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Detection of cancer in dogs and its importance

Cancer is prevalent amongst dogs. This is why it becomes imperative for us, dog owners, to be concerned about their health. Veterinary Oncology majorly focuses on discovering and developing various methods through which development of cancer cells in dogs can be prevented.

However, we have still not reached that goal. Hence, until we find a solution for the same, it is our responsibility to take care of our dogs and get them thoroughly checked after regular intervals. If the cancer tumor is detected early, it can be treated in a better way.

How is cancer detected?

Initially, the size of the tumor is small and has better chances to be treated. For example, one can often detect cancer in dogs through physical examination. If the size of the tumor is small, it can be operated on and removed.

Now the question arises about how we can detect cancer tumors in our dogs. We have listed various ways through which you can detect the signs of cancer in your dogs and consult a vet if it is required.

Oral Cancer

For this type of cancer, you will have to check inside the mouth of your dog. When your dog yawns or pants and opens their mouth wide, you have to look for growth inside the mouth. If you find something unusual, you must consult your vet and tick off any doubt that you may have.

You should also take your dog for a regular oral examination. This has a dual purpose, firstly, it will keep the oral hygiene of your dog in check, and secondly, if there are any signs of cancer, it can be detected at an early stage. This gives your dog a longer prognosis and hence, a better chance to recover from it.

Internal Cancer

There are times when the cancer cells develop internally and cannot be detected at initial stages through physical examination. For example, lung cancer. Initially, there are no signs of illness and hence, it becomes difficult for anyone to detect that the dog is suffering from cancer.

As time passes, clinical signs like cough, heavy respiratory functions, etc. develop. Unfortunately, they do not contribute positively towards detection of cancer at an early stage. This is because, by the time these symptoms emerge, the size of the tumor grows. For such instances, X-rays are more reliable because a tumor can be seen through it. Hence, you must get your dog examined after regular intervals.

Skin cancer

This type of cancer is common amongst dogs. As a pet owner, we play a huge role in detecting any unusual growth on our dog’s skin. If there are any lumps or masses on the skin of the dog, it is time that we consult the vet. While brushing the coat of the dog, you can easily suspect if there is any unusual growth.

This depends on the size of the tumor that will help the doctor decide the mode of treatment for your dog. If the size of the tumor is small, there will be a smaller surgical scar on your dog. Moreover, the best part is that the chances of recovery are much better when the tumor is small.

How can we prevent cancer development in our dogs?

The most important thing when you pet a dog is to get them examined by a vet regularly. It is not just for the sake of detecting cancer, but even for any other disease or illness, it is important that it gets detected at an early stage.

If the cancer cells spread and the tumor develops, it becomes harder for it to be treated. Irrespective of whether your dog is sick or not, a regular visit to the vet is a must to maintain the health of your dog.

When your dog is under 7 years of age, an annual examination is required. However, after 7 years, it is very important that you get them examined twice a year because the chances of illness increase as the dog grows old.

Is there any particular test that we can get done for early detection?

Well, the answer to this question is yes. We have a test called A.C.D. Test which helps us detect if the dog is suffering from cancer with the help of its urine. We highly recommend this test because it is non-invasive and hence, does not cause any pain to the dog unlike during other tests. It is inexpensive and therefore, you need not worry about getting this test done repeatedly in order to ensure that your dog is in perfect health. Another thing is that it can detect different types of cancers as well like lymphoma, melanoma, etc. This test is highly accurate and is the best if you want to detect cancer at an early stage and not wait for clinical symptoms to become evident. The earlier you get to know about existent of cancer in your dog, the better you will be able to treat it.

Final thoughts

There are certain things in life that cannot be controlled. However, if we are diligent, the intensity of these events can be reduced. Hence, get your dog examined regularly and look for an unusual growth on your dog. Smaller the size of the tumor, the easier it will be to get rid of the tumor.

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