Cancer is an all
too common problem in many breeds, including Mastiffs. While much
research is being done, most types of cancer in dogs are poorly
understood and treatment options are often limited.
Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph glands) and osteosarcoma (bone cancer) are
among the tumors that are commonly seen in dogs.
Lymphoma accounts for approximately 20% of all canine tumors, and
>80% of cancers originating from blood cells.
Most of the time, lymphoma appears as swollen glands (lymph
nodes) that can be seen or felt under the neck, in front of the
shoulders, or behind the knee.
Occasionally, lymphoma can affect
lymph nodes that are not visible or palpable from outside the body,
such as those inside the chest or in the abdomen. In these cases,
dogs may accumulate fluid in the chest that makes breathing
difficult, or they may have digestive problems (diarrhea, vomiting,
or painful abdomen). If left untreated, dogs with lymphoma will
generally succumb to the disease within 3 to 4 weeks
accounts for 85% of skeletal cancers.
Large and giant breed dogs are at highest risk for developing
osteosarcoma, possibly due to the fact that bone cells at the growth
plates must divide many times to create the very long bones that are
characteristic in these breeds. However, there probably are
additional risk factors, which have yet to be defined. Osteosarcomas
generally occur in the limbs, however, these tumors can arise
anywhere in the long bones, as well as in flat bones (ribs, skull,
Osteosarcoma is always a life-threatening disease
because it is highly metastatic, making treatment of this type of
cancer especially difficult. The standard of care for osteosarcoma
of the limbs includes amputation or limb-sparing surgery, followed
by adjuvant chemotherapy. The median survival for dogs with
osteosarcoma treated with surgery alone is approximately 100 days.
with humans, many other forms of cancer can and do affect Mastiffs.
Here are some links to up-to-date information on these and other forms
of cancer in dogs.
LYMPHOMA (LYMPHOSARCOMA) LINKS:
you have a Mastiff diagnosed with cancer,
researchers work toward a cure…
Jaime Modiano,V.M.D., Ph.D.
University of Colorado Cancer Center