Dog Gastric Cancer
Veterinarian Reviewed on March 29, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Dog Gastric Cancer
Although gastric cancer can affect dogs, it tends to occur in dogs that are aged 8 years or older. Even though it is one of the more widespread cancers affecting dogs, only 1% of the tumors are malignant. Another key point to note is that though any dog can get gastric cancer, dogs that are at higher risk are those within certain dog breeds. A German Shepherd Dog, for instance, is more likely to experience gastric cancer than the average dog. Gastric cancers are not homogenous and do come in different forms.
‘Types of Gastric Cancer
• Adenocarcinoma – These cancers originate in or around the stomach but affect the tissue of the dog’s glands. The cancer will often spread to the gastric lymph nodes, the fat found at the base of the stomach, the lungs, liver, spleen or pancreas.
• Dog Mast Cell Tumors – The immune system of the dog includes mast cells whose role is to react to inflammation and allergic reactions. Mast cells are found along the lining of key body organs such as the nose, skin, lungs and the digestive tract. The cells can form a tumor and as a result release copious amounts of chemicals such as histamine and heparin which damage the body as a result of the chemical imbalance.
• Lymphomas – Lymphomas start in when the body’s lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, form tumors. The lymphomas can occur in the gastrointestinal tract. That said, lymphomas are not that common and even when they occur will almost exclusively be found in dogs that are eight years old and above.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of canine gastric cancer include Dog Gastritis, Dog Vomiting that is usually mixed with blood, Dog Weight Loss because of the resulting deterioration of the digestive system and Dog Anorexia. Other signs of stomach cancer is scratching and sometimes licking certain areas of the body to try and ease the Dog Pain, Dog Urinary Incontinence and irregular bowel movement, Dog Dehydration and either a poor appetite or a complete Dog Loss of Appetite.
Diagnosis of Gastric Cancer
This is done in several ways. The vet normally listens to the types of symptoms the dog has been experiencing. Then depending on the information you give, he or she may opt for one or more diagnosis techniques. Radiography or ultrasound can be done around the dog’s abdomen to check for any abnormalities in the dog’s organs.
If cancer is suspected based on what is observed, further examination must be done with the preferred method being gastroscopy. Here, the dog is first anesthetized before an endoscope is passed down into the stomach. The vet checks again for any cells in the stomach lining that may look suspicious.
If cancerous cells are identified, the cells can be removed through surgery. Removing the tumor surgically is often the best treatment alternative. Others forms of treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy are best used as a last resort given the danger they pose to delicate internal organs. In all cases, treatment is most successful when it is done before the Dog Cancer spreads.
Additional Dog Cancer Pages
Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Lung Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Lymphoma Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan