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Common Canine Cancers

Cancer is most common in older dogs, but can strike at nearly any age, any breed or any lifestyle.

Some of the most common canine cancers are:

Melanoma
Melanoma is a common type of cancer in dogs. In fact, it is the most common malignant tumor of the dog’s mouth. It also is seen on the skin and in the nail bed and footpad1 and is the most common neoplasms of the canine eye.2 Skin tumors are among the most common tumors found in dogs and many are benign.3 However, canine melanoma found in other sites is a highly aggressive cancer that frequently spreads (metastasizes) throughout the body.

Lymphoma
Lymphoma is the third most common cancer diagnosed in dogs. It is a cancer of lymphocytes (a type of blood cell) and lymphoid tissues. Lymphoid tissue is normally present in many places in the body, including lymph nodes, spleen, liver, gastrointestinal tract and bone marrow.4

Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer)
Most primary bone tumors in dogs are malignant and approximately 85% are osteosarcomas. Osteosarcomas are highly aggressive tumors characterized by local invasion and distant metastasis.4

Hemangiosarcoma
Hemangiosarcoma is a highly malignant cancer that preys on blood vessels. It can spread rapidly, causing tumors almost anywhere in the body, and is often found in the heart and spleen. Many times it is in the advanced stage before it is diagnosed, making it virtually a silent killer.4

Mast Cell Tumors
Of all the malignant cancers in dogs, mast cell tumors are the most common.4

Bladder Cancer
Most bladder cancer tumors are malignant and can spread to bones, lungs and lymph nodes. This cancer is more common in dogs than in cats.3

Mammary Cancer (Breast Cancer)
Breast cancer is responsible for one-half of all the tumors in female dogs. Dogs that are not spayed before their first or second heat period are more likely to develop tumors – half of them are malignant.3,4 These cancers can be prevented by timely spaying.