German Shepherd Cancer | Hemangiosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Lymphoma, and Melanoma | Blood Vessel, Bone, Lymph, and Skin Cancer
It’s the “C-word,” the one we dread hearing most of all. Cancer. Malignant neoplasms – more commonly known as “cancers” – can be one of the scariest illnesses for dog owners to deal with. The word itself has become almost taboo – conjuring up images of certain, speedy death. Luckily, with the advent of better veterinary medicines, cancer does not always have to be a death sentence: early diagnosis and rapid treatment go a long way towards minimizing early deaths from cancer. In addition, even terminal cancers do not have to be an immediate death sentence, as dogs may be able to live for many months or even years after a diagnosis, depending on the type of cancer. It is important not to panic or to jump to conclusions that a diagnosis means instant, necessary euthanasia, as all types of cancers are not alike, with some being ore curable than others.
All cancers are less deadly, however, if they are found early. This means that it is vitally important to pay attention to the changes in your German Shepherd’s body, particularly as your dog ages. A weekly grooming and inspection session, as detailed in other sections, is advisable not only because it helps keep your dog clean and neat, but also because such close contact with your dog will allow you to notice any changes in behavior or health early on. While mysterious lumps and bumps are of course the major warning signs of cancer, any sign of ill-health, from minor pain to lethargy, should always be investigated by a trained veterinarian.
As your dog gets older, early diagnosis is all the more important: be sure to feel your dog’s fur regularly for bumps or protrusions in the skin, particularly if they coincide with other symptoms of illness. And though there are unfortunately numerous types of cancers, the following are particularly prevalent in German Shepherd dogs: Hemangiosarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Lymphoma, and Melanoma.