First Aid for Dogs: Treating Canine Cancers


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in dogs. It's also the most treatable, with a survival rate of 98 percent. Most skin cancers are basal cell carcinomas or squamous cell carcinomas, which grow slowly and rarely metastasize. A biopsy is necessary to determine the exact type of growth on your dog's skin. If it is a melanoma (the most serious form), treatment may include surgery and chemotherapy; if caught early enough, chances are good that it can be removed completely without causing too much damage to surrounding tissue


Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which includes organs such as your spleen and tonsils. It can also occur in other parts of your body, like your bones or intestines. Signs of lymphoma include weight loss, fever, night sweats, and enlarged lymph nodes (a large collection of lymphocytes).

Lymphomas are diagnosed through biopsy--taking a sample from an enlarged node with a needle or surgical scalpel--or imaging tests such as CT scans or PET scans that show increased uptake in tissues due to inflammation caused by infection or cancer cells invading them. The most common types include Hodgkin's disease (HD), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), and chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small cell carcinoma

Mast Cell Tumors

Mast cell tumors are usually benign and can be found anywhere on the body, but they're most common around the head, neck, and chest. They can also appear as a single tumor or in clusters.

Mast cell tumors cause ulcers and bleeding; some dogs experience pain or difficulty breathing due to swelling of their lungs from excess fluid buildup (pulmonary edema). This fluid buildup is caused by histamine release from mast cells when they rupture during surgery or radiation treatment.

Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy -- depending on how big the tumor is--and medication to control symptoms like itching associated with mast cell cancer

Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is the most common type of bone tumor that dogs develop, accounting for about one-third of all skeletal tumors in canines. The most common symptoms include lameness or limping on one side, pain when touched near the affected bone, and swelling and/or swelling around a joint (especially if it's not a joint you would expect to swell). If your dog has any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately!

The cause isn't clear but some factors may increase your dog's risk:

  • Age--most cases occur between 5 and 7 years old; however there have been reports as early as 4 months old or as late as 13 years old. 
  • Gender--female dogs are more likely than males; however this could simply be due to increased longevity among females overall rather than any real difference between genders at birth time frame

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in female dogs. It can be either benign or malignant, but it's typically treated with surgery to remove the affected tissue and radiation therapy after that.

Breast lumps are usually soft and moveable. If you notice any changes in your dog's breasts or nipples, take her to see a vet right away! Your vet will examine her chest cavity and check for other symptoms like fatigue or lack of appetite before deciding whether further tests are needed (like x-rays).

If your pet has asthma, she might have trouble breathing because her airways are narrow due to inflammation caused by allergies or heartworm infection--or simply poor air quality indoors due to cigarette smoke. Asthma attacks may come on suddenly without warning; when they do occur at home with no human witnesses around who could help administer medication quickly enough before things get worse--which could happen within minutes if not seconds--you should always keep an inhaler handy just in case this situation arises unexpectedly again sometime later down the road someday when nobody else is around either!

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in dogs. It's caused by exposure to the sun, and it can spread to other parts of the body. There are different types of skin cancer; some types are treatable with steroids, while others require surgery or radiation therapy. Skin cancer in dogs isn't usually fatal when caught early, but it still needs treatment as soon as possible because it can be painful for your dog if left untreated for too long!

There are plenty of ways you can prevent your pet from getting this disease: using sunscreen on them before going out into direct sunlight; keeping their fur trimmed short so that there aren't any bald spots where harmful rays could get through (and remember not just during summer months); checking regularly for any suspicious spots on their bodies--and getting those checked out by a vet immediately if anything seems off about them...


  • The first and most important step in treating canine cancer is early detection. By knowing the signs and symptoms of cancer, you can seek veterinary care sooner rather than later.
  • If your dog has been diagnosed with cancer, there are several treatment options available: diagnosis (e.g., blood work), chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.


There are many types of canine cancer, and they can affect different parts of the body. It's important to know how to recognize symptoms and get treatment as soon as possible if something seems off with your dog.

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