Bladder Cancer In Dogs
Cancer is something that many pet owners fear, just as we might fear finding it in ourselves or other human family members.
One of the best ways you can help your pet is to have a firm understanding of this illness, any symptoms it may show and what your options are for treating it. In many cases, symptoms may not become present with this illness until it has become quite serious.
Because of that, the more you know about your dog's behaviors and habits, the sooner you can notice anything that might be abnormal. The sooner you notice issues, the earlier your dog can be treated, giving them better chances for survival overall. We all want our beloved pets to get through these illnesses!
What Is Bladder Cancer In Dogs?
Generally speaking, there are different kinds of cancers that can effect your pet's bladder. While knowing about them all is certainly helpful, it's a good idea to at least be aware of the most serious type, known as Transitional Cell Carcinoma, or TCC.
TCC is a kind of cancer cell that is known to be quite dangerous. It's an aggressive illness, which tends to make its way into the urethra as well as the ureter, resulting in blockages that can make it more difficult for your pet to urinate.
Because it is so aggressive, this is also a cancer type that is very likely to spread to lymph nodes in the area. It can also move into other organs by traveling via the bloodstream. As a result, it's best to get your pet to a vet as quickly as possible if you notice any of the symptoms we'll mention in this article, or abnormal habits surrounding urination.
Causes Of Bladder Cancer In Dogs
There can be a couple of different factors that contribute to your pet's chances of developing bladder cancer. These include factors that are genetic, environmental or a combination of the two. Because of that, there are different breeds that are more susceptible and substances known to be associated with it.
For example, environmental factors can include things like certain insecticides or pesticides as well as flea dips that you may use on your pet. In addition, secondhand smoke is linked to this kind of cancer, so it's important to keep that away from your pets as much as possible.
On top of that, some breeds are more likely to develop the illness than others. These may include:
- Shetland Sheepdogs
- Scottish Terriers
- Wirehair Fox Terriers
In addition, overweight dogs can be more likely to develop bladder cancer. Keep in mind that if your dog is at a healthy weight and not one of the breeds listed here, they can still develop this illness. It just may be less likely.
Dog Bladder Cancer Symptoms
Just like most other illnesses, there are symptoms alongside canine bladder cancer that can let you know when it's time to get your dog to the vet.
With regard to this illness, it's important to not only know the signs of bladder cancer in dogs, but also understand the differences between symptoms that might show up with bladder cancer and those you'll see with a Urinary Tract Infection.
Symptoms for bladder cancer can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent urination
- Lack of appetite
- Breathing troubles
- Straining to urinate
If your dog is experiencing incontinence, it's best to get them to a vet. While some dogs with urinary incontinence can use natural remedies to fix the situation, it's not always a sure thing. The same is true dogs having trouble urinating.
That said, in both cases it's a good idea to get your pet to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. In most cases, it will be a trip that allows you to get that infection cleared up. In rarer, but more serious cases, your pet will be getting the help they need to fight the cancerous cells.
Bladder Cancer In Cats
Bladder cancer can also occur in cats. Symptoms of this can include blood in the urine, frequent urination and straining to urinate. If your cat is displaying these symptoms, make sure to get them to the vet as soon as possible.
Natural Methods Of Easing Bladder Cancer Symptoms
While there aren't any natural substances that are known to kill off cancer completely, there are options out there that can aid your pet with their symptoms, particularly pain. These natural pain relievers are worth looking into for helping your pet to be a little more comfortable during treatment.
Boswellia comes from tree bark. It is a resin, which is also known as frankincense to many. Essentially, this is a substance that works to cease the creation of something called leukotrienes, which result in inflammation in the body. This is done with the help of specialized phytochemicals.
Things like inflammation and arthritis can be assisted when frankincense is used in combination with turmeric. Keep in mind that if you decide to try out this option, it's wise to look for options that are designed for dogs. Human dosages will be too high for your pet, and it can be difficult to cut them down to the correct size.
Comfrey is an option that is actually known to assist with cancer symptoms. It makes use of allantoin, which can help in the process of helping cells to reproduce more quickly. In addition to that, rosmarinic acid is useful in relieving pain as an anti-inflammatory.
Typically, you can just add a small amount of dried comfrey leaves into your pet's food. Depending on the size of your dog, this might be anywhere from a teaspoon to half a teaspoon. If you're uncertain about the ideal amount for your pet, check with your vet to make sure!
Licorice is another substance that is great for handling inflammation in the body. Some find it to be a great substance to use in treating things like arthritis, but the inflammation-fighting properties in the substance can also be fantastic for helping with cancer symptoms.
Many like to use a tincture, and ideally one that has a very low alcohol content. This tends to be the easiest way for dogs to digest the substance. Typically, you can provide anywhere from 12 to 20 drops for each 20lbs your dog weighs. It make take a little trial and error to get find the best dosage!
Bladder Cancer Treatment
Unfortunately, bladder cancers, like TCC in dogs, is a type of cancer that can form and spread very quickly. As a result, it's typically in an advanced state by the time vets are able to diagnose it. That said, it's not something that is impossible to treat.
The following are methods veterinarians use to treat different forms of cancer, and how effective they can be for bladder cancer.
Chemotherapy is something many of us are familiar with in terms of cancer treatments. There are many kinds of cancer that it can be quite effective on, but it may not be as effective on bladder cancer.
While there can be issues with chemotherapy medications resulting in renal problems often in dogs, it can be useful in helping to get rid of the cancer cells. One of the medications that can be used to treat cancer as part of chemotherapy is piroxicam for dogs. Understanding this medication, as well as the others involved can be useful to pet owners going through cancer with their pets.
At this point, chemotherapy for this type of cancer can be a risky course, but your vet can help you to determine if it might be the right choice for your pet.
Cryotherapy involves using extremely cold temperatures in an effort to kill off cancer cells in your dog's body. This practice includes placing substances like liquid nitrogen on the area the cancerous cells are located in.
Typically, this process doesn't include any actual surgery, though it can be an uncomfortable process. That said, it is decently effective in freezing and killing off the cells. While considering this route, it's worth keeping in mind that the freezing temperatures can effect tissue in the surrounding area.
Surgery in the bladder can be a difficult thing, due to the fragility of the location. However, in some cases it may be recommended that part of the bladder be removed in an effort to get rid of cancerous cells.
In addition, Transitional Cell Carcinoma in dogs can result in obstructions in the area that lead to an inability to urinate. Naturally, this is something that vets would want to remove. When your vet takes the necessary steps and procedures by use of ultrasounds, radiographs, and laboratory tests, they will be able to determine if surgery is going to be necessary.
Radiotherapy makes use of radiation for the sake of aiding in breaking up tumors and killing cancer cells. Often, it is used in combination with chemotherapy medication like piroxicam for dogs to ensure the best possible results. That said, it can result in a decent amount of discomfort in the bladder and areas around it.
It's worth keeping in mind that using both chemotherapy and radiotherapy is typically the most effective choice, but it does tend to be more effective than chemotherapy when you're considering one or the other.
Hyperthermy is a type of treatment that is similar to cryotherapy, but it makes use of heat rather than cold temperatures. Through the use of high levels of heat, cancer cells can be destroyed. This is a very specialized procedure, so it's best to make sure the person performing it is highly trained.
If you're curious about this treatment option for your pet, talk to your veterinarian to see if they think it will be effective.
How Long Can A Dog Live With Bladder Cancer?
Bladder tumors and cancers in dogs can differ depending on the type and how far along the cancer is. Often, it can be quite an aggressive illness and the symptoms tend to show up late. That said, only your vet will be able to tell the prognosis for your unique pet.
CBD For Dogs
There are a number of new findings and experiences out there that can give you an idea of just how helpful CBD can be for a huge variety of conditions and illnesses. In addition, it can also be given to healthy dogs and help to keep them in good shape!
No matter what the situation, it's likely that CBD can be helpful. It's great for relieving inflammation that causes pain in the body, and is even thought to potentially assist in killing off cancer cells. In any case, it's worth trying out!
CBD For Bladder Cancer
By itself, CBD isn't a substance that can cure bladder cancer in your pet. However, it can be very helpful for keeping the symptoms of cancer in check. It's a great option for handling pain and can also improve appetite and reduce issues with nausea.
Consequently, CBD can be an extremely useful tool for pets going through cancer treatments. Many of us are aware just how difficult and uncomfortable those treatments can be, so it's nice to know there is a natural substance that can help your pet as they heal, making things a little easier.
Top CBD Products
Quality ingredients are key when it comes to purchasing a CBD product. The hemp plants that are grown for the purpose of providing CBD can be rather absorbent, so it's generally a good idea to go with a product that is organic. That way, you can trust that the CBD your pet is receiving is safe.
It's also worth noting that quality CBD avoids the inclusion of THC. That way, your pet can receive the benefits to their health without you having to worry about any unwanted side effects. Instead, they just get to enjoy feeling healthier.
CBD oil is a fantastic way to ensure that your pet gets exactly the right dosage. Each drop is fully under your control, allowing you to make the best use of the product overall. Innovet's CBD oil for dogs is made to be easy to use, and it comes in different levels so that you can get the concentration needed for your pet.
Because of those concentrations, this CBD oil can also be used for cats and horses as well as dogs. Just make sure you get the concentration best for your pet! Each bottle is labeled clearly with the pet types it is best for to make your shopping easy!
Some owners just want something that comes in an easy form that their pets will love. Consequently, CBD dog treats exist to provide just that! These treats come in a variety of delicious flavors, so your dog is sure to be excited about the treat while you can be excited about the health benefits they get!
On each bag of treats, you'll also get a handy guide so you'll know exactly how much to provide to your pet. It keeps things easy. You can avoid dealing with measurements and simply hand your dog a treat. If you have a smaller dog, Innovet also offers some soft treats that are easier to break up!
Bladder Cancer In Dogs: The Bottom Line
Bladder cancer in your pet is a difficult thing to deal with, but it can help to know there are options out there for you and your pet. Ultimately, your vet will be able to determine the prognosis for your canine companion.
Often, your role in the treatment process for your dog will be to keep them as comfortable as you can and help to make sure secondary symptoms aren't causing them too much of a problem. Any tools you can use to do that are sure to be helpful for both you and your pet during the rough times.
Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade
Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books and making salted caramel cookies.
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The Innovet Team
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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