Malignant Neoplasms | German Shepherd
Also known as “cancers,” these dreaded malignant neoplasms can be the bane of many pet owners' livers. While dogs are living longer and longer due to modern medical advances, the older that your beloved German Shepherd dog gets, the more likely he or she is to come into contact with a cancerous lesion. These cancerous growths occur when the body's natural “break” mechanisms for controlling cell growth cease to function properly, causing growths to occur unchecked. Some breeds of dogs have hereditary increased risks of certain cancers – English Setters for example, are at increased risk for mammary gland cancer. Large dogs, such as the German Shepherd dog, are more at risk for bone cancers due to the stress their weight puts on their bones – while irradiation, toxic chemicals, and excessive sunlight contact can be causes of cancer in other dogs.
Luckily, cancer for German Shepherds is sometimes treatable if caught early, so as your dog gets older, keep an extra sharp eye out for the warning signs of this terrible disease. Be wary of any “tumors” or “growths,” even if they are as small as a mere wart, getting them checked out as frequently as possible by a veterinarian. While they may well be cysts or warts, it is worth making sure to avoid allowing a cancerous malignant growth to progress untreated. Difficulty in eating, breathing, swallowing, a discharge from the rectum or vagina, a bad odor, and abnormal swelling that does not abate are all signs that your German Shepherd may be suffering from a cancerous growth.
Because cancer is sometimes treatable in dogs, especially if caught early, the most common forms of treatment are tumor-killing drugs, radiation therapy, and surgery. When tumors are small or easily accessible, surgery is the most viable option, whereas radiation is preferable for many kinds of limb cancer. Have your beloved German get regular check-ups at the vet for ensuring it lives a happy and healthy life.