Diagnosis of Testicular Cancer in Dogs

Testicular cancer is quite an uncommon form of cancer in dogs. There are a number of reasons for this, though the primary one is that most adult male dogs have been neutered. This procedure removes the testes from the dog and is most often done to reduce behavioral problems and to eliminate the possibility of your pet impregnating another dog without your knowledge. However, though it's rare, it's important that you work with a vet to diagnose any cases of testicular cancer that come up as quickly as possible. This will help to ensure that your pet can be treated before the cancer has a chance to spread to another part of your pet's body.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Dog Testicular Cancer

The first step toward diagnosing testicular cancer in dogs is to recognize the symptoms of the condition. There are different types of testicular cancer that each correspond to cancerous growths of different types of cells. Some of these forms of the cancer are highly malignant and are liable to spread quickly, while others are generally benign and may require no action whatsoever. Still, in order to be sure that your pet is safe and healthy, you'll need to recognize the symptoms of his condition. The most common symptoms of testicular cancer in dogs include the following:

  • Change in frequency of urination and thirst
  • Blood in urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Swollen groin area
  • Pet paying extra attention to the groin area
  • Noticeable growth in the groin area
  • Change in behavior and personality

If you notice these or any other symptoms which you think may be representative of testicular cancer in your pet, it's important to take him in to the vet right away.

Dog Testicular Cancer Diagnostic Procedures

Generally, your vet will work first to examine your pet based on the symptoms that you've described. He'll start out with a thorough physical examination of your pet, including palpating your pet's testicles to check for signs of growths or other forms of cancer. While these types of examinations can be helpful in giving your pet a place to start in his examination, they are not conclusive tests that can confirm whether your pet is suffering from testicular cancer.

Further testing will be needed in order to confirm the condition. These tests may include a set of x-rays to examine the testes, blood panel and chemistry tests that are designed to measure hormone levels and can detect whether your pet's testicles are producing unusual types and amounts of common hormones, and biopsies. In a biopsy, the vet will sedate your pet temporarily while he surgically removes a small tissue sample from the testes. This will then be tested in the lab and examined for signs of cancerous growths.

Testicular cancer can oftentimes be treated completely, provided that it's detected early enough. When you've confirmed the diagnosis, consult with your vet about potential methods of treatment that you can use to treat the cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, among others.