Abdominal Dog and Cat Cancer
Abdominal cancers are common and can involve the spleen, liver, kidneys, and intestines. It can be hard to recognize these cancers early because the abdomen disguises swollen, cancerous organs for a long time. Your veterinarian can feel whether organs at the annual physical exam. Visiting your veterinarian twice a year increases the likelihood that if your pet has abdominal cancer, it will be found earlier.
Bladder Dog and Cat Cancer
Bladder cancer, which is common in human smokers, also occurs more often in pets that live in families with smokers. Pets exposed to flea and tick dips, or to flea and tick shampoos, develop bladder cancer more often than pets that don’t use these products. It appears that the “inert” ingredients, usually made from petroleum (benzene, toluene, xylene) cause the bladder cancer. Scottish Terriers develop bladder cancer 20 times more often than other breeds.
Dog Bone Cancer or Osteosarcoma
Dog bone cancer, which is most common in large dogs, usually occurs in the ribs or in the leg bones. For example, dogs over 80 pounds commonly develop dog bone cancer in two places: foreleg adjacent to the wrist (carpal) joint and in the hind leg, just above the knee in the femur. When dog bone cancers occur in the legs, pets often appear lame. The latest research suggests that male large-breed dogs are less likely to develop bone cancer if they are not neutered.
While limb amputation helps relieve pain because the bone is removed, it does not cure the cancer, which usually metastasizes to the lungs. Bone cancer is rare in cats.
In dogs with breast cancer, half will have only a small area involved, and half will have malignant breast cancer that metastasizes over the body.
Cats are less likely than dogs to get breast cancer, but when they do, 85% of them have metastatic breast cancer that spreads over the body. Spaying a cat or dog before it has had two heat cycles helps decrease the incidence of breast cancer.
When breast cancer is removed surgically, it is often wisest to remove the entire line of mammary tissue, and not the single breast.
Feline Leukemia Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is a contagious virus that can lead to cancer in some cats. Many believe that cats need to be exposed to Feline Leukemia before they are 16 weeks old in order to develop leukemia later in life. Mature cats develop Feline Leukemia only when they are so sick that their immune systems are nonfunctional. Cats this ill develop infections to almost everything they come in contact with, including leukemia.
Vaccines exist to prevent Feline Leukemia, and are helpful in young kittens if the vaccine is given before they are exposed to the virus. Many veterinarians believe the Feline Leukemia vaccine is not helpful in older cats.
Canine Lymphoma, also called lymphosarcoma, is the third most common cancer in dogs. Canine Lymphoma involves white blood cells (lymphocytes), lymph nodes, spleen, liver, intestines, and bone marrow where white blood cells are made. Because lymph nodes are spread throughout the body, treatment for lymphoma must include the entire body.
In cats, Feline Leukemia Virus can cause lymphoma.
Mouth Dog Cancer
Dog mouth cancer, which is often malignant, is common in dogs, but not common in cats. Look for bleeding from the nose, difficulty eating, or masses along the jaw or cheeks.
Prostate Dog Cancer
Prostate dog cancer is a fast growing cancer, unlike the slow-growing cancer that affects human males. In dogs, prostate cancer is aggressive and spreads to lymph nodes, lungs, and bones. Often families notice that their dog has difficulty defecating. This is because the prostate presses against the lower colon so that stool cannot pass. These dogs may walk stiffly and may have blood in the urine (hematuria).
Skin Dog and Cat Cancer
Skin tumors are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in pets because they are easiest to see. Dogs are more likely to develop skin tumors (canine skin cancer) than are cats, but skin tumors in cats are more likely to be malignant. A common skin tumor in cats is squamous cell carcinoma that develops where sunlight damages pink skin of white-haired cats. In addition to squamous cell carcinoma, skin cancer is commonly caused by mast cells and melanocytes.
Testicular Dog and Cat Cancer
Dogs are more likely to develop testicular cancer than are cats, especially dogs that have a testicle retained within the abdomen. Most dogs recover well when the testicles are surgically removed. Among humans, there is a higher incidence of testicular cancer in chimney sweeps. This is thought to be due to the chimney sweeps’ exposure to toxic residue in chimneys. Among dogs, there is a higher incidence of testicular cancer in pets exposed to environmental toxins, herbicides, parasites, and medicines used to kill parasites.
This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.
The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.
Note: Any trademarks are the property of their respective companies