Dog Melanoma Treatment with Radiation

Dog melanoma is a serious condition in canines and is usually treated using a method called radiation therapy. Radiation therapy controls the production of malignant cells in the dog's body. Surgery is also commonly used as a treatment option for dogs suffering from melanoma and other types of cancer. Treating melanoma in canines is very important, as the condition can be life-threatening. The earlier the cancer is treated, the better the prognosis will be for your pet. 

Overview of Canine Melanoma

Melanoma in dogs occurs when cancerous cells multiply in the form of tumors or discolorations on the skin. These tumors arise from the production of melanocytes, which are cells in the skin that produce color and and pigment. This type of cancer is a common form of cancer in canines, and can occur on any area of the body. Most often, the toes, the mouth, and the skin are affected by melanoma. Melanoma in dogs will require immediate attention and treatment. 

The appearance of the melanoma tumors is usually in the form of a knobby or fleshy growth on the skin. These tumors are almost always dark in color, and hard to the touch. Some tumors are benign, while others are malignant. It is crucial to have any type of growth or discolored tumor on your pet examined by a veterinarian. Many times, the growths are harmless, benign tumors. Only a small fraction of tumors end up being malignant, but it is still important to have them looked at by a professional to rule out any harmful conditions. 

If canine melanoma is not treated or is ignored, it can quickly become a deadly situation for your pet. The cancer can quickly spread to other areas of the body, including the internal organs, causing severe damage to your pet's health. The lungs, adrenal glands, lymph nodes, and the liver are commonly affected by this type of cancer. 

Signs of melanoma in dogs may include bad breath, swelling in the face, excessive drooling, bleeding in the mouth area, and decrease in appetite. Melanoma tumors are most commonly found in the mouth, but can occur almost anywhere on the body or skin. Pet owners should check the mouth area frequently for unusual growths and dark spots. 

Radiation Therapy for Canine Melanoma

Melanoma in dogs can be treated with radiation therapy. When melanoma tumors are found on the skin, surgery is often the best option for treatment. Melanomas located in the mouth, however, can be more difficult to treat. Tumors in the mouth are also usually the most fatal because they spread to other parts of the body so fast. 

Treating melanoma with radiation will be one of the best options for difficult tumors within the mouth. By exposing the area to a radioactive substance, the cancerous cells are killed and tumors are shrunk. This form of treatment is often used in combination with surgery and chemotherapy, but can also be used as a treatment by itself.