Dog`s Health

Main causes of cancer in dogs

Thanks to all the care we provide to our pets, they live longer with us. Therefore, cases of cancer in dogs are increasingly frequent and are usually the leading cause of death. The exact reasons for canine tumors are still unknown, but several factors can cause them. Genetics, the environment, and nutrition are some of them.

Dog genetics

Genetics has a leading role in cancer cases in dogs. The genetic factors that make it increase are increasingly known and linked to the breed of a can.

The origin of a tumor begins when the DNA contained in the cells undergoes a series of mutations that induce their uncontrolled multiplication; cell masses or tumors that can become large are created.

There are benign tumors, of which many are clusters of fat that can be easily removed, while others are malignant and, part of them, can circulate in the bloodstream and metastasize to other organs.

The rottweiler, boxer, golden retriever, Doberman, or German shepherd races are the most predisposed to develop cancer. But this does not mean that by the fact of belonging to one of these breeds, our dog will suffer it; It is merely more likely to occur compared to other races.


Typically, cancer usually appears in advanced ages. For this reason, when dogs get older, it is advisable to check their health periodically, and early prevention is critical. From the decade of age, it is advisable to go to the veterinarian at least once a year for general reviews and blood tests.


Hormones can have a direct influence on cancer cases in dogs, and with age, it can become a problem. It is widespread to find instances of breast cancer, uterus, prostate, and testicles caused by a hormonal alteration.

Castration significantly reduces cancer cases linked to the action of sex hormones and other problems such as pseudo gestation and pyometra in females.

External agents

As for humans, in addition to internal factors such as genetics, age, or sex, other environmental factors can lead to the development of cancer.

Exposure to solar radiation or other ionizing radiation, tobacco smoke, and certain chemicals are risk factors that, combined with the genetics and health of the individual, can cause skin, lung, and other cancers.

There are also viruses capable of proliferating cells and developing different types of tumors. An example of this is the transmissible venereal tumor in dogs, which seems to be related to a viral infection.

It is vital to have a diagnosis as early as possible to act quickly and efficiently. Veterinary reviews, blood tests, and observation before the appearance of masses in the animal are prevention against cancer in dogs.

If we detect a suspicious mass, we must go to the veterinarian to determine if it can be cancer. Once diagnosed, it is essential to keep a veterinary check.

In many cases, if the veterinarian so considers surgery may be performed to remove the tumor, while in other cases, chemotherapy may be applied.

The chemotherapy exists as dogs and get treatment delay disease progression and improve the quality of the live animal. Some treatments may be given orally from home. Others have to be applied by a veterinarian in a specialized clinic since they are intravenous drugs.

The most frequent types of cancer in dogs

Cutaneous, breast, lymphomas, osteosarcomas, hemangiosarcomas, bladder, and testicular tumors are the most common. And each race may have more predisposition to one type or another, especially if the parents have had a history.

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