Dog Health

Everything You Need to Know About Cancer In Dogs

Everything You Need to Know About Cancer In Dogs

Everything you need to know about cancer in dogs

The thought of our beloved pets falling sick is distressing, but unfortunately it happens. As a pet owner, it will be your responsibility to take note of any signs of illness in your dog and act accordingly.

In this article, Pedigree provides information on cancer in dogs, from the causes and symptoms to treatment.

Can dogs get cancer?

The answer to this question is yes. Dogs can get many different types of cancer, which is caused by abnormal growth of cells in the body. If left untreated, cancer can spread to other parts of your dog’s body and can ultimately be fatal. 

Some examples of common cancers in dogs include lymphoma, mouth and nose cancer, mast cell tumours or brain tumours, and osteosarcoma – although there are many more.

The exact cause of cancer is not known, but it is believed to be affected by factors such as age, environment and genetic characteristics. 

Signs of cancer in dogs

Some types of cancer are easier to spot than others, and symptoms can vary. The fact that dogs are stoic by nature and often hide signs of pain can make cancer difficult to detect in the early stages. Therefore, as a dog owner, you should pay close attention to your pet, and if you notice anything abnormal, book in a vet appointment immediately. 

Some common signs of cancer in dogs include:


  • Lumps, bumps or swellings 
  • Weight loss
  • Change in appetite
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Lethargy 

How to treat cancer in dogs

If your dog has been diagnosed with cancer, you have several options, depending on how far the cancer has developed.

Some of the treatment options available for dogs with cancer can be found below.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy 

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used to destroy the cancerous cells in the body. Although chemo and radiotherapy may not cure the cancer completely, it is an effective way of slowing the spread of cancer, extending your dog’s lifespan and giving you more precious time together. 


If your dog’s cancer is isolated and has not spread to other parts of the body, surgery to remove the affected area may be an option. 

At-home care

Sometimes, dog owners receive the sad news that the cancer is untreatable and there is nothing left to be done. At times, trying to treat your pet further is not the best option for them, and you may have to make some difficult decisions. The most important thing is to consider your pet and their quality of life.
You can still ensure that your pet is happy and comfortable towards the end of their life, by giving them plenty of care, love and affection at home. Discuss your situation with your vet to discern the best plan for you and your dog.


If your dog is displaying any unusual symptoms, or you suspect they may be unwell, take them to see a vet. Only they will be able to accurately diagnose the problem and offer advice on treatment options.