Cancer in
Dogs & Cats

When your pet is diagnosed with cancer, it can be a stressful time for both you and your pet. Yet, with significant advances in veterinary medicine and pet oncology, we’re able to offer effective treatments for cancer in dogs and cats. With our partnership with Private Veterinary Services LLC, we’re able to perform a range of treatments to give your pet the best chance of achieving remission.

Common Types of Cancer

Certain types of cancer are more prevalent in dogs and others are more prevalent in cats. At Westfield Veterinary Group, our team has the experience to treat a wide range of cat and dog cancers. Some of the more common types we treat include:

Common types of cancer in dogs

  • Mast cell tumors – These tumors typically form on the skin and can be anywhere from benign to extremely aggressive.
  • Melanoma – This type of cancer is most common as an oral cancer, often seen in breeds with dark tongues and gums. However, they can be found anywhere on the body.
  • Lymphoma – One of the most common cancers seen in dogs, lymphoma often appears as swollen lymph nodes.
  • Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) – Found most often in large breed dogs, osteosarcoma can affect any bone and can spread rapidly.
  • Hemangiosarcoma – A type of blood cancer, hemangiosarcoma commonly attacks the spleen, but can also develop in the liver, heart, and skin.
  • Mammary gland carcinomas – These tumors are the most common in unspayed female dogs. They often start as a small nodule near a nipple that quickly grows. These tumors are often malignant. Spaying a dog before her first heat cycle significantly reduces her risk of this cancer.

Common types of cancer in cats

  • Lymphoma – Just as in dogs, lymphoma affects lymphoid tissue (lymph nodes) and often appears as swollen glands. The cancerous cells can easily spread throughout the body, but with early detection and treatment, the cancer can go into remission.
  • Mammary cancer – Again, this cancer is similar to that found in dogs, and can affect older, unspayed females. Spaying your cat before her first heat cycle significantly reduces her risk of developing the disease.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) – This type of cancer is the most common of feline skin tumors. Tumors typically develop on light, hairless skin such as the nose, eyelids, and ears.
  • Fibrosarcoma – This aggressive tumor develops from fibrous connective tissue and is difficult to treat, although early detection and fast treatment can increase the chance for remission.

Signs of Cancer in Dogs & Cats

Just as in human medicine, detecting cancer early gives your pet the best chance of making a full recovery. Watch for these signs of cancer and contact us immediately for an appointment if you notice any of them:

  • Abnormal swellings that persist or grow
  • Sores that do not heal
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • An unusual or offensive odor that does not dissipate with washing
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

What to Expect with Cancer Treatments

Our treatment options include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation therapy consultations
  • Multi-modality treatment protocols
  • Pain management and other palliative care as necessary

Our goal throughout treatment is to reduce any risk of side effects and help your pet maintain their quality of life. With surgery, we take every precaution necessary to reduce any risk with anesthesia, and will provide appropriate pain medication for their continued comfort. As for chemotherapy and radiation, pets often take the treatment very well and only suffer from mild side effects. Some nausea and vomiting may occur, as well as lethargy, but more often than not, pets bounce back from the treatment very quickly!

If you have any questions or concerns about our veterinary oncology services or about cancer in dogs and cats, please don’t hesitate to contact us!