Breast Cancer in Bitches – Symptoms and Treatment

Unfortunately, cancer is a disease that also strikes our canine friends. In this article by YourCatCareguide we will focus on the most common manifestations of the disease, which is breast cancer that can appear in our bitches. We will discover the symptoms, the way we can diagnose and, of course, the treatment that can be adopted, as well as the preventive measures, once, as always, it is better to be safe than sorry.

CAT Spraying No More REVIEW

Cat Spraying No More is an excellent opportunity for the cat owners to learn about training the cat with a systematic approach. It helps in preventing the unwanted litter issues and other risks of bad feline behavior as well.

If you are interested in learning more about breast cancer in bitches , their symptoms and treatment , read on!

You might also be interested in: Cancer in Cats – Types, Symptoms and Treatment

What is cancer?

Cancer is the anomalous , continuous and rapid growth of cells in the body. In breast cancer in bitches, as its name implies, this pathological development will occur in the mammary glands. Almost all cells die and are replaced throughout the life of the individual. If a mutation occurs in the mechanisms that command this cell division, very rapid growth cells will form which will form masses able to displace healthy cells.

In addition, the cancer cells do not fulfill the proper functions of the cells. If the cancer grows and invades the zone or organ from where it originates, it will cause damages that, in time, will lead to the death of the dog. In young animals, their growth is usually faster, as is the case with older animals, due to their own rate of cellular regeneration.

There are genes that suppress cancer genes but there are also others that inhibit their function. All this can be caused by external factors like diet, stress or environment. Thus, cancer is a phenomenon where genetics and the environment interact. In addition, carcinogens are known, that is, influences that increase the likelihood of cancer. In humans it has already been proven that elements are carcinogenic such as ultraviolet light, X-rays, nuclear radiation, some chemicals, cigarettes, viruses or internal parasites.

Tumors that arise from cancer are called neoplasms and can be benign or malignant . The former usually grow slowly, without invading or destroying the tissues that surround them. Do not consume spread to other parts of the body. When possible, remove with surgery. In contrast, malignant tumors invade adjacent tissues and grow unlimited. These tumor cells can penetrate the circulatory system and pass from the primary tumor to other parts of the body. This process is called metastasis .

What are the symptoms of breast cancer in bitches?

Bitches have about ten mammary glands, distributed in two symmetrical chains on each side of the body, from the chest to the groin. Tumors in these glands are unfortunately very common and most occur in bitches over six years old, with a higher incidence at age ten. These tumors can be benign or malignant.

This type of cancer is largely hormone-dependent , which means that its appearance and development are linked to the hormones, mainly estrogens and progesterone, which intervene in the reproductive cycle of the bitch and for which there are receptors in the breast tissue.

The main symptom that, as caregivers, we will notice in the breast cancer of our dog is the presence of a lump or painless mass in one or several breasts, that is, for its detection will suffice a physical examination. The larger breasts, ie the inguinal breasts, are affected more frequently. This mass will have a variable size and a contour more or less defined, attached to the hair or free. Occasionally, the skin will ulcerate and a wound may be identified . Sometimes you may also notice a blood secretion from the nipple.

Breast tumor in bitches – Diagnosis

When detecting this first sign, we should seek veterinary care as soon as possible. The veterinarian, by palpation, confirms the diagnosis, differentiating it from other possible causes such as mastitis. As we will see, the treatment adopted, in any case, will be the surgical removal.

The material removed should be sent for analysis ( biopsy ) and the specialized histopathological laboratory will be responsible for determining the types of cells present. In addition, this study will tell us if the tumor is benign or malignant, and in the latter case, what is its degree of virulence. These data are basic for prognosis, life expectancy or the possibility of recurrence (percentage of cancer recurrence in the same or different site).

Breast cancer treatment in bitch

The effectiveness of breast cancer treatment in bitches will depend on early diagnosis. The surgical removal , as we said, is the chosen treatment, except in cases where there is a terminal illness is found , or presence of metastases. Therefore, before entering an operating room, the veterinarian will perform an x-ray that will distinguish the presence of masses in other parts of the body.

Metastasis to the lungs is common (which can lead to breathing difficulties). An ultrasound and a blood test can also be done. In surgery, the tumor and adjacent healthy tissue will be removed. The extent of removal depends on the size and location of the tumor. In this way, only the protuberance, the full breast, the entire mammary chain or even the two chains can be removed. The greater the tumor and its aggressiveness, the more unfavorable the prognosis.

Also, because it is a hormone-dependent cancer, if the bitch is whole, ovario hysterectomy , that is, extraction of the uterus and ovaries. As we said, if your dog has metastasis, surgical intervention is not recommended, although in some cases it may be removed if it is causing damage. Depending on the outcome of the biopsy, in addition to surgical removal, chemotherapy may also be necessary (it prevents and controls metastasis).

On the other hand, the postoperative period will be like any other surgery, in which we must be careful that our dog does not start the stitches, as well as the aspect of the wound, to control possible infections. You should also avoid sudden movements, jokes or jumps that could cause the wound to open. It is certainly necessary to keep it clean and disinfected , according to the veterinarian’s guidance, in the same way we must administer the prescribed antibiotics and analgesics. Keep in mind that the incision may be of considerable size.

How to prevent breast cancer in bitch

As we have seen, the cause of the appearance of breast cancer in bitches is mainly hormonal, which allows us to adopt preventive measures like the premature sterilization of our bitch. With the removal of the uterus and ovaries, the dog no longer enters the estrus, and without the hormones necessary for this process, it is not possible to develop any tumor.

It should be noted that this protection is practically complete in bitches operated before their first estrus. Taking the intervention after the first heat, the protection is about 90%. From the second and subsequent years, the percentage of protection provided by the sterilization decreases. It is important, therefore, to sterilize our bitch before her first heat . If we adopt it in adult age, we must operate it as soon as possible, preferably when it is not in the heat, since the irrigation of the zone during those weeks increases, which increases the risk of hemorrhage during the surgery.

Among the preventive measures we also highlight the early diagnosis . It is never too much to examine the breasts of our bitch periodically and to seek rapid veterinary attention in the face of any change or presence of masses, stiffness, inflammation, secretion or pain.

From the age of six, it is recommended to take a monthly examination at home on bitches not sterilized or sterilized late. Likewise, we should keep routine veterinary reviews. Puppies older than 7 years should undergo an annual physical examination, since, as we have seen, a simple physical examination can detect the presence of cancer.

Finally, it is important to know that the use of drugs to control the dog’s heat ( progestogen ) favors the appearance of breast cancer. In addition, bitches that have suffered from pseudo- pregnancies (psychological pregnancy) are also more likely to suffer from the disease. All the data presented reinforces the need for early sterilization to give your dog a better quality of life.

This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles matching Breast Cancer in Bitches – Symptoms and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our Other Health Issues section .

Emily Harris
 

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments