Cancer in the Stomach

Stomach cancer can be a silent killer because a dog is usually in the advanced stages by the time he shows signs of illness. Learn about the different types of cancer that typically affect the stomach, as well as the symptoms a sick dog might display.

Canine stomach cancer is rather rare. It accounts for about 0.1 percent (1 in 1000) of all cancers in dogs. However, certain breeds seem to be more predisposed to stomach cancer. For example, Chow Chows have between 10 to 20 times the risk of stomach cancer compared to other breeds.

Other breeds that are more prone to stomach cancer include the Akita, Belgian Sheepdogs, Irish Setters, Keeshonds, Norwegian Elkhound, and Scottish Terriers. Dog stomach cancer is most frequently caused by adenocarcinoma, a tumor which forms in glandular tissue and spreads to the stomach. This type of tumor can also frequently spread to lymph nodes, the liver and the lungs.

Other less common tumors that cause canine stomach cancer include gastrointestinal stromal tumors, leiomyosarcomas, lymphomas, mast cell tumors, extramedullary plasmacytomas, and fibrosarcomas.

Stomach cancer in dogs usually occurs in middle-aged to older dogs. Male dogs seem to be affected more often than females.