Dogs and cancer

Narrated from: Dog Health

Can dogs get cancer?

Unfortunately – yes. One of the worst of human fates befalls man’s best friend as well.

Cancer is the leading cause of death among dogs over the age of 10. Some statistics estimate that about 50% of older dogs get cancer. The mortality rates are high, but many types of cancer can be cured if they are found early enough.

Why do so many dogs suffer from cancer?

It is still unknown why so many dogs suffer from cancer. It is often presumed that this is a result of bad diet, or of high levels of stress.

Other people believe that the pesticides and poisons in our environment are to blame.

However, the leading view is that the high levels of cancer are due to the fact that many people take good care of their dogs. This means that many dogs live to old age, and older dogs are just more vulnerable to the disease.

Are some dogs more prone to cancer than others?

Genetics play a role here – some dog breeds are more vulnerable to cancer than others. This is especially true for Golden Retrievers – 60% of these beautiful dogs die of cancer. Boxers, Flatcoated Retrievers and Bernese Mountain dogs also have levels of cancer mortality higher than the average.

What types of cancers are there?

Cancer can basically affect any part of the body. There are brain tumors, cancers in the mouth, skin cancers, blood diseases, mammary cancers and (alas!) many, many more.


• A lump on the dog’s body
• Any change in size, shape or consistency of an existing lump
• Blood running from the nose
• Difficulty urinating
• Bloody urine
• Straining to defecate
• Limping, or any change in gait
• Foul breath, excessive drooling, teeth that have "moved"
• Drainage and odor from ears
• Increased water intake
• Lethargy, lack of appetite

Of course, keep it in mind that many of these symptoms could indicate a number of diseases, so there is no cause for panic; what such symptoms show is that it is time to take a trip to the vet.

Cancer prevention

It is hard to recommend any precautions, since it is basically unknown what causes cancer at all!

It is advisable to spay a female dog at an early age, since spaying greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors.

A healthy diet, taking good care of the dog and keeping it happy, limiting any smoke in the dog’s environment, etc. are some of the common precautions that help dogs live longer!

to top of the page
Previous Next

Other articles that might interest you::