Cancer in dogs vet lexicon by terra canis

Cancers in dogsCancers are also common in dogs and can affect all organ systems, as well as soft tie and bone. Not only old dogs fall ill with cancer, sometimes it can also affect younger dogs and puppies. Due to the progress of medicine, earlier diagnosis and also better therapy is possible in many cases nowadays, as there are specialized hospital departments for radiation and chemotherapies.

Which symptoms indicate a cancer disease ? The symptoms of cancer can be manifold. At first often do not indicate a serious disease at all. Many tumor diseases progress insidiously at the beginning, d.h. the patient hardly notices anything. When the first symptoms appear, they can be very diverse.

Signs may include u.a. be:

– Symptoms of malaise: vomiting, inappetence, diarrhea, constipation, sensitive stomach – Behavioral changes: increased fatigue, listlessness, groaning, restlessness at night, sleep disturbances, aggressiveness/passivity – Visible circumferential proliferations (nodules) in various parts of the body that u.a. Neurological abnormalities: Seizures, paralysis symptoms – Blood in urine/feces

Diagnosis tumor – what you can do now

Statistically, every fifth dog develops cancer, every second animal over the age of 10 dies of the disease. The risk of developing a tumor increases with age – the longer average lifespan of animals has led to an increase in cancer cases over the past few decades. The origin of cancer has not been clarified beyond doubt. Genetic causes, immune disorders, and cancer-causing chemicals and radiation are all possible. The passive inhalation of cigarette smoke. Sunburns, for example, are just as harmful for quadrupeds as for bipeds. Fortunately, treatment options have improved with advances in veterinary medicine. Today, cancer is no longer limited to surgery alone.

cancer in dogs vet lexicon by terra canis

Modern therapy options

The symptoms of cancer vary greatly depending on the tumor. Often only very general signs of illness appear at first, such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, weight loss, refusal to eat and listlessness. A thorough diagnosis by the veterinarian will provide information. Once the type of tumor has been determined, an appropriate treatment plan is developed, consisting of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or a combination of these treatment methods. An accompanying pain therapy alleviates the suffering. The most common tumors in dogs involve the mammary and lymph glands, skin, mouth, and bones and soft ties.

cancer in dogs vet lexicon by terra canis

Healthy lifestyle lowers cancer risk

Unfortunately, there is no safe prevention against cancer. A healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise. However, a high-quality food has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Expose your dog as little as possible to strong sunlight and exhaust fumes and choose a species-appropriate, natural food without synthetic flavorings and preservatives. If the dog is already suffering from cancer, do not hesitate in any case with the therapy. Each day of waiting worsens the prospects for cure or increased longevity. Ideally, you should take your dog to an oncological veterinary clinic where the latest treatment methods are used.

Types of cancer in dogs

Nasal Tumors

Nasal tumors are not particularly common, but they are usually malignant. Affected are usually older dogs over 8 years of age. The malignancy is due to the fact that these tumors have the ability to infiltrate (grow into) surrounding tie. Metastases to nearby lymph nodes are also possible. The growth is usually slow and gradual, so that the disease is unfortunately detected late.

– Rhinitis = inflammation of the nasal mucosa with discharge (initially unilateral) – Unilateral, later also bilateral stenosis (narrowing) of the nasal cavity – Changes in shape in the nasal area or paranasal sinus area as a result of tumor penetration under the skin – Ingrowth of the tumor into the oral cavity, the eye cavity or via the ethmoid bone into the brain – Frequent obstruction (blockage) of the lacrimal duct or obstruction of the drainage of frontal sinus secretions (promotion of infections, etc.) – Tumors of the mammary gland – Infection of the mammary gland – Infection of the mammary gland – Infection of the mammalian gland – Infection of the mammary gland – Infection of the mammary gland – Infection of the mammary gland.)

The veterinarian will first clarify whether there may be another cause for these symptoms, such as.B. a benign destructive rhinitis caused by aspergillosis (fungal infection) or chronic foreign body rhinitis. Other tumors may also be responsible for these symptoms, such as.B. Tumors that actually originated from the oral cavity or the orbit and now grow into the nasal cavity.

Diagnosis is often difficult and the veterinarian will require imaging such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Further examination of tumor material is possible via nasal lavage specimens, scrapings, and fine needle aspirates.

Treatment is equally difficult. As a rule, curative therapy is not possible. The goal is extensive surgical removal of the tumor material, if possible. As well as under supervision of a specialist a concomitant chemo/radiotherapy.

The prognosis for these tumors is unfortunately always unfavorable.

Skin tumors

Also in dogs there are a variety of different tumors that can affect the skin tie. These can be both benign and malignant circumferential proliferations. Such tumors are often observed in middle-aged and old dogs.

The spectrum ranges from simple papillomas (warts) to squamous cell carcinomas and mast cell tumors. It is usually not possible to tell from the external appearance alone what kind of tumor is present.

– Often initially no noticeable symptoms – skin changes: Circumferential proliferation, lumps – With larger circumferential proliferation also restrictions in the freedom of movement, bedsores or rubbing of the circumferential proliferation with inflammation – With malignant tumors that spread, also in the course of further organ symptoms possible

It is important to regularly palpate the dog for nodules and lumps, which will inevitably be noticed when stroking the dog. In older dogs, there may be increased circumferential proliferation from the fatty tie, the so-called. Lipomas (fatty tumors). However, these are not skin tumors, but belong to the soft tie tumors. They are usually diagnosed when there is discomfort (e.g.B. restriction of movement) can be easily removed and usually have a good prognosis. However, it is not possible to see clearly from the outside whether a circumferential proliferation is in fact just a lipoma or whether another type of tumor is behind it. For this reason, circumferential growths should always be clarified by a veterinarian. The veterinarian may take a tie sample. Have laboratory tests to confirm. Also, surgically removed circumferential growths are usually sent in for histological clarification.

For skin tumors, as for all other tumors, do not wait too long. If you discover a circumferential increase, it's better to get an early diagnosis of what it is.

The treatment and prognosis of skin tumors depends on the individual tumor type as well as the localization and size. This tumor originates from the tie mast cells of the skin. One of the most common skin tumors. It has unpredictable biological behavior.

It is observed v.a. in older dogs, but also occasionally in young dogs. predisposed are the breeds Boxer, Dachshund, Bernese Mountain Dog, Labrador Retriever and Schnauzer as well as mixed breeds.

– The appearance can be very variable – Sits preferentially on the trunk and limbs – Signs of its malignancy: rapid growth, superficial disintegration of the nodules, appearance of satellite nodes, enlargement of regional lymph nodes – Through edema formation (accumulation of fluid in the tie) and inflammation, the tumor image can change rapidly – A later metastasis to the liver and spleen possible – Lung metastases are rather rare

Special feature:

The granules (granular deposits) of tumor cells contain messenger substances such as.B. Histamine. These can be released spontaneously or by tumor manipulation and become sog. lead to paraneoplastic symptoms: Allergies, immune and inflammatory reactions, low blood prere, stomach ulcers, tarry stools and/or vomiting blood.

For diagnosis, the veterinarian takes specimen material (fine needle aspirate) and/or sends the removed tumor mass for histological clarification.

Treatment includes surgical removal of the tumor as completely as possible and, under the supervision of a specialist, if necessary, also surgical removal of the tumor. a radiation therapy. Patients must be followed up regularly, as recurrences are frequent.

The prognosis depends on many factors: Localization of the tumor, stage, age and breed of the dog.

Tumors that are poorly differentiated, have developed metastases or are located at a mucocutaneous junction (between skin and mucosa) or at a mucosal junction (between skin and mucosa) usually have a poor prognosis. located at the claw bone.

Lymphatic tumors

These are tumors of the hematopoietic (blood forming) and lymphoid cells. These are malignant diseases caused by proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells and are associated with various cell maturation disorders.

A common tumor in this category is malignant lymphoma (lymphosarcoma), a malignant tumor disease that originates from lymphoid cells (e.g., lymphocytes).B. Spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow).

Lymphosarcomas account for up to 80% of all hematopoietic tumors. They are found mostly in middle-aged to older dogs. Boxers, bassethounds, St. Bernards, and Labrador retrievers have an increased risk of the disease.

According to the anatomical location, it can be classified as multicentric (originating from different centers), mediastinal (originating from the mediastinal cavity), alimentary (originating from the digestive tract), extranodal (outside a lymph node), and skin forms. The most common form is multicentric with 85% of cases.

Signs can be:

– Unpainful enlargement especially of the bow (neck) and popliteal lymph nodes, enlargement of the spleen and liver as well as lung and/or bone marrow infiltration – May be asymptomatic at first – Later general disturbances: Apathy, loss of appetite, fever, emaciation

Alimentary form:

– Diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, intestinal obstruction, emaciation

Mediastinal form:

– Cough, dyspnea, edema, pleural effusion

Extranodular lymphosarcoma:

– Rarely, lymphoid infiltration of the central nervous system, spinal cord, skin, nose, larynx, etc. may occur. its

– Differentiation into epitheliotropic (focal or generalized reddened to scaly dermatitis with ulcers or plaque formation = extensive skin changes) and non-epitheliotropic (affecting middle and deep skin layers)

Overall, the clinical picture of malignant lymphoma is mainly characterized by organ location.

Blood test, imaging (X-ray, ultrasound), aspiration cytology of altered lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow and biopsies

Therapy by an oncologist (surgery, palliative radiation, chemotherapy). The goal is to start treatment quickly to achieve remission with good quality of life and to be able to maintain this remission with maintenance therapy.

Very poor without treatment. With treatment depending on localization and stage. With therapy, in favorable cases, a life expectancy of 1 year or more can be achieved.

Gastric tumors

Gastric tumors account for about 2.5% of all tumors in dogs. The majority of these present as adenocarcinomas, followed by lymphomas, malignant mesenchymal tumors, leiomyomas, leiomyosarcomas, undifferentiated sarcomas, and fibrosarcomas. Adenocarcinomas have some tendency to metastasize early to mediastinal lymph nodes, liver and z.T. Into the lungs.

Affected are mostly middle-aged to old dogs. Stomach tumors are mainly located in the area of the pylorus (stomach outlet). The small curvature (small curvature of the stomach). Malignant tumors appear as masses protruding into the lumen, crater-like ulcers, or hard diffuse wall thickening.

– Benign tumors are often asymptomatic – Malignant tumors: vomiting, loss of appetite, emaciation, listlessness as well as usually blood in the feces (not visible to the eye) and pain reactions when palpating the abdomen – vomiting blood in an older dog is always a reason to consider a gastric tumor

Diagnosis involves imaging (x-ray, ultrasound) and tie sampling. Treatment is difficult. The advice of a specialist is recommended. If surgical treatment is possible, surgery can be performed, as well as chemo/radiotherapy.

Benign tumors such as leiomyomas or adenomatous polyps can usually be surgically removed (curative). Malignant tumors have a poor prognosis.

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