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Cancer

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As many as one in five dogs are likely to develop one of the many different forms of cancer at some stage of their lives. The risk of developing cancer increases with age. This means that, as dogs now enjoy a longer life expectancy through improved veterinary care, the number of animals with cancer has been increasing in recent years.

The signs of cancer are very variable and depend on the type of tissue cells involved, the site of the cancer and the stage of the disease. Animals with advanced cancers often show weight loss and loss of appetite. If your dog has cancer it may be depressed, vomit, have diarrhoea or constipation or fever. Your dog may also get tired easily because of other effects caused by the cancer, eg anaemia. Cancer can occur in any animal and at any age, but certain types of dog are more likely to get certain forms of cancer.

The survival chances will depend not only on the type and stage of the disease but also on your dog's general state of health. You should discuss this issue with your own vet so that you can agree between you an appropriate treatment plan for your dog. It is understandable that, faced with a diagnosis of cancer, you will feel frightened about the future for your pet. Discussing your fears with your vet is the very best way to obtain reassurance and an independent assessment that you are doing what is right for your pet.