Pet Care: 3 Common Canine Cancers You Need to Be Aware of

Dogs of all ages are vulnerable to developing cancer, but the elderly are especially at risk. Cancer is the most significant cause of mortality in pets older than middle age, affecting one in four canines at some point during their lives. Some canine cancers are more prevalent than others, just as in humans. Many dogs diagnosed with cancer can be saved by modern medical techniques.

Prevalent Types of Cancer in Dogs

When cells in the body multiply without control, it is called cancer. Usually, cell division follows strict rules. A tumor can form when a single cell develops a cascade of mutations that leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation. It’s essential to watch out for abnormalities in your dog, such as a lump or bump, a wound that won’t heal, swollen lymph nodes, lameness or inflammation in the bone, or unusual bleeding.

Early on, or even often, there may be few, if any, warning indications. If you detect any of these signs or your dog “just isn’t quite right,” don’t wait to speak with a reputable veterinarian. Not all dog cancers are included here, but some of the most frequent ones are.


Like mast cell tumors, melanoma tumors can develop on dogs’ skin. Most melanoma tumors are nonmalignant and straightforward to cure; however, malignant melanoma is far more severe. Unfortunately, malignant melanoma in dogs can rapidly metastasize or spread to other body parts. These tumors often have black pigmentation, yet they can also be colorless. 

Dogs with melanoma typically have it on their feet or in the area surrounding their lips. Suppose you noticed a dark red bump on your dog’s skin. If so, you should get your dog to an animal hospital that offers veterinary oncology services immediately so they can begin treating it and stop the cancer from spreading.

Liver Cancer

Sometimes there are no outwardly noticeable clinical indicators of liver cancer in dogs, making it a particularly deadly disease. This malignancy can be caused by several different malignant tumors, the most common of which is hepatocellular carcinoma. Typically, this type of tumor stays contained in the liver and does not spread.

Although older dogs are more likely to get liver cancer, it can affect dogs of any breed at any age. Because of their progressive decline in health, senior dogs require additional care and attention. Furthermore, regular visits to a geriatric veterinarian are the most excellent method to ensure their continued health and safety from potentially fatal diseases. If you want to learn what geriatric service is, click here


There are several types of canine bone cancer, but osteosarcoma is the most frequent. After adulthood, large-breed dogs, including poodles, are at high risk of developing bone tumors. This malignancy has the potential to spread rapidly and cause widespread illness. There are several potential adverse effects, but the most alarming is a sudden onset of lameness. 

Take your dog to the nearest diagnostic vet lab for an X-ray or MRI if this occurs.

The Takeaway

Watch for any unusual behavior or changes in your dog’s appearance. Some changes in the body that could indicate cancer develop gradually and are not always noticeable at first. A positive outcome is much more likely when it is discovered early. Checking for cancer at regular health visits with a veterinarian is a must. However, you may be more proactive about your dog’s health by frequently checking for warning signals. When in doubt, see a vet.