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Stomach Cancer in Dogs

Stomach Cancer in Dogs

Stomach cancer in dogs is typically marked by frequent bowel movement, abdominal discomfort, and dark tarry stools. To know more about treatment for this medical condition, read on...
Nicks J
It is observed that stomach cancer, is more prominent in dog breeds such as the Belgian sheepdog, the Keeshond and the Scottish terrier. Surprisingly, puppies are rarely affected with this medical condition and most reported cases are seen in dogs that are more than 8-10 years old. There are different types of stomach cancers occurring in dogs, the most common being leiomyosarcoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, lymphoma, and mast cell tumor.

Difficulty digesting food is the most common symptom. As a result, their appetite drastically decreases leading to weight loss. Other symptoms of this medical condition are given below:
  • Vomiting with traces of blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark tarry stools
  • Weakness and lethargy
Like humans, canine stomach cancer is also treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is most effective when given in the early stages of cancer. Radiation therapy, to some extent can be beneficial to stop the spread of cancer cells. But many times, radiation is not recommended, as organs close to the stomach are likely to get damaged.

In most cases, the cancerous growth is taken out of the body using surgery. Large tumors that allow only small amount of food to enter the stomach, require bypass surgery. Surgical procedure is ineffective if the cancer cells have spread to other organs. In some cases, surgery followed by chemotherapy drugs is effective to limit the progression of cancer. Localized tumors, when removed, enhance the quality of life and may even restore normal health of your dog.

Malignant Cancer
Most stomach tumors detected are highly malignant. A dog diagnosed with malignant tumor has a very less probability of survival. This is because, surgical removal of the tumor provides only temporary relief, as the tumor returns within 6-8 months and rapidly spreads to the other parts of the body. A malignant stomach cancer (carcinomas) in dogs is always life-threatening due to its ability to invade adjacent organs such as the liver and the lungs. Dogs with malignant tumors generally do not live for more than 6-8 months.

In order to relieve the pain, there are medications available that are often recommended by most veterinarians. These medicines have been quite effective to keep the pain to a minimum tolerable level. Other treatment options that have been helpful in easing your pet's discomfort are as follows:
  • Herbal solutions
  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupuncture
A diet that is specifically designed, keeping the dog's health in mind, can surely help to increase the lifespan of your dog by a few months. Conventional treatment supplemented with homeopathic capsules, can also help to improve your pet's quality of life.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.