Of the major problems in dogs, cancer perhaps heads the list as being one of the most devastating. There has been a paucity of research in the field to specifically help dogs but fortunately, millions of dollars have been spent to find answers for cancer in humans, which has resulted in also being beneficial to other animals, including dogs. We contend that solving the multiplicity of riddles of cancer in one species will help all species.
A tumor is originally meant a swelling and is synonymous with cancer and neoplasm.
Metastasis refers to the new growth of cells that develop without control and resemble the healthy cells from which they arose; they serve no useful purpose. These cells are called benign when they grow in a local area and do not infiltrate surrounding tissue. Others, called malignant, do infiltrate surrounding tissue, even spreading through the body and establishing new growths elsewhere. This process of spreading is also called metastasis.
Carcinomas are malignant tumors that arise in the skin, in the intestinal lining, and in all tissues that develop from the same original embryonic sources. Sarcomas are tumors made up of connective tissue – the part of the dog’s body that binds it together and supports it. Studies indicate that repeated exposure to certain chemicals will eventually cause cancer just as repeated mechanical injury to an area will also cause it. Furthermore, some types and locations of cancer are more common in a particular geographical location. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the most common body location for growth is in the mouth and throat. In Connecticut, the most common sites are equally divided between the mammary glands, the skin, and the under the skin.
Many otherwise concerned, dedicated dog owners fail to take the time to give their pets a thorough home physical examination from time to time. This results in the sudden discovery of a tumor that has been growing for months that is by then the size of a hen’s egg. If you find a lump or soft swelling, inform your veterinarian and ask for his or her advice. If it is small, you may be asked to observe it over some time and inform your veterinarian if it grows. There is no doubt it is easier to remove a small lesion than a large one, but some, such as warts, are not serious. They are nuisances but even a wart may be irritated by licking, in which case a vet will have to remove them.
Ways of Dog Cancer Treatment
Cancer can be treated in various ways.
Surgery – Surgery can be an effective method of cancer treatment if the incidence of the disease is detected early or is localized in nature. In case of the formation of solid tissue tumors, the surgery can be quite useful for dog cancer treatment. Soft tissues or bone tumors can also be treated successfully.
Radiotherapy – In case of localized tumor formation the cancerous cells are damaged with the help of a radioactive beam of light. Animals like dogs and cats are quite tolerant of radioactive therapy.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is as effective as surgery to bring about remission in the malignant disease. The animals are administered certain medicinal drugs in chemotherapy.
At present all the drugs that are given to a dog or cat are those that are generally prescribed for human patients with cancer. But surprisingly the negative side effects of these medicines that generally crop up in humans are absent in dogs.
See more: Dog Castration