According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, cancer is defined as a malignant growth with unlimited potential. It can invade local areas surrounding the tumors, but it can also invade other systems in the body through metastasis. Dachshunds, like any breed of dog, may develop some type of cancer during their lifetime.
Potential Contributing Factors for Cancer in Dachshunds
The environment in which the dachshund lives can contribute to the development of cancer. Therefore, it is important that owners keep an eye on their dachshund to ensure that his health remains as optimal as possible. Issues that can contribute to the growth of cancer in a dachshund include heart disease, urinary tract issues, spinal disc problems and obesity.
While it is true that the dachshund appears to be prone to developing certain types of cancers, it is also true that the dachshund can develop nearly any type of cancer, at any time. Cancer does not discriminate against certain breeds. Mammary neoplasia, oral melanoma and mast cell tumors are among the more common cancers that occur in dachshunds. However, they may also develop other cancers including bladder cancer, lymphoma, testicular cancer, osteosarcoma and other organ-specific cancers.
Symptoms of malignant cancer will vary from dog to dog based on the individual dog as well as the type of cancer occurring. Dachshunds who are suffering from oral melanoma may have bad breath, oral bleeding, facial swelling, drooling or difficulty eating. Meanwhile, dachshunds with mammary neoplasia may have unusual lumps or swelling located in the mammary glands, weakness, weight loss and loss of appetite (anorexia). Furthermore, dachshunds can display non-specific symptoms of cancer including vomiting or diarrhea.
Dogs of any breed who are suffering from cancer will undergo a plethora of tests. The owner should expect at a minimum that their dachshund will undergo several different blood tests including a complete blood cell count, biochemical profile and a urinalysis. Dachshunds whose cancer may have spread, such as with lymphoma, will require extensive testing including fine needle aspirations of other lymph nodes; which is done to determine how far the cancer has spread. The dachshund may also undergo biopsies of the affected tissue, X-rays or ultrasounds.
The treatment choices for the dachshund will vary based on the type of cancer present. Dachshunds who have a large tumor may be able to undergo surgical removal of the cancer. Other cancers, such as lymphoma or oral melanoma, may require chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Furthermore, depending on the type of cancer present, there may be clinical trials in which experimental cancer treatments are being tested. In addition, alternative options for cancer treatment are available which include holistic treatments such as herbal remedies, proper diet or simple changes in lifestyle.
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