Dog Cancer Knowledge Base

These knowledge base articles are the core of DogCancer.com. Every article is carefully vetted. Each one is researched, written, and medically reviewed by at least four independent experts (veterinarians, cancer researchers, and science journalists. The result is organized, easy-to-understand explanations of everything relating to dog cancer. Whether you need to find out more about a prescription drug, a supplement, a food, or a medical procedure, these knowledgebase articles will give you medically sound, nuanced, and complete information. We update articles regularly, so you can always rely on the information you find.

Latest Articles

Veterinarians may recommend benadryl for dogs with certain types of cancer that produce excess histamine.

Benadryl for Dogs

Benadryl is an inexpensive, over-the-counter antihistamine medication that may be useful to enhance the effectiveness of current cancer therapies and to manage side effects in some dogs. read full article

Staging and grading cancer in dogs is critical to getting the best diagnosis and then the best treatment plan.

Staging and Grading Cancer in Dogs

Staging and grading cancer in dogs takes some time but is very helpful. It tells us how far cancer has spread and how aggressively it is likely to behave. This helps determine a dog’s prognosis... read full article

There are many symptoms of cancer in dogs, and unfortunately, many of them are also common symptoms in other illnesses.

Symptoms Of Cancer in Dogs

When we discuss symptoms of illness in dogs, we use the term signs, which is more accurate. Many of the signs of cancer in dogs are shared with other illnesses. Seeking care promptly is key. read full article

Every dog's death is unique to that dog's health and circumstances. However, there are some signs your dog is dying to be mindful of.

Signs Your Dog Is Dying

Knowing that your dog is nearing the end of his or her life can be challenging. But there are signs to look for so that you and your veterinary team can create a plan to... read full article

Diarrhea in dogs is upsetting, messy, and makes dogs miserable. Finding the cause is the key to getting it to stop!

Diarrhea in Dogs

Diarrhea in dogs is one of the most common reasons owners call their veterinarians. Its cause isn’t always immediately obvious, which can be frustrating. If your dog is otherwise healthy, an episode of diarrhea is... read full article

Are certain dog breeds prone to cancer? Yes ... and some are less prone to cancer.

Dog Breeds Prone To Cancer

While there are some breeds that have a higher risk of certain cancers, there is no predicting whether your specific puppy, whether purebred or mixed breed, will get cancer. If there is a breed you... read full article

genetics in dog cancer

Genetics in Canine Cancer

Hearing that your dog has cancer can be devastating. As an owner, you may be reflecting on the signs you missed, or speculating about things you could have done differently to prevent the disease. But... read full article

Genetic Mutations and Dog Cancer: An Overview

Changes in the DNA of some of your dog’s cells can greatly impact their cancer risk and its characteristics. read full article

Brussels Sprouts are delicious and packed with nutrition and cancer support.

Brussels Sprouts

Small but mighty, Brussels sprouts contain vitamins and nutrients that can help prevent canine cancer and stop it in its tracks. read full article

Fenbendazole for dogs is a dewormer that is being investigated for repurpose as a chemotherapy.

Fenbendazole for Dogs

Fenbendazole is a deworming drug used in many animals that is now under investigation as an anti-cancer drug. read full article

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Liver Cancer in Dogs

Liver cancer may sound like a terrifying diagnosis, but the liver has great regeneration capacity. Even if a large portion of the liver is damaged, injured, or surgically removed, the remaining healthy liver can rebuild... read full article

SAM-e for dogs is a good idea if there is a possibility of liver damage.

SAM-e for Dogs

SAM-e is a safe and well tolerated nutraceutical supplement with minimal side effects. It is a useful antioxidant for many inflammatory disease processes including cancer. Veterinarians may recommend SAM-e for dogs when using other drugs... read full article

Milk thistle for dogs with cancer is often recommended

Milk Thistle for Dogs (Silymarin)

Milk thistle is a supplement with powerful antioxidant properties that is used to treat and protect against liver damage. Milk thistle supplements may be especially beneficial for your dog when used with certain types of... read full article

Adiponectin is a protein that protects dogs from cancer. It's levels drop when a dog is overweight.

Adiponectin: Why Too Much Body Fat Can Be a Cancer Risk

Adiponectin is secreted by fat cells and has many potential anti-cancer benefits. Despite a greater number of fat cells in overweight dogs, they produce lower amounts of adiponectin than their leaner counterparts. Dogs with too... read full article

How to prevent cancer in dogs is not entirely known ... there are no guarantees your dog won't get cancer ... but certain strategies lower the risk and increase life quality!

Dog Cancer Prevention

Cancer cells grow due to a number of cellular changes including gene mutations and epigenetic (gene expression) factors. We cannot guarantee dog cancer prevention strategies will work, but we can influence our dog’s environment to... read full article

Lawn Chemicals Herbicides Pesticides are all implicated in cancer, and minimizing exposure for yourself and your dog is important.

Lawn Chemicals, Herbicides, and Pesticides

Traditional lawn chemicals, herbicides and pesticides are common in our outdoor spaces, and in the care of our dogs. Weed killer, topical flea medications, and insect sprays are everywhere on store shelves. Unfortunately, many of... read full article

It's pretty clear: stress in dogs is a cancer risk, and it can also get in the way of fighting cancer .

Stress in Dogs

Stress can weaken the immune system and shut down important bodily functions. This creates an environment for cancer to develop and thrive. The mind-body relationship is a complex system. Reducing stress in your dog’s life... read full article

epulis in dogs: An Akita in a field with mountains in the background.

Epulis in Dogs (Odontogenic Tumors)

An epulis tumor in your dog’s mouth may look scary, but many of them are completely treatable. Also called odontogenic tumors, these oral tumors in dogs arise from the teeth and associated structures. With early... read full article

histiocytoma in dogs

Histiocytoma in Dogs

Though they may look dangerous, histiocytomas in dogs are benign. These skin tumors are common in young dogs. They typically resolve on their own in a couple of months with limited to no treatment. read full article

Lipomas in dogs are benign. They tend to happen in dogs who are overweight.

Lipomas in Dogs

Chances are, if you have an older dog, you are familiar with “fatty tumors.” These benign (non-cancerous) growths appear on dogs of all shapes and sizes, especially as they age. The really great news is,... read full article

The dog melanoma vaccine is both helpful and safe.

Dog Melanoma Vaccine

Anti-cancer vaccines are tomorrow’s technology for today’s dog, offering a new approach to cancer therapy that activates and guides a pet’s own immune system to aggressively attack tumor cells. Since 2007, thousands of dogs have... read full article

melanomas in dogs can happen in many breeds, but chows have an elevated risk

Melanoma in Dogs

Melanoma in dogs can be an aggressive cancer, but good outcomes are possible if it is caught early. There are several treatments available with many studies currently underway to find even more. read full article

Nose cancer in dogs can occur in any breed, but long-nosed dogs may be at higher risk.

Nose Cancer in Dogs

Many nasal tumors are cancerous and aggressive. That said, early detection of nose cancer in dogs leads to a favorable response to treatment and a better prognosis. read full article

Mouth cancer in dogs can occur in many different cell types and many breeds of dogs, usually older dogs.

Mouth Cancer in Dogs

There are many types of cancer that occurs in the oral cavity. However, early detection of mouth cancer in dogs leads to a favorable response to treatment and a better prognosis. read full article

Nerve sheath tumors in dogs tend to occur in older dogs. Early detection and treatment leads to better outcomes.

Nerve Sheath Tumor in Dogs

Peripheral nerve sheath tumors grow from the cells that surround the peripheral nerves in your dog’s body. Peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs) can be managed with surgery, stereotactic radiotherapy, and pain medication, but commonly reoccur.... read full article

mistletoe

Mistletoe for Dogs with Cancer

Mistletoe is a natural therapy that may support and improve your dog’s quality of life while fighting canine cancer. read full article

Veterinarians use piroxicam for dogs experiencing pain, and also for bladder cancer.

Piroxicam For Dogs

An NSAID in use since 1972, veterinarians also use piroxicam for dogs with bladder cancer for its anti-cancer effects. read full article

Elspar for dogs with lymphoma is a drug commonly used as a rescue protocol.

Elspar for Dogs

L-Asparaginase (brand name Elspar) is an enzyme and an anti-cancer medication. Veterinarians use Elspar for dogs with certain immune system cancers, particularly lymphoma. This medication is fast-acting and has a high success rate, but it... read full article

Veterinarians may use vinblastine for dogs with cancer, depending upon the case and the protocol chosen.

Vinblastine for Dogs

Veterinary medicine borrows many medications from human medicine and utilizes research in humans to create studies to validate the drug's use in canine patients. Vinblastine for dogs is one of those drugs that we are... read full article

veterinarians recommend cimetidine for dogs with many different types of cancer

Cimetidine For Dogs

Cimetidine (brand name Tagamet) is a drug most often used to control acid production in the stomach. There is research showing cimetidine's potential to boost the effectiveness of other cancer therapies. read full article

Veterinarians use blood work for dogs with cancer to help find cancer, and monitor your dog's disease and treatment results.

Blood Work for Dogs

Whether your dog is ill, injured, or having a routine yearly wellness exam, your veterinarian will often want to start with blood work. A potential or confirmed cancer diagnosis is no exception. Blood work is... read full article

metronomic chemotherapy for dogs involves giving low doses of chemotherapy agents to your dog at home using pills

Metronomic Chemotherapy for Dogs

Metronomic chemotherapy is when anticancer drugs are given at a low dose on a regular schedule, often over a longer time period. There are several advantages over conventional chemotherapy. Metronomic chemo has increased tolerability – thus... read full article

Is chemotherapy worth it? In many cases, absolutely. It depends upon many factors.

Is Dog Chemotherapy Worth It?

Chemotherapy is fundamental in the treatment of many types of cancer in dogs. The goal of chemotherapy is a little different in dogs than in people. Oncologists aim for a gain in life expectancy over... read full article

doxycycline for dogs is an antibiotic that is sometimes used for its anti-cancer benefits.

Doxycycline For Dogs

Doxycycline is a commonly used antibiotic that shows promise for repurposing as a cancer treatment, particularly in the destruction of cancer stem cells. read full article

Pharmaceuticals in drinking water are a problem, especially for dogs who play in open waterways.

Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

There is a growing concern among pet owners about the levels of pharmaceuticals in their drinking water and the wetlands where dogs play. The good news is studies have shown that drinking water in our... read full article

Veterinarians use cisplatin for dogs with osteosarcoma and various carcinomas.

Cisplatin For Dogs

Cisplatin is an injectable anticancer drug that is used to treat a variety of cancers. Like so many of our anticancer drugs it has been ‘borrowed’ from human medicine and then applied to veterinary patients.... read full article

The mitotic index is a way to measure how many cells are dividing in a sample.

Mitotic Index

The mitotic index provides valuable information about your dog’s cancer, and it should be included on any pathology report. It gives you an idea of how fast a tumor is growing, which can help determine... read full article

Mitoxantrone For dogs with cancer is commonly used in lymphoma and bladder cancer.

Mitoxantrone For Dogs

Mitoxantrone is a chemotherapeutic and often used as part of a chemotherapy “cocktail.” Veterinary oncologists often use mitoxantrone for dogs with lymphoma and bladder cancer. read full article

antioxidants for dogs are a good idea, but not in excess.

Antioxidants for Dogs

Antioxidants are natural compounds found in many common fruits and vegetables. They can reduce free radicals and minimize the oxidative stress that contributes to canine cancer. Adding antioxidants to a dog’s diet is an easy... read full article

leukemia in dogs is rare, but golden retrievers and german shepherds are at higher risk.

Leukemia In Dogs

Leukemia is an aggressive blood cancer, but thankfully it is uncommon in dogs. The treatment options and likely outcomes vary widely based on the type of leukemia your dog has. read full article

reasons not to neuter your dog

Are There Reasons Not to Neuter Your Dog?

Spaying and neutering are the most commonly performed surgeries on dogs in the United States. Yet, there may be reasons not to neuter your dog, or to wait to do it. It is estimated that... read full article

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Anal Sac Cancer in Dogs

Anal sac cancer in dogs can metastasize and be deadly, but a cure is possible for anal gland tumors with early, prompt, aggressive treatment. read full article

Squamous cell carcinomas in dogs can occur in many different places in the body.

Squamous Cell Carcinomas in Dogs

Many squamous cell carcinomas in dogs can be completely surgically removed if caught early – and that could be curative. read full article

the median survival time meaning is often misunderstood. It sounds like a "real" number, but it doesn't apply to any specific dog.

Median Survival Time Meaning

When discussing cancer treatment, median survival time (MST) is a way of communicating how well a treatment may work to extend life. One way to think of it is as your dog’s “50/50” date -... read full article

artemisinin for dogs, a promising anti-cancer drug that may not be well absorbed in dogs.

Artemisinin

Artemisinin has a long history of use in the treatment of malaria, but also shows promise as an anti-cancer agent either on its own or alongside other treatment modalities. Newly developed derivatives may offer increased... read full article

Fine needle aspiration is a common diagnostic test for dogs with suspicious masses.

Fine Needle Aspiration for Dogs

A fine needle aspirate is one of the most valuable diagnostic tests used when screening for dog cancer. read full article

vinorelbine is a vinca alkaloid chemotherapy drug

Vinorelbine

Vinorelbine is in a class of chemotherapy agents called vinca alkaloids which are commonly used in veterinary medicine. Vinorelbine has been shown to be useful in treating lung tumors as well as some of the... read full article

Veterinarians suggest cyclophosphamide for dogs with cancers like lymphoma, leukemia, carcinomas, and sarcomas.

Cyclophosphamide For Dogs

Cyclophosphamide is a potent chemotherapeutic available to treat many forms of canine cancer. It has shown success in improving quality of life and life expectancy of canine patients; however, it comes with many harsh side... read full article

There is no official dog cancer diet, like there is for kidney or heart disease or for diabetes.

Dog Cancer Diet Guidelines

While there is no one-size-fits all recipe for the perfect dog cancer diet, there are a number of easy steps you can take to give your dog a nutritional boost on his cancer journey. read full article

Wei Qi Booster for dogs may be recommended if your dog has cancer, but be sure not to double dose herbs.

Wei Qi Booster for Dogs

Wei Qi Booster is a Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) formula that contains a combination of herbs used to boost the immune system. Pronounced “way chee,” the phrase translates to “defense system,” or as referred... read full article

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