Seeing our four-legged best friends happy and healthy is a dog owners’ top priority. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts and caring ways, some health problems that arise may be out of our hands. Cancer and tumors in dogs are one of those things, but Doggie Herbs is here to provide you with all you need to know.
Cancer in Dogs
The skilled vets with WebMD, now suggest that 50% of dogs over the age of ten will develop some form of cancer. There are many different types of cancer that a dog can be diagnosed with. Lombard Vet, Countryside Veterinary Clinic and the American Animal Hospital Association are all in agreement that the following are the most common types of cancer that emerge in dogs in today’s society:
- Mast Cell Tumors
- Brain Tumors
- Bladder Cancer
- Mammary Carcinoma
- Malignant Histiocytosis
- Squamous Cell Carcinomas
- Mouth and Nose Cancer
As you can see many cancers within dogs present as tumors. This may leave you wondering if all canine tumors are cancerous though.
Tumors in Dogs
As outlined by Villalobos, Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine, tumors are abnormal growths of cells. Tumors laying on the skin or just under the skin are the easiest to diagnose as they’re visible to the eye, but tumors can also impact other body organs within our dogs. They usually appear as small lumps or bumps, but can also present as discolored patches, rashes or nonhealing ulcers. Tumors are typically attributed to prolonged exposure to chemicals, solar radiation and viruses, but can also be the result of hormonal and genetic abnormalities. So, what do you do if you spot a bump on your dog? Head to the vet to get them checked out, and look for additional signs and symptoms that may suggest they’re in discomfort.
Signs & Symptoms
As with any disease, early detection is critical for the best outcome. Here are the warning signs and symptoms of cancer and tumors to keep an eye out for in your dog, according to the American Animal Hospital Association:
- Abnormal or quick growing swellings
- Sores that don’t heal on their own
- Change in appetite or loss of weight
- Discharge or bleeding from any body openings
- Troubles with eating, swallowing, or breathing
- Extreme or uncharacteristic tiredness
- Changes in urinating or defecating habits
Keep in mind that symptoms of a tumor or cancer will vary based on the type of cancer, location and whether the tumor is benign or malignant. Symptoms also don’t automatically mean cancer is present. Should you witness symptoms in your dog, your next step should be to visit a vet for further diagnostic.
Symptoms within our dogs, aren’t enough to make a correct diagnostic of conditions. Veterinarians are able to accurately diagnose canine cancers and tumors through the various methods outlined by Pet MD:
Fine Needle Aspirate. A minimally invasive procedure, where a needle is used to remove a group of cells from the mass for further testing.
Biopsy. This diagnostic practice normally requires general anesthesia or sedation as it either removes the entire tumor or a small portion of it for testing. More invasive biopsies do provide more information to help with accurate diagnosis.
Endoscopy. A collect of urinary or fecal samples can detect cancers or tumors within the digestive tract.
Some pet owners are discouraged to follow through with diagnostic testing, mostly due to the potential cost, however, it’s critical to having a full-picture of your dogs’ health. These tests are able to determine whether masses are benign (not harmful) or malignant (cancerous), and then suggest appropriate treatments and next steps.
Care & Treatment
Following a diagnosis, many different treatment routes may be taken depending upon the dogs:
- General Health
- Tumor Type
- Biological Behavior of the Tumor
- Stage of the Cancer
With these factors considered, the vet will suggest a treatment and care plan that would be most suited for your dog. One of these suggestions may be the treatment of medicinal mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms are fungi that’re can be used to treat and prevent diseases, while promoting better general health as well. It’s important to be aware and knowledgeable about these mushrooms as some can be toxic and even deadly to dogs. Wondering which types of mushrooms are safe and healthy for your dog? Doggie Herbs Immunity for Dogs has you covered:
These specific medicinal mushrooms contain glucomannan, a fiber that helps moderate blood sugar, and lentinan, a substance with antibacterial, anti-parasitic, and antiviral properties. Shiitake mushrooms are particularly helpful in soothing inflammation associated with cancers and tumors.
Reishi mushrooms are utilized in traditional Chinese medicine for pets. They stimulate and enhance the immune system, while also having powerful anti-inflammatory and cell support effects. Cancer and tumors can also make a dog extremely tired, but reishi mushrooms also are known for increasing energy.
With antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, cordyceps mushrooms can be helpful with particular types of cancer and tumors. Cordyceps mushrooms specifically aid dogs with cancer or tumors that impact the liver, kidneys, blood and immune system.
Maitake mushrooms may be helpful to dogs experiencing side effects from some medications and or treatments associated with their cancer or tumors.
These healthy medicinal mushrooms help regenerate damaged nerves and improve cognitive functions, both which can be harmed due to cancer, tumors, and their treatments.
Turkey Tail medicinal mushrooms are known for immune boosting benefits and cellular health properties. Its antimicrobial, antiviral, antiallergic, and anti-inflammatory features effectively support dogs with hemangiosarcoma (a form of cancer).
Cancer, tumors, and the treatment of both, result in a compromised autoimmune system. Chaga mushrooms are high in antioxidants, B vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to boost immune properties within your dog.
Whether you begin feeding your dog medicinal mushrooms as a cancer and tumor treatment, or to promote better overall health, there are inevitable benefits! Be sure to consult your veterinarian for further information and guidance.