Commonly Heard Pet Cancer Names
The cancers below are words you never want to hear either from a human doctor or a veterinarian. Unfortunately I have encountered all of these in my own “kids” over the years as I am certain some of you have encountered in your personal lives. There are more available treatments than there were 25 years ago but not by much. There are medications that can help reduce the pain but all in all I just refer to them as the kiss of death. The important thing is to make sure you ask your veterinarian exactly what the best guess is on treatment. Do what you feel is right for your pet not what is right for you.
A cancerous tumor of blood vessel cells of which the common locations are the spleen, skin, liver and most often the heart.
- Heart-based: The heart is enclosed in a sac called the “pericardium.” When the hemangiosarcoma bleeds, the blood fills up that sac until it is so full that the heart is under so much pressure and has no room to fill with the blood it has to pump. The most common method of relieving pressure and draining blood is by inserting a needle into the sac to drain excess blood. Chemotherapy is the only known option with a low success rate.
- Spleen-based: People and dogs can live without a spleen. Actually not many people even think about that organ unless something goes wrong. Oddly, for not being a really important part, it actually does a great deal. It is shaped like a loose fist and hangs out in the upper left part of your abdominal cavity and is the largest lymph organ. It filters out foreign organisms that infect blood, removes old or damaged platelets and red blood cells and stores extra blood. Even with taking the spleen out, it is not the best outlook.
Also called lymphosarcoma -A cancerous disease that affects the lymph nodes and can also move to the liver, spleen and bone marrow. Lymphocytes are the primary cells of the lymph system. When lymphocytes become cancerous within a lymph node, the node swells and hardens. These show up as lumpy bumps on the skin and sometimes by feel you can judge whether it is just a fatty tumor or not. It has the ability of metastasizing, or growing like wildfire. This is tad better news than the others but even in humans prognosis is not all that great. Again chemotherapy is the only known treatment.
Tumor of the bone but as long as it has not metastasized to other areas prognosis can be more hopeful than the above mentioned. Osteosarcoma the most common bone tumor of the dog, usually going after the leg bones and usually in large breed dogs. It is a painful cancer and since the bone is destroyed from the inside out. Amputation of the limb is sometimes the only option