SCOA Member Login SCOA Facebook Page
Spinone - Health Information



Unfortunately, dogs develop cancers, just like humans. A tumor is an overgrowth of

cells, and can be classified as benign (usually non-life-threatening) and malignant

(harmful). Many tumors can be discovered through a physical exam, so an annual

wellness checkup with your veterinarian is important. Lumps, growths and swellings

may be found on the skin, limbs, mouth, and reproductive organs. Internal

tumors/cancer of organs like the liver, spleen and gastrointestinal tract are often harder

for owners to detect, sometimes remaining undiscovered until it has metastasized to

another organ, or become very advanced. Although it is scary to find a lump or growth

on our dog, quite often it will be a harmless lipoma (fatty tissue) or other benign surface

tumor. A biopsy or needle aspirate will tell the results. The more evil, aggressive

cancers include osteosarcoma (bone), hemangiosarcoma (blood vessel lining), and

lymphoma (lymph nodes and lymphoid tissue), to name a few. These are often

symptom-free until late-stage.

Thankfully, many universities and specialty clinics have become more advanced in

treating malignant cancers. Typical treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation,

cryotherapy (freezing tissue), hyperthermy (heat probes), special diets, and

immunotherapy (mostly in the experimental phase, currently). There are research

studies and trials at several vet schools around the U.S. that may provide treatment or a

cure, if not for our dog, perhaps for many dogs in the future. Canine health insurance

has become more common, and may help prolong a dog's life due to defraying expenses

to the family. Hopefully, the future for cures in cancer will continue to be promising for

our furry friends.