What kind of cancer do dogs get? Here’s What to Expect

Lymphoma in Dogs

Canine lymphoma is one of the most common cancers seen in dogs today, accounting for up to 24% of all new canine cancers. The most common form of lymphoma in dogs is the involvement of one or more of the external lymph nodes.

Many dogs may not feel sick or may have only very mild signs such as tiredness or decreased appetite. Other dogs may have more severe symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, weakness, or difficulty breathing. The severity of the signs depends upon the extent of the disease and on whether the cancer has caused changes in organ function. Often, the only noticeable sign is an enlargement of the lymph nodes under the neck, behind the knees, or in front of the shoulders. Other organs, such as the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, can be involved as well.

Canine lymphoma is initially very sensitive to chemotherapy. Up to 95% of dogs treated will go into remission when the most effective treatment protocols are used.

Osteosarcoma in Dogs

The most common primary bone tumor in dogs is osteosarcoma and accounts for 85% of all skeletal tumors. Osteosarcomas are highly aggressive tumors, characterized by painful local bone destruction and distant metastasis (spread to other organs). Osteosarcoma commonly affects the limbs of large or giant breed dogs but can also occur in other parts of the skeleton (skull, ribs, vertebrae, pelvis).

The signs associated with a bone tumor may be nonspecific. Tumors in the limbs often cause various degrees of lameness and pain, and a firm swelling may become evident as the tumor size increases. It is common for pain to be intermittent initially, and it may improve initially with pain medications. As the degree of discomfort increases, it can cause other signs such as irritability, aggression, loss of appetite, weight loss, sleeplessness, or reluctance to exercise. Some dogs may present to the veterinarian as a result of a fracture due to weakening of the affected bone.

Treatment recommendations for bone tumors depend on multiple factors, and a complete physical examination and additional testing may be necessary to determine the most appropriate treatment for an individual dog.

Pet Insurance May Help the Cost of Cancer Care

A cancer diagnosis in the family upends your life. It’s especially heartbreaking when it’s your pet, who depends on you for care and comfort while they are ill. Treatment of all common cancers can be hard on your dog, not to mention very expensive for pet parents.

A dog insurance policy can cover all forms of cancer care, including experimental treatments.² With a policy on hand, pet parents can focus on caring for their ill pet with confidence that up to 100% of their veterinary bills may be reimbursed in as soon as 10 days. Consider getting a free quote from MetLife Pet Insurance, winner of the “Pet Insurance of the Year” Award in the 2022 Pet Independent Innovation Awards Program.¹ We are here to help!

‍⚕️ 8 TYPES of TUMORS (Cancer) IN DOGS and Affected Breeds

One in four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, and it’s the leading cause of death in pets beyond middle age. As with people, some canine cancers are more common than others. Fortunately, with treatment, many dogs can continue to live quality lives after a cancer diagnosis.