Dogs are at an increased risk of cancer due to longer lifespans. About 25 to 40 percent of dogs will have cancer in their lifetime (the same as humans). 

All of this might sound alarming and you wonder what you can do for your pooch. There are different things that you’ll want to know since there are various forms of cancer. Read this guide on the different things you’ll want to know about dogs and cancer today. 

1. Dogs and Cancer Treatment

Today, some are trying out CBD oil for dogs who have cancer including lymphoma. Speak with your doctor to see if this is an option for your pet. 

Common FDA-approved drugs include: 

  • Laverdia-CA1 (for lymphoma)
  • Stelfonta (mast cell tumor treatment)
  • Palladia (mast cell tumor treatment)
  • Tanovea-CA1 (for lymphoma)

Treatment depends on: 

  • The stage of the cancer
  • The tumor type
  • The behavior of the tumor
  • The age of the dog
  • The health of the dog 

It can be similar to treatment for people since you could try holistic therapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Some vets will recommend combining treatments. 

Don’t try to mix treatment without speaking to a vet first. Some treatment options could stop the other medication from working. 

2. Common Types of Cancer in Dogs

One of the most common cancers found in dogs is Hemangiosarcoma. This is an incurable tumor of cells that line the blood vessels. While it can happen at various ages, it normally impacts older dogs. 

It’s painless and develops slowly, so it’s often missed until it’s in the advanced stages. At this point, it’s resistant to many medications. 


First, it’ll show up as swollen lymph nodes. It could also impact the lymph nodes that are inside of the body and not visible. 

Watch out for signs of digestive problems and trouble breathing. If your vet finds it in the early stages, it’s often treatable. 

Brain Tumors

If your dog has brain tumors, they might experience seizures. MRIs and CAT scans will determine how serious it is, the size, and location. 

Some tumors will need surgery, while others could be treated with radiation therapy or oral chemotherapy. 

Liver Cancer

Signs of liver cancer aren’t always seen. While many malignant tumors could cause this, it’s usually from a single large tumor. 

The tumor often stays in the liver and doesn’t spread. It can occur at any age but normally impacts older dogs. 

Breast Cancer

Similar to humans, it affects the tumors of the mammary glands. It’s most common in the set closest to the hind legs. 

Breeds at an increased risk of developing breast cancer include English Spaniels, Poodles, English Setters, and Terriers. 

If your dog was spayed after two or wasn’t spayed at all, they’re at a higher risk of developing this type of cancer. 


Melanoma is a form of skin cancer from melanocytes. They have a high chance of spreading and appear as lumps or masses. 

While it can develop in any breed, it’s most common in Schnauzers, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, and Chow Chows. 

Testicular Cancer

This is when tumors develop on the testicles. It’s most common in intact males over 10 years old. They can even impact dogs with undescended testicles (cryptorchidism). 

German Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Weimaraners, Maltese, Boxers, Afghan Hounds, and Collies are more likely to develop this condition. 

Soft Tissue Sarcoma

Soft tissue sarcoma is when malignant tumors affect the connective tissue of the body. Non-painful lumps can appear anywhere. 

3. Dogs and Cancer Symptoms

Regular checkups with your vet are vital for preventive care. If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your dog, consider taking them to the vet to have them checked out. 

Some signs of cancer could include: 

  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Bathroom changes
  • Abnormal discharge
  • Change in appetite
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Odd odors 
  • Lumps or bumps underneath the skin 
  • Pain

If you notice any of these, seek vet help right away. When it comes to cancer in dogs and cats, cats are great at masking a problem, so it’s vital you take them for regular checkups as well. Due to this, many cats wind up being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. 

4. How To Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Be sure that your pet avoids toxins such as herbicides, pesticides, and smoke. When dogs are around smoke and lick themselves, they then ingest these carcinogens. 

Follow the vet’s guidelines for spaying or neutering your pet at the recommended age. Avoid your dog from becoming under or overweight. 

If your dog isn’t at a healthy weight, speak with your vet about meal options. When they receive healthy diets filled with the necessary vitamins and minerals, it keeps them healthy and strong. 

While all pets need to go for a routine evaluation at the vet, elderly pets need to go more often. Your pet should go every 6 months. 

Once your dog is older, they could have a higher likelihood of developing cancer. When cancer is caught early, it’s more likely to be treatable. 

When you pet your dog, be sure to check for any lumps along the way. If you find any lumps, make an appointment with your vet. Your vet might perform a needle aspirate to see what type of tumor they might have. 

Understanding the Facts About Dogs and Cancer

After exploring this guide, you should have a better idea of the facts behind dogs and cancer. Stay vigilant and check your dog for lumps. Keep regular appointments with your vet as well. 

Would you like to read more educational content? Be sure to check out our other articles on our site today! 

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