The diagnosis can be so hard to hear. Your dog has cancer. The word alone induces worry when it comes to your beloved four-legged pal. So, how long can a dog live with cancer? The answer can vary depending on several factors. Let's take a closer look at those factors so you have a better understanding of what to expect if your dog has received a cancer diagnosis.
Life Expectancy Depends on the Type of Canine Cancer
Dogs can face a multitude of cancer types. Some cancers are more aggressive, which means they may spread quickly and affect vital organs and systems. Some cancers are also considered to be mild; your dog may only show mild symptoms and their life span may not be immediately affected.
Canine lymphoma, for example, accounts for 24 percent of all canine cancer diagnoses according to the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. A dog may live for a year without treatment, and 20 percent of dogs live more than two years without treatment. However, Canine Osteosarcoma is a highly aggressive form of cancer that affects the skeletal structures of the dog. Amputation of the affected limb is the most common form of treatment, but the median survival rate with amputation only is around 3 months, according to PetCure Oncology.
The Stage of Cancer at Diagnosis Has a Big Part to Play
Because dogs can't let us know when something's up with how they feel, a cancer diagnosis can often be delayed. Unfortunately, canine cancer diagnosed in a later stage may mean:
- Cancer will be harder to treat.
- Cancer may have spread to other parts of the body.
- The dog's life span may be detrimentally affected.
Be sure to watch for symptoms like loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, lethargy, and even ongoing problems with digestion or odd growths, masses, or lumps under the skin. Cancer may not always be to blame but getting a diagnosis early can make a huge difference in life expectancy with some forms of cancer because you have time to intervene.
Choices for Treatment Can Make a Difference
Once your dog has been diagnosed with cancer, your vet will likely fill you in on what viable treatment options may be available. Keep in mind, some forms of aggressive cancer may not make sense to treat; your dog may still have a short life span even with treatment. Nevertheless, some canine cancers respond very well to treatment. Canine lymphoma is actually highly responsive to chemotherapy; approximately 95 percent of dogs treated will see remission, according to the Flint Animal Cancer Center.
Support Your Dog with Dietary Changes After Cancer Diagnosis
One in four dogs will have some type of cancer in their lifetime, while the rate of cancer in humans is one in every two or three people. Even more concerning, cancer is considered to be the number one cause of death among older pets. Whether you opt for specific cancer treatment or choose to support your dog the best way possible through to the end, dietary changes are a good place to start. While dietary changes are not a cure for canine cancer, supportive nutrition can mean a better quality of life for your dog.
At Canine Biologics, we offer a three-part nutrition system for dogs who have been diagnosed with cancer and need mushrooms, amino acids, plant extracts, and vitamins and minerals to support their physiologic systems. The three-pronged approach includes human-grade food that is nutritionally potent, specifically formulated supplements, and wild-caught salmon oil for valuable fatty acids. Personalize a Canine Biologics Nutrition System for your dog with cancer today to be sure your best friend gets the nutrition needed to support a healthier, happier life in spite of their diagnosis.