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The Silent Epidemic

Cancers Killing Our Best Friends Include :

[click on each type of cancer to display more information]

  • Lymphoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Mast Cell
  • Mammary
  • Transitional Cell

Lymphosarcoma is a common cancer of lymphocytes in dogs and can occur in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, and other organs. The cancer can be aggressive and if left untreated, can lead to a high mortality. Treatment with chemotherapy has been very successful adding months and occasionally years to the dog's life. Lymphomas primarily affect middle age to older dogs. There does not appear to be a breed or sex predilection. Only 10% to 20% of dogs are clinically ill at presentation, the majority are brought in because of recently identified swellings or lumps

Osteosarcomas account for only 5% of all canine tumors, but 80-90% of malignancies involving the bone. Much more common in large breed dogs, osteosarcoma is an aggressive cancer of the bone that often requires amputation of the affected limb coupled with chemotherapy to provide temporary relief from this aggressive disease. Osteosarcomas generally affect older large or giant breed dogs. It is not a very common tumor in small breed dogs.Dogs that weigh over 80 pounds have been shown to be at least 60 times more likely to develop an osteosarcoma than dogs weighing less than 75 pounds. While older dogs more commonly develop osteosarcomas, there does appear to be an increased incidence in one to two year old dogs as well. Male dogs have an increased incidence of osteosarcomas.

Hemangiosarcoma is an aggressive cancer that arises from the blood vessels. The cancer can occur anywhere in the body, but there are several locations that are more common. Early and aggressive treatment can lengthen the dog's life, but this cancer is often metastatic and complete remission is rare. Hemangiosarcomas can occur in any dog regardless of breed, age, or sex.

An anal sac adenocarcinoma is an uncommon and aggressive malignant tumor found in dogs that arises from the tissue of anal sac. Anal sac adenocarcinomas first appear as small lumps associated with one of the anal sacs, but they can grow to a large size. Smaller tumors are undetectable without a rectal examination, while larger tumors can cause pain and straining to defecate. Up to 50% of dogs with these tumors will also develop hypercalcaemia through secretion of parathyroid hormone-related protein by the tumor. Symptoms of hypercalcaemia include increased drinking and urination, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, and slow heart rate. Anal sac adenocarcinomas also have a tendency to metastasize to the lymph nodes, spleen, and lungs. The lymph nodes are the most common site of metastasis and can become larger than the original tumor.

Mast cell tumors account for up to 20% of all skin tumors in dogs. While they often appear small and somewhat insignificant, they can be a very serious form of cancer in the dog. Some mast cell tumors are easily removed without the development of any further problems and others can lead to a life threatening disease. Proper identification and treatment are very important in controlling these tumors. Mast cells are cells that normally occur in the skin and other tissues, such as the intestines and respiratory tract. They are part of the immune system (defense mechanism) of the body. They contain large amounts of histamine, heparin, and proteolytic enzymes (enzymes which break down protein). These can be toxic to foreign invaders, such as parasites, and are released when the mast cell is triggered by the immune system.

Mammary tumors are the most common tumors in female dogs who have not been spayed. Mammary tumors can be small, simple nodules or large, aggressive, metastatic growths. With early detection and prompt treatment, even some of the more serious tumors can be successfully treated. Mammary tumors are more common in unspayed, middle-aged female dogs (those between 5 and 10 years of age), although they can, on rare occasions, be found in dogs as young as 2 years. These tumors are rare in dogs that were spayed under 2 years of age. Occasionally, mammary tumors will develop in male dogs and these are usually very aggressive and have a poor prognosis.

Transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder is by far the most common neoplasm of the urinary system in dogs., Canine urinary system tumors most commonly occur in the bladder and urethra; transitional cell carcinoma in dogs occurs most frequently at the bladder Consequently, transitional cell carcinoma may eventually lead to partial or complete obstruction of the urinary outflow as the tumor progresses. In male dogs, invasion into the prostate is common.

All Dogs Face Serious Cancer Threats : These Breeds Are Most Susceptible

  • Bernese Mountain Dog: Histiocytic sarcoma (soft tissues)
  • Boxer: Lymphoma (lymph nodes) Brain Cancer
  • Chow Chow: Stomach Cancer
  • Cocker Spaniel: Lymphoma (lymph nodes)
  • Collie: Nasal Cancer
  • English Springer Spaniel: Mammary Gland (breast)
  • Flat-coasted Retriever: Transitional cell carcinoma (bladder), Melanoma (skin/mouth)
  • Golden Retriever: Lymphoma (lymph nodes), Hemangiosarcoma (blood vessels/spleen)
  • Greyhound: Osteosarcoma (bone), Lymphoma (lymph nodes), Soft-Tissue Sarcomas, Hemangiosarcoma
  • Labrador Retriever: Lymphoma (lymph nodes), Hemangiosarcoma (blood vessels/spleen)
  • Pug: Mast Cell (skin)
  • Rottweiler: Osteosarcoma (bone)
  • Scottish Terrier: Transitional cell carcinoma (bladder), Melanoma (skin/mouth)
  • Shar-Pei: Mast cell (skin)