
Cancers That Are Most Common in Canines
Cancer can take various forms. The sickness can affect your dog’s body tissue, blood, and bone. Therefore, it’s critical to have an accurate diagnosis to provide the most appropriate medication.
Most canines usually fall victim to the following types of cancer:
Lymphoma accounts for 20% of all cases of canine cancers. This condition can affect any breed at any age. Generally, lymphoma appears as swollen lymph nodes under a dog’s jaw. It can also occur in front of its shoulders or behind its knees. However, there are some cases where lymphoma attacks the lymph nodes in a dog’s abdomen or chest area, making it difficult for the canine to breathe.
Although lymphoma is treatable, it still depends on the type of medication and multidrug chemotherapy being administered. Typically, a dog that responds well to chemotherapy enjoys a good quality of life for the next 12 to 18 months of remission. Golden retrievers are the most susceptible breed to lymphoma.
Melanoma is a form of oral cancer seen in dogs. The condition is common among breeds with dark gums and tongues. The tumors have darkly pigmented cells which can be found anywhere on a dog’s body. When a malignant melanoma develops in your pup’s oral cavity, it already spreads throughout its body when you first notice it. Sadly, melanoma is incurable. Doberman pinschers, chow chows, Scottish terriers, and standard and miniature schnauzers are the most susceptible to melanoma.
Mast Cell Tumors
These tumors generally form on the skin. They can vary from benign to highly aggressive and spread to other parts of a dog’s body. Mast cells are types of immune cells linked to allergies. If your canine companion is suffering from a mast cell tumor, it’ll show signs of diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Your vet may advise surgery to excise the mast cell tumor. Generally, radiation and chemotherapy are also recommended for severe grades of tumors.
Bulldogs and boxers are the most susceptible breed to mast cell tumors.
It’s a type of bone cancer common in canines. It occurs most frequently in large breeds. The tumor routinely attacks the long bones in a dog’s limbs. But it can also affect any bone. Osteosarcoma progresses rapidly. It can spread to a dog’s lymph nodes and even to its lungs.
Dog owners usually notice lameness, swelling, or pain in their dogs’ limbs during the early stages. Since this condition is aggressive, it spreads rapidly. The course of treatment is amputation followed by chemotherapy to cure metastases. Unfortunately, fewer than 10% of canines who undergo this treatment live longer than three years.
Great Danes, Irish wolfhounds, and mastiffs are susceptible to osteosarcoma.
Tips to Reduce Your Fur Baby’s Cancer Risk
- Don’t let your canine companion become overweight. Research shows that limiting calorie intake delays the progression of tumor development across species.
- Include anti-inflammatory food in your dog’s diet. Cancer is a chronic inflammatory illness fueled by carbohydrates. Make sure to incorporate anti-inflammatory food into your fur baby’s diet.
- Eliminate your canine companion’s exposure to toxins. Examples of poisons are chemical pesticides, such as tick and flea preventives, tobacco smoke, herbicides and weed killers, and household cleaners.
As a fur parent, you want your fur baby to live a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately, it can also get cancer, just like humans. For this reason, it’s necessary to know the common types of this deadly disease, so you’ll know what preventive measures to use. If you think something’s wrong with your canine companion, immediately call your vet or bring it to an emergency clinic for diagnosis.
About the Author:
“Fay’s interest in radiology started when she first became pregnant. She worked in communications for five years before settling down with her husband. As a mother and an advocate of all things natural, she tried CBD when friends recommended it for common aches and pain.”
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