It can be hard to determine if your dog has canine abdominal cancer just from the symptoms outlined above. Blood and urine tests are needed for a proper diagnosis. X-rays of the abdomen are also essential, following a barium swallow test. If tumors from the abdomen have spread to the chest area, an x-ray can easily spot them.
An ultrasound test can be ideal to detect swollen masses, enlarged lymph nodes, and tumors in your pet’s abdominal area. These may be present in nearby organs such as the liver and spleen.
However, x-rays and ultrasounds may not be effective in the case of microscopic tumors that have spread in the abdominal organs. This is where an endoscopy can be useful. This procedure involves inserting a tiny camera into the mouth to look inside the stomach and intestines, allowing visual search for any abnormalities.
Surgery is generally recommended to remove the tumors. This, however, cannot be done in the case of lymphoma. In all other canine abdominal cancers, the stomach is bisected to remove the area affected by the tumor.
In some cases, tumors are so big that they block food from passing into the small intestine. Bypass surgery can be done here to offer symptom relief and help the dog live longer.
Radiation therapy is not suitable for canine abdominal cancers. This is because radiation can easily affect other vital organs close by including the liver and intestines. Chemotherapy has not proved useful in treating canine gastrointestinal cancers.
Drastic weight loss is a major problem in canines with abdominal cancer. A healthy diet will help to boost their immunity and improve their chances of survival, period. When a dog is severely underweight, their immune system becomes suppressed, which can cause them to succumb prematurely.
Canine gastrointestinal cancer is a cruel disease. Even with successful surgery, survival time is usually less than six months. This is mainly because abdominal cancers spread fast to nearby vital organs, causing a system collapse. However, remember that each case of canine gastrointestinal cancer is unique, and you might still have some time with your furry best friend.
It’s devastating to learn that your dog has stomach cancer. There are various treatments that you can use to reduce their pain and symptoms and help them live comfortably with the condition before they succumb to it. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you spend some quality, loving time with your pet.