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Common Signs & Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs

Common Signs & Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs

Our veterinarians in Oak Grove comprehend the worry that arises when you find a lump on your dog. Although many lumps in dogs are benign, some types of cancer are prevalent, making it important to remain vigilant for indications of this serious illness.

Types of Cancer in Dogs

Our dogs hold a special place in our families and often stand as our most loyal companions. Consequently, we can empathize with the distress that comes with the thought of our beloved dogs potentially suffering from a grave illness such as cancer. Although nobody wishes to contemplate their dog falling ill, understanding the indicators of cancer in dogs and promptly identifying any symptoms represents the most effective way to ensure your dog receives treatment before the condition advances.

You might be surprised to discover that dogs can develop many of the same types of cancer that affect humans, and they often exhibit strikingly similar symptoms.

Here are some of the cancer types most frequently observed by our veterinary professionals across Oak Grove in dogs:


Lymphoma is a very common cancer in dogs, and there are more than 30 different types of lymphoma that can affect them. Lymphoma is a term veterinarians use to describe a group of cancers that arise from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that aids the immune system in fighting infection. Multicentric, alimentary, mediastinal, and extranodal lymphoma are the most common types of dog lymphoma.

Mast Cell Tumor 

Mast cell tumors in dogs are skin growths that veterinarians may find challenging to remove, depending on where they are located. The encouraging aspect is that when these tumors are detected early and completely taken out, dogs can be cured of this form of cancer.


Skin tumors are also caused by melanoma. These tumors are frequently found in and around the mouth of dogs, as well as on their feet. Melanoma is a cancerous tumor that spreads quickly to other parts of the dog's body.

Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer) 

Osteosarcoma affects dogs of all breeds, but our veterinarians frequently observe it in larger breeds. It stands as the most prevalent form of bone cancer in dogs.


This cancer poses a severe threat and requires prompt treatment to prevent a fatal outcome. Hemangiosarcoma tumors in dogs can attain significant sizes and typically occur in the spleen. However, they can develop in any location with blood vessels and may potentially spread to other organs, such as the heart and lungs of the dog.


This is a slow-spreading form of cancer in dogs but can be difficult to treat. Amputation and radiation are commonly used to treat dogs with fibrosarcoma to prevent a recurrence.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs

Detecting cancer signs in your dog by visual observation alone can pose a challenge. Blood tests often do not successfully identify specific cancers in dogs. Nevertheless, it would be best if you kept an eye out for particular indicators that might suggest your dog is dealing with cancer. Like in human cases, early detection plays a crucial role in successfully treating cancer in dogs. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned below in your dog, promptly arrange an appointment with your veterinarian.

  • Sores that don't heal
  • Bleeding or discharge
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Strong odor
  • Swelling
  • Lumps or bumps beneath the skin
  • Lethargy, depression, disinterest in exercise
  • Difficult or painful breathing or coughing
  • Straining when going to the bathroom
  • Challenges when eating or swallowing
  • Pain or difficulty walking, lameness or stiffness

What is the Most Aggressive dog cancer

Hemangiosarcoma is an extremely aggressive type of cancer in dogs that demands immediate medical attention. These tumors can reach significant sizes and typically originate in the spleen but have the potential to develop in any location with blood vessels, including the possibility of spreading to the heart, lungs, and other organs.

Does Cancer Spread Quickly in Dogs

Survival time without treatment is typically two months or less for dogs with cancer. The duration of a dog's life after cancer treatment depends on the cancer's stage. Dogs diagnosed with low-grade oral melanoma (stages 1 through 3) can expect to live for over 18 months, whereas those with high-grade melanoma (stage 4) usually survive for less than three months.


When you pet and groom your dog, stay alert to any shifts in their behavior and watch for any unusual bumps or lumps you might notice. If you observe one or more of the symptoms mentioned earlier, promptly schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Your veterinarian in Oak Grove will conduct necessary tests, including a biopsy or other diagnostic procedures sent to a lab for analysis. Additionally, they will carefully examine your dog for any lumps or bumps through palpation. Through these tests and a comprehensive examination, your veterinarian can determine whether your dog has cancer and suggest appropriate treatment options.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog shows any of the symptoms listed above or other signs of illness, contact Oak Grove Animal Hospital in Oak Grove for help.

We Are Always Welcoming New Patients

Oak Grove Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our veterinarians are passionate about animal health and are proud to serve our patients. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment and to get started.

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