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Cancer in Dogs: Everything You Should Know

We understand that finding a lump on your dog can be alarming, but not all lumps and bumps are cancerous. Our veterinarians in Turlock discuss common types of cancer in dogs, including their symptoms and treatment options.

Types of Cancer in Dogs

You may be surprised to know that dogs can develop many of the same types of cancer as humans, with similar symptoms. Some of the common types of cancer that dogs can get include:

  • Melanoma—Skin tumors are often found in dogs' feet and mouths. Melanoma may quickly spread to other areas of your dog's body and is often malignant. 
  • Mast Cell Tumor - Depending on the location, these tumors can also be found on the skin and may be difficult to remove. However, this type of cancer can be cured - if the tumor is detected early and fully removed. 
  • Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer) - The most common type of bone cancer found in dogs can affect any breed, though larger breeds tend to be impacted more often. 
  • Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma - This form of cancer is highly common in dogs, and quite a few treatment options are available. Most vets are experienced in treating this disease. 
  • Hemangiosarcoma - Your dog will require emergency intervention for this form of cancer, which can quickly be fatal. Hemangiosarcoma is often found in blood vessels and internal organs, though it may occasionally be found on the skin. These tumors may grow quite large, bleeding into the pericardium. 
  • Fibrosarcoma - This slow-spreading form of cancer in dogs can be tricky to treat. Radiation and amputation may be necessary to prevent a recurrence.

Signs & Symptoms of Cancer in Dogs

It's unfortunate that dogs don't always show signs of illness. Even certain types of cancer can be difficult to detect through blood work. However, there are some symptoms you can look out for that may indicate the development of cancer.

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, booking an appointment with an oncology specialist at Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital as soon as possible is important. Early detection is key to achieving positive treatment outcomes when it comes to cancer.

  • Sores that don't heal
  • Bleeding or discharge
  • Lumps or bumps beneath the skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained Weight loss
  • Lethargy, depression, disinterest in exercise
  • Difficult or painful breathing or coughing
  • Straining when going to the bathroom
  • Strong odor
  • Challenges when eating or swallowing
  • Swelling
  • Pain or difficulty walking, lameness or stiffness


As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial to be observant of any changes in your dog's behavior and pay attention to any lumps or bumps that may appear while petting it. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.

During the appointment, your vet may perform a biopsy or other tests and examine your dog's body for lumps. It is important to note that only your vet will be able to determine whether or not your dog has cancer, and early detection plays a crucial role in your dog's chances of survival.

Therefore, be sure to watch out for any changes in your dog's behavior and seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog displaying signs of cancer? Contact our Turlock vets to book an appointment immediately.

New Patients Welcome

Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Turlock companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

(209) 634-0023

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