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Bladder Cancer - Bladder cancer occurs in dogs with some breeds at higher risk than

others (West highland Terriers for example). This is a slow developing cancer
and pets may not show symptoms for 3 to 6 months. Once symptoms occur, urinary
obstruction and bleeding is common.

Brain Tumors - Tumors in the brain may occur in dogs as primary or as metastatic
tumors. Epileptic-like seizures or other extreme behavioral changes may be the only
clinical signs. CAT scanning will allow precise localization of these lesions. Surgical
excision followed by radiation therapy is the indicated treatment if the tumor is in an
accessible portion of the skull. Radiation therapy alone can control some inoperable
tumors.

Mammary Carcinoma - Female dogs are at high risk for developing malignant
mammary tumors. Mammary tumors are the most common types of tumors in
non-spayed female dogs. While 50 percent of these tumors are malignant, complete
surgical removal is sometimes curative if the cancer has not metastasized.

Mast Cell Tumors - A common malignant tumor in dogs is the mast cell tumor. Mast
cells are immune cells that are responsible for allergies. Mast cells can be found
in all tissues of the body but typically form tumors on the skin in close to 20 percent in
the canine population. MCTs range from relatively benign to extremely aggressive,
leading to tumor spread and eventual death. Particular breeds of dog are at risk for the
development of this tumor, indicating a role for genetic factors.

Malignant Histiocytosis - Malignant histiocytosis (MH), while rare in people, occurs


frequently in certain breeds of dogs including Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers,
Flat-Coated Retrievers and Bernese Mountain Dogs. There is no reported effective
therapy for this disease. Recent work suggests Lomustine (CCNU) is helpful in
extending dog survival. It occurs with high incidence in Bernese Mountain Dogs,
Rottweilers, Flat Coated Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and sporadically in many other
breeds. Histiocytic sarcomas occur as localized lesions in spleen, lymph nodes, lung,
bone marrow, skin and subcutis, brain, and periarticular tissue of large
appendicular(limb) joints. Histiocytic sarcomas can also occur as multiple lesions in
single organs (especially spleen), and rapidly disseminate to involve multiple
organs. Hence, disseminated histiocytic sarcoma is difficult to distinguish from MH,
which is a multi-system, rapidly progressive disease in which there is
simultaneous involvement of multiple organs such as spleen, lymph nodes, lung, bone
marrow, skin and subcutis. Response of histiocytic sarcomas and MH to
chemotherapy is at best brief.

Squamous Cell Carcinomas - Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common
cancers found in dogs. Common sites are the mouth and the toes (nailbeds).
Early detection and complete surgical removal is the treatment of choice and fewer than
20% develop metastatic disease. SCC of the tonsil and tongue are quite
aggressive and fewer than 10% survive 1 year or longer despite treatment measures.
Head & Neck - Cancer of the mouth is common in dogs. Signs to watch for are a mass
on the gums, bleeding, odor, or difficulty eating. Since many swellings are
malignant, early, aggressive treatment is essential. Cancer may also develop inside the
nose of dogs. Bleeding from the nose, breathing difficulty, or facial swelling are
symptoms that may indicate cancer and should be checked by your veterinarian.

Hemangiosarcoma is an incurable tumor of cells that line blood vessels (endothelial


cells). Although dogs of any age and breed are susceptible to
hemangiosarcoma, it occurs more commonly in dogs beyond middle age, and in breeds
such as Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Portuguese Water
Dogs, and Skye Terriers, among others. Hemangiosarcoma develops slowly and is
essentially painless so clinical signs are usually not evident until the advanced
stages when the tumors are resistant to most treatments. Less than 50% of dogs treated
with standard-of-care of care for this tumor (surgery and intensive
chemotherapy) survive more than six months. Many dogs die from severe internal
bleeding before there is an opportunity to institute treatment.

Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers seen in dogs and probably occurring 2 to
5 times as frequently in dogs than in people. Although there are breeds that
appear to be at increased risk for this disease, lymphoma can affect any dog of any breed
at any age. Most of the time, lymphoma appears as swollen glands (lymph
nodes) that can be seen or felt under the neck, in front of the shoulders, or behind the
knee. Occasionally, lymphoma can affect lymph nodes that are not visible or
palpable from outside the body, such as those inside the chest or in the abdomen. In these
cases, dogs may accumulate fluid in the chest that makes breathing
difficult, or they may have digestive problems (diarrhea, vomiting, or painful abdomen).
Lymphoma is generally considered treatable. Multi-agent chemotherapy
consisting of L-asparaginase, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and
prednisone, is the standard-of-care for this disease. However, there are various
subtypes of lymphoma that exhibit different behaviors, and some of the more aggressive
types are unresponsive to any available treatment.

Melanoma occurs commonly in dogs with pigmented (dark) skin. Melanomas arise from
pigment producing cells called melanocytes, which are responsible for
coloring the skin. Any dog can be affected, but Gordon Setters, Standard and Miniature
Schnauzers, Doberman Pinschers, and Scottish terriers, among others, are at
increased risk to develop melanoma, suggesting that this disease may have a hereditary
component. Melanomas can occur in areas of haired skin, where they usually
form small, dark (brown to black) lumps, but can also appear as large, flat, wrinkled
masses. Melanoma of the haired skin in dogs is usually a benign tumor, although it
can cause severe discomfort. In contrast, malignant melanoma, which develops in the
mouth or in the distal limbs (usually the toenail beds), is an incurable disease.
These tumors have very often spread to distant parts of the body (metastasized) by the
time they are first noticed, making complete surgical removal impossible.
Radiation therapy can help extend the lives of affected dogs, but also is ineffective
against tumor cells that have metastasized. Chemotherapy is also not considered
capable of adequately controlling canine malignant melanoma. Melanoma seems to be
uniquely responsive to immune-based therapies, and various novel
approaches are under development to treat this disease.

Osteosarcoma is the most common type of primary bone cancer in dogs, accounting for
up to 85% of tumors that originate in the skeletal system. Although it is mostly
a disease of older large or giant breed dogs, it can affect dogs of any size or age.
Osteosarcoma may be found in many areas, but it most commonly affects the bones
bordering the shoulder, wrist and knee. The first sign an owner usually sees with this
disease is lameness in the affected leg. They may also notice a swelling over the
area or their dog may seem painful at the site. The tumors are very aggressive and
metastatic, so it is a fair assumption that at the time of diagnosis the disease will
have already spread beyond the primary site. For this reason, the standard-of-care for
bone cancer includes surgery to remove the primary tumor, followed by
chemotherapy to attack the cells that have left the site. In dogs, approximately 50%
survive one year with standard-of-care, less than 30% survive 2 years, and less than
10% reach 3 years.

- Testicular tumors are common in dogs, especially those with retained testes. Most of
these cancers are preventable with castration (neutering) and curable
with surgery if done early in the disease process.