Ask the Vet About Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Ask the Vet About Cancer in Dogs and Cats
Dr. MichaelDym
Dr. Michael Dym

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Date: Jan 13, 2021
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: cancer
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Question:My 9 year old Lab was diagnosed with cancer 9 months ago. He had a spleenectomy at that time due to a ruptured tumor/spleen. Treated him with herbal supplements. He was doing great but now cancer is back. He is lethargic and anemic from the tumor bleeds. This lasts for a day then he bounces back. But for the past week his stomach is rather large and he makes this awful retching sound. Is this typical of the hemangiosarcoma?

Answer:Typical? Not really, only because the average they usually survive after splenectomy is only about 2 months, so it's great that he has done well for 9 months. I would have your veterinarian check him out to see what is going on and whether it is related to the cancer - it may not be, but it's impossible for me to guess without examining him and probably running some tests (bloodwork, x-rays, ultrasound).

Date: Jan 10, 2021
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Prednisone
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Question:My dog is on about 7 mg of prednisone , she has mast tumor that has metastasized she is 22 pounds is 7 mg a lot for that size and would side effect be less if the dose is lower ?

Answer:There is a VERY wide dosage range for prednisone and cancer requires a higher dosage so that is a high dosage but within her cancer dosage range, but yes, decreasing the dosage will decrease the side effects, but definitely go over the plusses and minusses of doing that with your veterinarian before doing it.

Date: Jan 5, 2021
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Meds
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Answer:This is the Ask the Vet section for medical questions. Contact customer service for product information. Here is their contact information: Toll Free Number (Call or Text) 1-800-PetMeds® (1-800-738-6337) Email Address customerservice@1800petmeds.com

Date: Dec 24, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Lump on tail
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Question:My dog has a lump on the middle part of his tail. It is fairly hard, light pink in color with a black center. He has had this for around two years now. I havent noticed any growth. He's a healthy 5 year old tibetian terrier. Should i be worried?

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: Nov 1, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Ear tumor
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Question:I have a female cat who developed bulbous looking growth/tumor attached on the outside behind the ear that appears to have fluid of some kind. It bothers her and is sensitive to the touch. Should I worry?

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: Oct 26, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Swelled leg
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Question:My 12 year old Labrador retriever has had what we think is a fatty tumor but we never got it checked out for about a year now. Yesterday the fatty tumor became really tight and hard instead of squishy. A couple hours after that, his whole leg became much bigger and looks swollen. He can barely walk and cannot get up on his own. He has lost his appetite a little bit and I read somewhere that that means he is in pain. What should we do? What is wrong with him.

Answer:It sounds like it may be infected, but it also may be cancer growing, so definitely have your veterinarian check it out as soon as you can so you can make a plan for it.

Date: Oct 25, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Second opinion
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Question:Hello, We have a 12 1/2 year old Shitzu that was diagnosed one month ago from an ultrasound with a adrenal tumor on one side possibly both sides, a mass on her spleen and multiple swollen lymph nodes. It definitely was a mestastized disease and the probability of cancer was at a high percentage. We chose to let her live her life with us as long as she possibly could with out any suffering. She is taking Pepcid every 12 hours and Cerenia for nausea as needed usually every 3 days ( her issues started with continuous vomiting ). In the past 2 weeks she is not eating as well as she is getting very fussy and she continuously “chomps” on her food and drops it out of her mouth in pieces, has had 3 seizures( never had siezures) wants to go out more to urinate and has had two accidents in the house with huge puddles of urine. She is pooping normal. She also arches her back constantly like she is stretching and her heartbeat is very rapid. But she still acts normal and wants to play all the time. She has lost weight. We are keeping in contact with our Vet but would like another opinion. What are your thoughts on this and how much time do you think she has left before we have to make this dreaded decision? Thank you!

Answer:I'm sorry you are going through this - I know it's hard. I would really need to see her radiographs and blood work and her medical records to really properly advise you. It does sound like cancer, especially at her age. (To get specific advice, if you have her blood work and x-rays, you can upload them and speak to veterinarian on sites like JustAnswer.com for a small fee.)

Date: Sep 15, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Mast cell tumor
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Question:My pet, dog, was recently diagnosed with a MCT about the size of a quarter. I had it surgically removed and the mass sent off to pathology. I was informed that the results showed it was a low grade MCT and that all was removed in the surgical procedure. I was also informed that the lymph nodes did not appear to be swollen or affected. Should i have more testing to see if it has spread elsewhere or should i just monitor her. She is a young 3 and half year old playful happy lab. I'm not sure how to proceed at this point.

Answer:Not really - at this point, it sounds like you have done everything that you need to. Monitor for more masses and have them checked quickly and remoeved because dogs that get MCT are generically predisposed to more, but often they will just have the one.

Date: Aug 19, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Swelling of a wrist joint
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Question:I have had an X-ray of Romeos wrist & nothing is broken. I have been told that arthritis does not cause swelling. He is not walking on it at all. He does have MCTs & I’m wanting to knw if it’s cancer ? How can I tell?

Answer:A biopsy is usually necessary to definitively diagnose cancer. Biopsies have many plusses and minuses. Sometimes radiographic changes are very suggestive of cancer.

Date: Jul 27, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Dog passed away suddenly
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Question:I had a 101/2 year old English bulldog that developed some sores on his eyelid that kept bleeding then scabbing , he also had a bad sore underbid nose that bled and a bloody lip that wouldn't heal.. we took him. To the vet several times to be given prefisone and a strong antibiotic and Allergy shot and antifungal shampoo, it seemed to kinda help, but the day before he died he was labored breathing and I felt more bumps on theright side of his chest under the skin. We were on our way to the vet's office when he died I didn't ask for a autopsy but, I'm now racked with guilt on what it was and what could I have done to save him?

Answer:You filed this question under cancer and yes, that would be a high rule out for what was going on based on your description. Cancer with them, at that age, is usually not very treatable, so definitely don't blame yourself. I'm very sorry for your loss - I know it's hard!

Date: Jul 26, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Swollen Lymph Nodes
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Question:I have a 4 year old lab/pitbull mix. We recently noticed that he has numerous swollen lymph nodes in his neck, arm pit and hind quarters. He shows no obvious signs of infection. Should I be concerned?

Answer:Yes - definitely have your veterinarian check them out. Could be as minor as a tick born disease but could also be something more serious like lymphoma (cancer). Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist.

Date: Jul 24, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Warts
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Question:y Bichon has a wart on his head and I'm not sure if this is something to worry about. Is it. Image: https://ibb.co/jG7XL48

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: Jul 18, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Skin tag changing
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Question:My bloodhound has a small skin tag for a long time under the chin blackish color looked like a normal skin tag but the past week looks like a pink/red raw irritated lump is it normal for skin tags to change? So suddenly? Should I be concerned?

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: Jul 14, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: hemangiosarcoma
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Question:My 10 year old lab mix's spleen tumor ruptured and he had to be euthanized last Saturday. The emergency vet said that he had hemangiosarcoma. We had no idea he was even sick. He seemed fine most of the time. The only thing we noticed was he seemed to have a reaction to pizza all of a sudden. He started panting and looked distressed. we stopped giving him pizza , but then he had the same reaction from chicken. We realized they both had a little garlic on them. I'm wondering if the garlic was affecting his blood vessels and that's why he was having that reaction.

Answer:No, that won't cause such a severe problem - cats are very sensitive to onions and garlic but dogs aren't really - the very small amount on pizza should have zero adverse effects on him, so it wasn't that. It isn't uncommon for our hemangiosarcoma patients to pass away suddenly - since the cancer grows in their spleen, it finally grows into a large blood vessel and that is what suddenly ends their life with very little symptoms before this happens. I'm very sorry for your loss - it's always hard to lose them, but when it happens suddenly, it's even harder.

Date: Jun 7, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Dog skin cancer
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Question:Hi, my dog(female, neutered, 13kg, medium mixed breed, 5yrs old) has this skin growth/infection thing for a few weeks now. We took her to the vet yesterday and they took a sample and see it under a microscope, and told us that it was cancerous. The vet said that this type of cancer was common in unnuetered dogs, and we told her that our female dog is already neutered. But our dog frequently run out of the house, so maybe she could have got in from other dogs? They provided us with antiobiotics and Maximus Hep liver supplement only, and also told us to bathe her every three days. However i realized they did not take her temperature or do any other checkup. The vet also didnt give us anything to apply on the wound. Is this normal? Also, the wound started bleeding just now, is there anything we can apply?

Answer:she could have got in from other dogs?" No - if it is cancer, it is not contagious. I really need more information to really advise you - like I don't know where the cancer is - mammary gland cancer, maybe? being spayed later in life predisposes them. Most mammary gland cancers, especially that are secondarily infected, need to be surgically removed.

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