Cancer That Has Spread Within The Body
Treatment options, life expectancy, and a dogs quality of life all depend on how, where, and when cancer spreads. In a minority of cases, such as very old dogs, vets may also recommend palliative care and eventually euthanasia. But even if your dog is diagnosed with terminal cancer, there are plenty of options to ensure a happy daily life. Heres some info on three of the most common cancers in dogs:
Prostate Cancer In Dogs: Treatments
Traditional cancer treatments normally recommended by vets, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, generally arent recommended for prostate tumors in dogs.
Depending on your pups specific circumstances, your vet might recommend treatment called NSAIDs, or Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs.
Its a tough decision to choose a treatment plan, because there is lots of information to consider, and you want to research the benefits and risks of each option. I know you want to find the best treatment available for your pet – and so do we!
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This product is made with a medicinal mushroom with anti-tumor properties and can be used on your dog. As a pet parent, you want to avoid recurrences and secondary infections.
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Do you have a friend or family member whos a pet parent too? If so, please share this article with them on social media so they can be informed too.
How Long Can A Dog Live After Being Diagnosed With Cancer
Its a big questionand one that has a variety of answers depending on when a dog is diagnosed, the specific type and stage of cancer, and the age of a dog. This post looks at how the most common types of cancer and cancer treatments affect dogs living with cancer. Read our post on cancer causes in dogs to learn about preventative measures.
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Causes Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs
The exact cause for any type of cancer can be difficult to trace. The risk for prostate cancer increases with age, and most cases are diagnosed in male dogs over eight years old. Veterinarians disagree somewhat about the role of hormones in prostate cancer, but instances are generally believed to be higher in castrated animals.
Prostate Cancer In Dogs
Posted by PUP on Aug 19, 2018 in Puppy Up! Blog
Canine prostate cancer is an uncommon but aggressive, and often fatal, disease. Prostate cancer can affect both neutered and intact male dogs but usually occurs in older canines. The function of the prostate gland is to supply the fluid that transports the sperm and it lies below the rectum and just behind the bladder. The most common type of canine prostate cancer is carcinoma. This highly aggressive and invasive cancer can rapidly spread to the lymph nodes, bones and lungs. The condition usually goes undetected until the later, more advanced stages are evident. Canine prostate cancer seems to develop without any known cause and can affect any breed of dog.
Prostate cancer is the development of a malignant tumor of the prostate. Although castration protects against most other prostatic diseases, it does not always prevent prostate cancer. Castration does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. The most common type of prostate cancer is called transitional cell carcinoma, which typically spreads from the bladder or urethra. Occasionally, other types of cancer can spread to the prostate from cancers in other organs of the body. The only way to distinguish the different types of cancer is to biopsy the dogs prostate and send the biopsy samples to a veterinary pathologist.
Dr. Karsten Fostvedt is a veterinarian at St. Francis Pet Clinic in Ketchum.
From Pet MD
Symptoms and Types
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Is There Anything Else I Should Know
If your pet has been diagnosed with a prostate cancer and becomes unable to pass urine, this is an emergency. Please seek veterinary attention immediately. If your pet is experiencing pain, contact your veterinarian so that your pets pain management plan can be modified.
Treatment For Prostate Cancer In Dogs
Surgery to remove the prostate gland may be an effective method of treatment for dogs with prostate cancer and can even cure the condition. However, its risky and only possible if the cancer has not spread to other areas of the body.
This surgery can cause major complications and leave dogs incontinent, and because prostate cancer metastasizes so easily, most dogs are not candidates for the procedure. Neutering is generally not effective in treating prostate cancer.
The most common effective treatment for prostate cancer in dogs is a combination of NSAIDs, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. This can increase survival time an average of 20 months.
Incontinence, gastrointestinal toxicosis, or genitourinary toxicosis can be side effects of this treatment. If your dog is diagnosed with prostate cancer, then you should discuss treatment options with your veterinarian and determine what is the best course of action for your dog.
Do you keep up with regular vet visits to find any health problems like cancer early? What are your tips for keeping dogs healthy? Let us know in the comments below!
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The Future Of Prevention Diagnosis And Therapy
Ongoing work supported by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and other agencies is rapidly unraveling risk factors, causality, and potential new targets for therapy of bone cancer. Reports from two groups and Duval et al from Colorado ) at the 5th Genes Dogs and Cancer Meeting in 2009 showed gene-based signatures that could distinguish dogs based on response to therapy or overall survival outcomes. Further refinement of this work could lead to predictive tests that would allow owners to make educated decisions regarding treatment, based on the probability that their dog had a tumor that was likely to respond to conventional surgery plus adjuvant chemotherapy. The data from Gavin are complementary to published results by Thomas et al showing that a dogâs genetic background influences not only risk of developing a tumor, but also tumor behavior. Innovative approaches using gene-based immunotherapy and targeted therapies also show promise to improve outcome for this disease. And finally, recently published as well as soon-to-be-published work from a long-term collaboration between our group and the Breen group, as well as others show remarkable similarity in canine and human osteosarcomas at the molecular level. These data will further validate the opportunities to develop new treatments that will simultaneously improve the health and wellbeing of our dogs and our kids.
Types And Causes Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs
There are various types of canine prostate cancer. The most common type is carcinoma . This type of cancer is extremely aggressive. It is also very invasive in that it can easily and rapidly spread to the lungs, lymph nodes, and bones.
In many cases, by the time the cancer is diagnosed, it is usually too advanced for successful treatment.
The cause of canine prostate cancer is not exactly clear, but some vets suspect that hormonal imbalance may be one possible cause.
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Skin Cancersmast Cell And Melanoma
Dogs often develop lumps under their skin. Some of these are benign, while others develop into cancermast cell and melanoma being two of the more common types. Mast cells are found in connective tissues, which exist in the muscles, vessels, and nerves under the surface of the skin, which can develop into cancerous cells. Melanoma is a similar form of cancer and the most common kind of oral cancer in dogs.
How long can a dog live after being diagnosed with this kind of cancer? According to FetchVets, while skin tumors are among the most common tumors found in dogs, many are benign. However, skin cancers that continually recur in the same place may be more dangerous, as they can spread to other sites without being detected. Biopsies are helpful in this case to determine how aggressive tumors are.
Common Types Of Cancer In Dogs
While there is a long list of cancers that can impact our furry friends, there are some common ones that are seen often in the veterinary office. Some of the common types of cancer in dogs include:
Diagnosing cancer in dogs can be challenging at times, meaning your vet will likely use multiple forms of diagnostics to get to the bottom of their symptoms. Using multiple forms of testing is the best way to get the entire picture.
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Diagnosis Of Prostate Cancer In Dogs
The symptoms of prostate cancer are often non-specific since they can also be associated with other types of prostate disease, as well as kidney or bladder infection. The veterinarian will complete a thorough physical examination, including rectal palpation, to check for signs of an enlarged or abnormally shaped prostate. Small samples of cancerous cells can often be found with urinalysis, so this is often an effective way of confirming suspected prostate cancer. Bloodwork will also be taken to evaluate for infection or systemic illness, which might suggest another cause for your dogâs symptoms.
Ultrasound of the abdomen will help to evaluate the size and shape of the prostate more accurately, as well as check for local metastasis. An ultrasound guided biopsy may be necessary to obtain a larger sample of the tumor and diagnose the type of cancer and the degree of malignancy, if possible. Further X-rays of the bones or lungs may be ordered to check for metastasis to these areas. About 80% of dogs with prostatic adenocarcinoma have some type of metastasis present upon diagnosis.
Symptoms Of Dog Prostrate Cancer And Detection
Prostate cancer in dogs may present with a variety symptoms that often go undetected until the later stages of the disease. A dog with prostate cancer may have lost weight, have blood in his urine, and be in pain. Kidney problems may also arise due to kidney failure in dogs or a dog urinary tract infection. A dog may also have problems passing stool.
A dog’s gait may also be affected as he develops weaknesses in the hind legs.
A vet will use contrast x-rays or a urine sample as initial tests for prostate cancer. Ultrasounds could also be conducted. The most definitive test to diagnose prostate cancer is a biopsy if the dog’s rectal wall.
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What Causes Prostate Cancer In Dogs
While we cant identify a specific cause, we know that there are both environmental and genetic factors that cause prostate cancer in dogs, and there are certain breeds that tend to be affected more than others.
Dogs such as Doberman Pinschers, Beagles, and Miniature Poodles are more at risk than most other breeds. As with all cancers, older dogs are also diagnosed more often.
Prostate cancer can be categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary tumors means that the cancer started in the prostate, and secondary tumors mean that the cancer started somewhere else and moved to the prostate.
Primary tumors are often aggressive, and they have a high chance of metastasizing to different parts of the body.
- Weight loss/Decreased appetite
If your pup has these symptoms, make sure to get him/her checked out right away! Even if its not a prostate cancer diagnosis, some of these signs can point to a different type of cancer, or other health concerns too! The earlier you can detect that your dog is sick and get the needed treatment, the better it is.
During an exam at the vet, they will look for signs that the prostate is firm or irregular, or swollen lymph nodes.
Have A Question For Our Veterinarian About Cancer In Dogs
Do you have a question or story about canine cancer? Share it! Our editors will try their best to answer your question for free. Please include information such as age, breed, sex, medical history, medications, diagnosis, cancer stage,has it spread and anything you believe that will help us answer your question. We will do our best to get back to you quickly . If you do require an immediate response we suggest using this online dog veterinary service that is available now.
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Treatment Options For Dog Prostate Cancer
Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are the most common ways to treat dog prostate cancer.
Neutering is not a viable option if a dog’s prostate growth is cancerous, because the size of the prostate will not shrink as testosterone is not related to the cause of the disease. Castration with the use of anti-androgen drugs, however, may help control the cancer if it is hormone responsive. The benefit of neutering a dog with prostate cancer is a possible reduction in the development of inflammation and infection.
Surgical removal of the prostrate is not recommended because of the complications that may arise, such as urinary incontinence.
Chemotherapy and radiation, even though they are common options, may not bring about the results desired. This type of tumor is not as responsive to chemotherapy and radiation as other cancers. These treatments can shrink the prostate, but usually does not give any relief from the discomfort the dog may be experiencing.
Many dog owners may look to natural or homeopathic remedies to help provide some form of relief to their pets. Herbs and natural supplements most likely will not cure the dog of his cancer, but can help boost his immune system.
Your Veterinarian Is There To Help
If you have done the above steps and are still unsure if you should euthanize, understand that this is normal.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your concerns and thoughts with them. They can help support you during this difficult decision.
One of the nicest things we can do for our beloved companions is to allow them to pass in peace and with dignity by limiting the suffering they might experience in their final moments or days.
It is never an easy decision, but ultimately it is a humane one.
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Whats A Long Time When It Comes To Survival Times
I assume that from the vets perspective, the removal of the dogs spleen would indeed extend life for a long time.
But this is relative, right? What does that a long time mean, really? It depends upon your perspective.
Some animals only live a few days. Others live decades and a few live hundreds of years. A long time is different for each of these creatures.
For example, for a creature who is expected to live an average of two years, one year is half the lifespan. One year is not a long time for humans unless you are a five-year-old who wants to be six. But for the two-year-lifespan creature, thats definitely a long time.
Dogs have an average life expectancy of 12 years. So one year is 8.3% of life for dogs.
For perspective, humans on average have a life expectancy of 72.6 years. So for humans, 8.3% of their lifespan is 6 years.
Is that a long time? It depends upon your viewpoint. If Im a father looking at my little girl, and the doctor is telling me that she will probably live another 6 years, Im not thinking hey, great, thats 8.3% of her lifespan! No. Im thinking, shes only going to live to be 12?? Six years is not a long time in this scenario. At least, not to me.
But if Im looking at an elderly relative who is sick, and a doctor tells me he is probably going to live another 6 years, I might feel relief. Living close to the average lifespan of a human is often considered a long time when we near the end of our lives.
Where Do These Numbers Come From
The American Cancer Society relies on information from the SEER* database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.
The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for soft tissue sarcoma in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:
- Localized: The cancer is limited to the part of the body where it started.
- Regional: The cancer has spread to nearby structures or nearby lymph nodes.
- Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs.
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Can You Make A Dog With Cancer Comfortable
So what do you do now once your dog is diagnosed with cancer? Are they bound to suffer each day they go on, or are there ways to improve the time they have left? The answer to this question will vary based on the cancer your dog is diagnosed with.
Based on your dogs specific diagnosis, your vet will try their best to make their life as comfortable as possible. This may include offering them a special diet, offering pain management if needed, controlling undesirable GI issues, implementing frequent check ups, and offering tips for comfort that you can apply at home. Establishing a close relationship with your veterinarian is key for keeping your dog comfortable.