Cancer in Dogs
Similar to people, dogs can develop several cancers. Dog cancers may vary widely in the speed at which they grow and spread, how easily they can be treated and how we can predict prognosis and life expectancy for dogs diagnosed with a specific cancer.
Your dog's breed, age, general health and other factors can also influence how long your dog survives after receiving a cancer diagnosis.
Types of Cancers Commonly Seen in Dogs
Cancer can develop in dogs of any breed or size. That said, some cancers appear to strike certain breeds more often. For example, Scottish Terriers are known to have high rates of bladder cancer.
Some common types of cancers seen in dogs include:
- Adrenal Cancer
- Bladder Cancer
- Bone Cancer - Hemangiosarcoma
- Liver Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Mast Cell Tumors
- Mammary Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Skin Cancer
Predicting Life Expectancy For Dogs With Cancer
Trying to predict the life expectancy for a dog with cancer is extremely difficult for vets, particularly considering that few pets with cancer will die naturally. When symptoms become severe, many pet parents opt to euthanize their dog as a way to prevent suffering. Meaning that, for many dogs with cancer it is the pet owner that ultimately decides how long their dog lives following a cancer diagnosis.
With that in mind, if we look at an example of two dogs diagnosed with the same cancer. One dog may receive the very best oncological treatment available for that particular cancer and go on to live a good quality of life for a year or more, whereas the other may belong to a family unable to pay for such treatment and may need to be euthanized soon after diagnosis.
It is also the case that some cancers are relatively easy to remove surgically if diagnosed early, whereas for other cancers surgery is not an option. For some chemotherapy may be effective, whereas other cancers may not respond to chemo at all.
Veterinary Oncology at VSEC
While your vet will be able to give you information regarding the average lifespan of dogs with a particular cancer, this number may not be accurate in terms of how long your beloved pet might live.
Nonetheless, your vet should be able to provide you with information regarding how your dog's disease is likely to progress and whether effective treatments are available.
He or she may refer you to our veterinary cancer specialist in Thousand Oaks. We are committed to providing care and treatment for pets with cancer, in addition to support for the people who love them. After reviewing your pet's medical history and diagnosis, our vet oncologist can sit down with you and your pet to explain the disease, any additional diagnostics needed, treatment options and prognosis.
Our team works closely with other specialists and primary care veterinarians to ensure your pet receives the best possible care.
Your vet understands that finding out that your dog has cancer is very upsetting and that you will be eager to get the most accurate information possible in order to decide the best way forward for your canine companion.
Trust that your vet has your dog's best interests at heart - and yours.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.