Pancreatic cancer is most commonly diagnosed in young dogs. The disease usually begins in the duodenum, a bony, lined pouch that connects the stomach to the duodenum. In some cases, the pancreas is affected and may become abnormal. In dogs, the disease is more often localized, with symptoms arising at the upper portion of the abdomen, near the belly button, around the ribs, or on the skin surrounding the abdomen.
Pancreatic cancer in dogs develops slowly and often only reaches advanced phases before symptoms appear. The most typical symptom associated with this disease is diarrhea. Since the pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, the body is unable to release sufficient amounts of glucose to keep the body functioning properly. This allows the body to turn to stored glucose for energy. When pancreas cancer reaches an advanced stage, there is typically not any symptoms, making it easier to diagnose and treat.
There are several treatment options available for dogs diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Dogs can be treated using surgery, chemotherapy, and a combination of both. Surgery is almost always the first recommended procedure, but it’s also quite common that the other organs affected by the tumor are operated on as well. In addition, the size of the tumor often makes it difficult or impossible to operate successfully. If your dog has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, your veterinarian will likely recommend a treatment plan involving surgery, chemotherapy, and nutritional supplements.
Role diet and nutrition for treating cancer
Since diet and nutrition play a significant role in treating and preventing pancreatic cancer, many owners do not immediately notice any problems with their pets when they are diagnosed. A blood test is often conducted to determine whether or not the pet’s liver or pancreas are producing a sufficient amount of bile. If your dog has been diagnosed with the disease, you may notice a drastic change in its diet. Dogs that have been diagnosed with the disease are usually put on strict diets that severely limit the types and amounts of food they can eat. Since diet is a significant contributing factor for the development of this type of cancer, it’s important to carefully monitor the progress of your Petsynse diet. Once you begin to notice an improvement in your dog’s weight, size, and other characteristics, it may indicate he or she is being treated successfully.
Pancreatic cancer in dogs is diagnosed through a physical examination, blood work, x-rays, and abdominal ultrasound. Examinations include checking for masses, tumors, or lumps. Blood tests may also be required to check for red cell count and hemoglobin levels. Ultrasound and computerized tomography (CT) scans are relatively routine procedures. In most cases, pancreatic cancer symptoms may not be noticed until the disease is advanced. If detected and treated early, most dogs live several years.
Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer progresses only one step at a time. At first, no symptoms may be apparent. However, as the disease progresses, more signs and symptoms will start to appear. Some signs include severe anemia, weight loss, weakness, increased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. At advanced stages, some dogs may have seizures. A dog with unexplained weight loss and severe abdominal pain that refuses to improve despite regular feeding may be an example of this advanced stage.
Treatment of cancer in dogs
Treatment varies for pancreas cancer in dogs. Careful monitoring and regular blood tests are necessary to keep your dog healthy and safe. Although pancreatic cancers in dogs are relatively uncommon, the symptoms presented can be alarming. If your dog starts to show signs of an unhealthy digestive system, please contact your vet immediately.
Pancreatic tumors do not always come up on a regular timetable. Depending on how advanced the disease is, the survival rate for some dogs with pancreas cancer is as low as one percent. One percent of dogs diagnosed with advanced stages of pancreas cancer may live five years or less. Of course, this does not mean that your dog will not have a long life. The key is to watch out for the early stages of pancreatic cancer and get your pet to a veterinarian as quickly as possible when you suspect any changes in your pets’ health.