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Information on Seizures in Dogs

Canine cancer is a common ailment seen senior dogs but cancer can also affect dogs of other ages. This disease is an important illness because of the costs associated with treatment as well as the fact that most cases end fatally.

What is cancer?

This occurs when cells grow at a faster rate than they should. Cancers can either be malignant or benign in form. Malignant cancer is the worst form since it grows fast and can spread to the surrounding tissues.

Cancer may affect different parts of the body. However, in canines there are some areas that are more commonly affected such as the skin, bone, mammary glands (female), as well as the brain.

Some breeds are more prone to cancers than are others. Breeds such as golden and Labrador retrievers, Bernese mountain dogs and boxers have been found to have a high incidence of cancer than other dogs.

Signs to look for that dogs with cancer exhibit

Any abnormal masses should be checked by a vet. Look out especially for bumps that change in appearance or start to bleed. To diagnose what type of cancer it is, a biopsy is usually taken and composition examined under a microscope. Tumours are described based on what cells are seen in a histological section of the mass.

Based on where the tumour has formed the signs will vary.

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- Swellings that increase in size

- Loss of appetite

- Bleeding lumps

Any change in behaviour by your dog may be sign that your dog is feeling unwell. Take your dog for a check-up and let the veterinarian advice you on what to do. Most cancers are treatable if caught early.

Types of cancer

Mammary gland tumours: These are seen in female dogs. If you do not intend to breed your dog, it is highly advised that you have her spayed as this will greatly reduce the incidence of such kind of tumours. They will appear as lumps on or near the nipples. These lumps start out small but they will increase in size and may later spread to affect the lymph nodes.

Osteosarcoma(Bone tumours): These mostly affect the larger breeds but can be seen in any breed. They affect bones in various parts of the body, especially in the long bones such as humerus and femur. Signs in this kind of cancer may be lameness in the affected limb, pain and reluctance to move.

Lymphoma: This is cancer affecting the lymph nodes. It causes swelling of the affected lymph nodes. Since lymph nodes are present in many parts of the body, the signs will depend on which lymph nodes are affected. Some of these lymph nodes can be palpated from the outside using your hand you can try to feel the lymph nodes present in front of the shoulder blade.

Brain tumours: These mostly occur in older dogs. They may originate from the brain or they may be due to a tumour in another part of the body that metastasizes to the brain. They localize in various parts of the brain. Signs that may be observed include seizures and behaviour changes.

Dogs that have been diagnosed with cancer should be fed nutritious meals that will keep them healthy and slow down progress of the cancer. Stay away from food with any artificial preservatives or colours.

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