K9 Walk for a Cure - GSMD Club of the Rockies
3.7 mile walk around Lake Estes, Colorado
Our team raised $1,307.00


What is Cancer?

Dog cancer, like human cancer, is the uncontrolled growth of cells on or within the body.

Although there are many types of cancer,
they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells.
Normal body cells grow, divide, and die in an orderly fashion. During the early years of a dog's life, normal cells divide more rapidly until the dog becomes an adult. After that, cells in most parts of the body divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells and to repair injuries. Because cancer cells 
continue to grow and divide, they are different from normal cells. Instead of dying, 
they outlive normal cells and continue to form new abnormal cells.

Cancer cells develop because of damage to DNA. This substance is in every cell and directs all activities. Most of the time when DNA becomes damaged the body is able to repair it. In cancer cells, the damaged DNA is not repaired.  Dogs can inherit damaged DNA, which accounts for inherited cancers. More often, though, a dog's DNA becomes damaged by exposure to something in the environment, like smoke, pesticides or other carcinogens.

Cancerous tumors can spread to other parts of the body where they begin to grow and replace normal tissue. This process is called metastasis.  For example, breast cancer that spreads to the liver is still called breast cancer, not liver cancer. Regardless of where a cancer may spread, however, it is always named for the place it began.

Not all tumors are cancerous. Benign (noncancerous) tumors do not spread, if (metastasize) to other parts of the body and, with very rare exceptions, are not life threatening.
Different types of cancer can behave very differently. For example, bone cancer and breast cancer are very different diseases. They grow at different rates and respond to different treatments. That is why dogs with cancer need treatment that is aimed at their particular kind of cancer.
Cancer rates increase in dogs with age. It is the leading cause of death in dogs over 10 years.

If cancer is suspected in your dog, a veterinarian may order x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds.  

A biopsy (the removal of a piece of tissue) is frequently performed for confirmation that cancer exists and to determine the level of severity from benign to aggressively malignant (called grading).

We do not know how dogs get cancer most of the time. There are many types of cancer and many possible causes of cancer (chemicals in our environment, sun exposure, assorted viruses and infections). There are important genetic factors as well.  Feeding your dog a healthy diet and keeping them away from known carcinogens will help. Spaying or neutering your dog will 
also reduce their risk for developing certain cancers.

Many veterinarians will recommend that dogs with cancer not be vaccinated. 
Vaccinations can stress your dog's immune system and may counteract any

positive effects of your treatment program.

Some healthy dogs have developed serious conditions as a result of vaccinations.

We recommend a conservative vaccination protocal. ` Carolynn