Special Diets Will Not Prevent Cancer
The first question I asked myself when Bill was diagnosed was “Could I have prevented this?”
Korec tells TODAY.com that cancer in dogs is similar to people in that “there’s a genetic and, maybe in some rare cases, environmental component,” but special diets are not preventative.
“The truth is if there was a way to prevent the development of cancer, I think on the human side and the animal side … we would have already found it,” she says. “We don’t understand everything fully and that’s really important as well but there’s no reason to believe that the diet you’re feeding your dog is predisposing it to any cancer.”
Symptoms Of Crisis Mode
Crisis mode is rightfully named because it’s a very critical time for your dogs. Typically, at this point, dogs struggle to breathe properly. You’ll likely hear heavy breathing and shortness of breath. This is one of many symptoms that will cause your dog to either whine or whimper in pain.
If your dog starts having seizures, then your dog is likely going through the crisis mode stage. Fainting is another symptom, which can either follow seizures or happen without correlation. The blood in the urine side effect that we mentioned in the earlier stages intensifies and turns into internal bleeding in the most serious of cases.
Bladder Cancer In Dogs: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Are you concerned about the possibility of bladder cancer in your dog? Bladder cancer in dogs can be caused by genetic predisposition, exposure to chemicals and chemotherapeutic agents, or other environmental factors. Symptoms of bladder cancer in dogs include blood in the urine, increased frequency of urination, and painful urination. Most bladder cancers are malignant, meaning they can spread to other parts of the body. Treatment for bladder cancer in dogs typically includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
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Causes Of Canine Bladder Cancer
Although the exact causes of cancer manifestation remain unknown, the disease may be attributed to a variety of environmental and genetic factors. From an environmental standpoint, exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked to bladder cancer dogs. In addition, there are a number of carcinogenic chemicals that may increase your dogs risk of bladder cancer, including certain types of flea dips, pesticides and insecticides.
Furthermore, there are certain dog breeds who have a higher incidence of bladder cancer, including Beagles, Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Wirehair Fox Terriers, as well as obese dogs. In addition, middle-aged and elderly female dogs are most commonly affected by the disease.
While pet owners cannot exercise preventative measures when it comes to genetics or breed, you can practice certain safety precautions to protect your four-legged friends, including using natural insecticides in your yard, avoiding over-the-counter flea dips and shampoos, and not smoking in your home.
Bladder Tumors In Dogs And Cats
Dr. Charles Maximus was diagnosed with prostatic transitional cell carcinoma after his owner noticed he was straining to urinate. Charles has been receiving chemotherapy treatments since March 2022 and is doing well at home with minimal clinical signs.
Bladder tumors invade the bladder wall, creating masses within the bladder, urethra , and ureters . Bladder tumors have the potential to spread beyond the urinary tract, usually to the local lymph nodes, although metastasis can also occur in other places such as bone and the lungs. Although fewer than 15% of dogs have evidence of spread at the time of diagnosis, > 50% of dogs eventually develop metastatic disease. The most common bladder tumors in dogs and cats are transitional cell carcinoma however, in cats the incidence of this disease is very low.
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Breeds With Increased Risk Of Bladder Cancer
While any breed of dog can develop bladder cancer, a genetic predisposition may be a risk factor since the disease is seen in Scottish Terriers far more than any other breed of dog. Beagles, Shetland sheepdogs, West Highland terriers, and wire hair fox terriers also appear to face an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is most often diagnosed in middle-aged and senior female dogs of the breeds listed.
Is Bladder Cancer Painful
When its in its earliest stages, bladder cancer doesnt usually cause much pain. Some people have no pain whatsoever, while others may experience pain or burning when they urinate. Blood in the urine, either microscopic or visible to the naked eye, is commonly the first sign of bladder cancer.
As the cancer grows and spreads to other areas of the body or during treatment for bladder cancer, pain may become a bigger issue. You may experience pain:
- when having sex
Sometimes, the disease itself isnt the only source of pain in people with advanced bladder cancer. It can also be caused by treatment. Chemotherapy, a common treatment method for bladder cancer, can cause uncomfortable side effects, such as mouth sores.
Chemotherapy can also cause peripheral neuropathy, which may present as pain, numbness, tingling, or other sensations in the hands, arms, feet, or legs.
Surgery may be a part of treatment for bladder cancer. The pain associated with surgery depends on the operation.
Early bladder cancer can be managed with a minimally invasive surgery, during which the tumor is scraped off the bladder wall from within.
More advanced bladder cancer may require surgery to remove the entire bladder. This operation is much longer and usually has a more painful recovery.
Are Other Tests Necessary
Complete staging is required. Testing includes thoracic radiographs to rule out the spread of cancer to the lungs, lymph node aspirate/biopsy if any lymph nodes are noted to be enlarged, CBC, chemistry panel, and free-catch urinalysis to determine general health, and ultrasound of the bladder and entire abdomen . A free-catch or catheterized urine sample is preferred over a sample obtained by cystocentesis as seeding of the tumor cells can occur with this needle method.
What Supportive Care Is Recommended
Patients with TCC are at higher risk for urinary tract infections. Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose an infection because one of the indicators of a non-cancer patient with a urinary tract infection can be blood in the urine. In the case of the bladder tumor patient, blood in the urine is not necessarily an indicator of infection. Cystocentesis to obtain a sterile urine sample is contraindicated due to risk of tumor seeding, therefore we often have to rely on a free catch sample. Interpretation of free catch samples can be difficult due to bacterial contamination. However, if patients appear to be straining more or develop an odor to the urine, they should be treated for infection.
Patients may benefit from supplementation of cranberry, which is believed to reduce the incidence of urinary tract infection. In a study in humans , cranberry products inhibited the adherence of bacteria to bladder and vaginal epithelial cells. Therefore, there is scientific evidence to support these supplements as a means to decrease infection rates. Specific products and dosages can be discussed with our doctors.
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Piroxicam For Dogs With Bladder Tumor
Piroxicam has been shown to be effective in some cases of bladder cancer, either alone or in combination with other chemotherapy. In one study on 76 dogs with TCC treated with piroxicam, the tumor went into complete remission in two dogs, decreased in size by > 50 percent in 14 dogs , remained stable in size in 45 dogs, and increased in size by > 50 percent in 15 dogs.
Other Complementary Pain Management Techniques
There are a range of other complementary and alternative pain management techniques that may be worth exploring. These include:
Biofeedback is a technique that uses machines to help you learn about and control some of your involuntary body functions. Led by a licensed technician, biofeedback may help you relax and cope with pain in your body.
Many of these integrative methods havent been tested in scientific studies on people with bladder cancer. But theyre regarded as ways to improve your quality of life when you have a disease.
Talk to your healthcare team to determine which ones might be best for your situation.
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Find A Petcure Oncology Location Near You
PetCure Oncology provides the most advanced and innovative treatment options available for dogs with bladder cancer and other types of cancer. We are supportive, professional and caring and our mission is to prolong your pets life and maintain quality of life as long as possible.
For more information about PetCure Oncology and our innovative treatment options, find a location near you today.
More than 6,000 pet families have chosen PetCure Oncology for their dog or cat’s cancer therapy. We give your pet a fighting chance to improve their quality of life.
We understand. We commit.
What Are The Symptoms Of Late Stage Bladder Cancer In Dogs
Symptoms of bladder cancer mimic those of other urinary tract conditions such as stones or infections, which makes the disease somewhat tricky to diagnose. If your dog is suffering from bladder cancer you may notice that they urinate small amounts frequently, have difficulty urinating or have accidents in the house. Another sign of bladder cancer can be discolored or bloody urine, or persistent urinary tract infections that are resistant to treatment.
In later stages of bladder cancer some dogs experience lameness do to the cancer spreading to the dog’s bones or lungs.
If your dog is displaying any of the symptoms listed above it is important to seek veterinary care for your pet. The symptoms of bladder cancer can be caused by a number serious conditions that require treatment.
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Types Of Bladder Cancer And Metastatic Disease Potential
Transitional cell carcinoma and leiomyosarcomas are two types of bladder cancer in dogs. Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common, representing 90% to 95% of all bladder tumors. These tumors develop in the transitional epithelial tissue . Leiomyosarcomas arise from smooth muscle tissue, also found in the bladder wall. Bladder cancer can metastasize to the lymph nodes, lungs and liver. As the mass grows, it can crawl up toward the kidneys via the ureters or can grow down into the urethra. If the dog is male, this type of cancer can affect the prostate, as well. In the latter stages of bladder cancer, it can spread to the lungs. An uncommon though benign bladder mass, called a polyp, should also be considered when working up a patient for bladder cancer.
Bladder Cancer In Dogs
It’s devastating to find out that your dog has bladder cancer. While this form of cancer is uncommon in dogs, it is aggressive and often fatal. Certain breeds are more likely to develop bladder cancer, and obesity is a known risk factor in all dogs. Fortunately, treatments are available that can improve the quality and duration of a dog’s life, and early detection may expand treatment options.
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So What Is The Prognosis Of Tcc
Unfortunately, TCC is almost always fatal, with or without any medical intervention. Without medical intervention, a dog with TCC might be around for between 4 and 6 months which could be a painful period for them.
On the other hand, medication could extend that time to about a year with slightly improved living conditions.
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Stages Of Bladder Cancer In Dogs
For dogs diagnosed with bladder cancer, their prognosis is listed as being in stages 0 to 4. Stage 0-1 indicates a tumor just starting out theyre small and typically symptoms are not yet present to indicate a problem. Although it is obviously best to catch the cancer at this early stage, it is often difficult because there arent any visible signs.
In stages 2-3, the canine cancer has metastasized and is invading much of the bladder. It is at this phase when most dogs will experience difficulty in urination. Keeping this information in mind, its important to speak to your vet and determine the best treatment protocols for your beloved furry friend to ensure the highest quality of life.
In addition to medication and other forms of therapy, you may wish to discuss a dietary regiment, as well as possible natural dog supplements to support his immune system and overall health.
In stage 4 of canine bladder cancer, the tumor has begun to attack other vital organs and areas of the body. Unfortunately, it is most difficult to treat cancer at this phase, and euthanasia may be the most humane course of action. Once a dog has been diagnosed in the advances stages of bladder cancer, life expectancy is typically less than a year and his quality of life will greatly decline.
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Diagnosis Of Bladder Cancer
It’s important to visit the veterinarian at the first sign of urinary problems in your dog. Even simple urinary tract infections can become serious if left untreated. Because bladder cancer signs are similar to those of UTIs, it’s important to involve a veterinarian so the proper diagnostic tests can be performed.
Your veterinarian will recommend diagnostic tests after discussing your dog’s history and performing a physical examination. This typically begins with a urinalysis to evaluate the urine. Blood tests may be recommended to evaluate blood cells and organ function. Abdominal radiographs and ultrasound may be performed to visualize the bladder and surrounding organs.
After diagnosing bladder cancer, staging may be recommended to determine if cancer has metastasized . Staging typically includes diagnostic imaging of the chest and abdomen to look for evidence of cancer in the lungs or other organs. A CT scan or MRI may be recommended at this point.
Behavior Of The Tumor
Bladder tumors are usually malaignant with only 3% of tumors being benign. Malignant tumors: transitional cell carcinoma is most commonly diagnosed, however other reported tumor types include squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, fibrosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, botryoid rhabdomyosarcoma. Benign tumors: fibromas, leiomyomas, and papillomas. Noncancerous growths: pyogranulomatous or polypoid cystitis. Most malignant bladder tumors invade the entire thickness of the bladder and diffusely involve the bladder at the time of diagnosis. At the time of initial presentation, about 50% of the patients have evidence of spread of the tumor to regional lymph nodes, pelvic and lumbar vertebrae and lungs less commonly they spread to the liver and lymph nodes in the chest and abdomen . At the time of autopsy, 75% of the patients have evidence of metastasis of bladder tumors.
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The Human Bladder Cancer Problem And Need For Animal Models
Each year more than 65,000 people are diagnosed with urinary bladder cancer, and more than 14,000 people die from this cancer in the United States . Worldwide more than 350,000 cases are expected to occur yearly . Transition cell carcinoma , also referred to as urothelial carcinoma, comprises the vast majority of bladder cancer. It occurs in two broad forms, low-grade, superficial disease and high-grade, invasive cancer. In humans, more than two-thirds of bladder tumors at diagnosis are superficial low-grade TCCs confined to the bladder mucosa . These tumors generally respond well to transurethral resection and intravesical therapy, although recurrence is common, quality of life is negatively affected, and progression to invasive TCC is a risk. Approximately 20% of human bladder cancers are higher-grade invasive TCC at the time of diagnosis. The standard treatment for human invasive TCC is cystectomy to address the primary tumor and chemotherapy for metastases. Radiation therapy is used in bladder-sparing procedures and for regional metastases. Metastasis to regional lymph nodes, lungs, and other organs occurs in approximately 50% of people with invasive TCC . Most bladder cancer deaths are due to metastases. There is clearly a great need to improve the outlook for people with TCC, and research involving animal models of TCC is essential.
Purpose Of Tumor Staging
- Help determine the best treatment regimen that will be followed
- Provide important information about the prognosis
- Establish baseline data regarding the tumor measurements. This can help determine if certain treatments that will be successful.
Tumor staging is achieved with the help of x-rays , ultrasound, and CT scans to see if there is metastasis to the lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, and other organs. These procedures can also evaluate changes in the kidneys as a result of urine flow obstruction. The exact location and the size of the tumor within the bladder can also be determined.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer In A Dog
The common symptoms of bladder cancer are almost identical to those of bacterial infections of the urinary tract, and they include:
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- Painful urination
- Blood spots in the urine
- Persistent urinary tract or bladder infection even with treatment
- Urination accidents in the house.
Not all clinical signs of bladder cancer in dogs are related to the urinary tract. For example, bladder tumors can also cause some non-specific health problems such as:
What Are The Clinical Symptoms Of Bladder Cancer In Dogs
Clinical symptoms of bladder cancer in dogs can vary depending on the stage of the disease.
In the early stages, bladder cancer may cause no symptoms at all. As cancer grows, it may begin to cause blood in the urine, urinary urgency or frequency, and pain during urination. If cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it may cause weight loss, lethargy, and appetite loss. A dog with bladder cancer may also have difficulty defecating.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it’s important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for a diagnosis. Early detection is critical for the successful treatment of bladder cancer in dogs.
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