How Common Is Stomach Cancer in Dogs? A Quick Guide to Canine Gastric Carcinoma

BY | January 04 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
How Common Is Stomach Cancer in Dogs?

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While stomach cancer in dogs is fairly rare, certain dog breeds are predisposed to this life-threatening illness. Learn more in this article.

Canine gastric carcinoma, also known as stomach cancer in dogs, is a type of cancer that affects the stomach, a muscular sac located in the upper left side of the abdomen. While stomach cancer is relatively uncommon in dogs, it can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.

Is stomach cancer in dogs rare?

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is relatively uncommon in dogs compared to other types of cancer. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), stomach cancer accounts for less than 5% of all cancers diagnosed in dogs. However, the prevalence of stomach cancer can vary depending on the breed of dog. 

There are several different types of stomach cancer that can affect dogs, including adenocarcinoma, leiomyosarcoma, and lymphoma. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach cancer in dogs and typically affects older dogs. Leiomyosarcoma is a more aggressive form of stomach cancer that can occur in dogs of any age. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the immune system and can also occur in the stomach.

It is important to note that stomach cancer can be difficult to diagnose in dogs because the symptoms can be vague and may not appear until cancer has progressed to advanced stages. Some common symptoms of stomach cancer in dogs include vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it is important to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Breed predisposition to stomach cancer in dogs

Certain breeds of dogs may have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer than others. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Scottish Terriers and Basset Hounds have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer than other breeds. Other breeds that may be at an increased risk for stomach cancer include:

  • Shar Pei

  • Belgian Tervuren

  • Bouvier des Flandres

  • Boxers

  • Groenendael

  • Collie

  • Standard poodle

  • Norwegian elkhound

  • Doberman Pinschers.

It is important to note that while certain breeds may be more prone to developing stomach cancer, this does not mean that every member of these breeds will develop the disease. Many factors, including diet, environment, and genetics, can contribute to the development of stomach cancer in dogs.

If your dog’s breed has a genetic predisposition to stomach cancer, consider giving them omega-3 supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation and boost your dog’s overall physical health. That, in turn, helps minimize the risk of cancer. Vitamin supplements for dogs also come in handy here.

How long do dogs with stomach cancer live?

The prognosis for dogs with stomach cancer depends on a variety of factors, including the stage of cancer, the type of cancer, and the dog’s health conditions. In general, the earlier the cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of a successful outcome.

If stomach cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, treatment may involve surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. In more advanced cases, treatment may involve chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The effectiveness of these treatments can vary depending on the specific case.

It is important to note that chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be painful to your dog. That is in addition to the pain caused by cancerous tumors. Keep corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as previcox, to ease your dog’s pain. Consult with your vet about proper dosage and potential side effects.

The survival rate for dogs with stomach cancer can also vary depending on the type of cancer. For example, adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach cancer in dogs and tends to have a better prognosis than other types of stomach cancer, such as leiomyosarcoma.

It is important to note that the prognosis for dogs with stomach cancer can be difficult to predict. Some dogs may respond well to treatment and have a good quality of life, while others may have a more difficult time. It is important to discuss the potential outcomes and treatment options with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your dog.

What age do dogs get stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, can occur in dogs of any age, although it is more commonly seen in older dogs. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the median age at diagnosis for dogs with stomach cancer is 10 years. Some types of stomach cancer, such as adenocarcinoma, are more common in older dogs, while other types, such as leiomyosarcoma, can occur in dogs of any age.

If your dog experiences digestive problems and you are concerned about the risk of stomach cancer, it is important to consult a veterinarian for guidance. Your veterinarian can provide information on ways to reduce the risk of stomach cancer in your dog and help you develop a plan for monitoring and managing your dog's health. Early detection and treatment of stomach cancer can greatly improve the chances of a successful outcome for your dog.

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