Surgical Treatment of Stomach Cancer in Dogs

Stomach cancer in dogs is a common form of cancer. The stomach is a large organ and contains a large number of muscles, having the task of storing food before this is digested. The stomach also produces gastric juice which will start the digestion. There are several types of stomach cancers in dogs, the most frequent being adenocarcinomas.

The surgical treatment is the best option for stomach cancer, when possible, and this treatment may give the best prognosis for dogs.

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

The symptoms that may indicate stomach cancer include:

  • lack of appetite
  • weight loss
  • vomiting (often with blood in the vomit)
  • bad breath
  • tarry or bloody feces

Detection of Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer may be detected through blood tests, x-rays and abdominal ultrasounds. A gastroscopy may also be needed.

The vet will perform an open surgical biopsy to determine the type of cancerous cells that are present in the dog’s system.

The stage of the cancer should be established, depending on how extended the cancer is.

Surgical Treatment for Stomach Cancer

If the tumor is in the incipient stages and has a well defined location, without having migrated to other areas of the stomach or the rest of the body, surgery is the most recommended treatment.

The only type of cancer that is not operable is the lymphoma.

The vet will schedule a surgery as soon as possible, to ensure that the tumor will not grow further. The tumor will be extracted along with the neighboring tissue, to ensure that all cancerous cells are removed.

After Surgery

After the surgery, the dog should be placed under chemotherapy so as to prevent the development of the cancerous cells.

The prognosis after surgery may vary. In some canines, the tumor will grow back and will have to be removed again. The tumor may not reoccur in the stomach but in other areas of the dog’s body.

In other dogs, the cancer will never come back.

It is impossible to predict whether the cancer will reoccur or not.

In any case, the dog should be kept under supervision after the surgery. Periodical tests will be performed to monitor the surgery and the rest of the body.

Alternative Treatment Options for Stomach Cancer

If surgery is no longer possible, as the cancer is extended to the lungs or the lymph nodes, the vet will recommend a few support treatments. The dog will get chemotherapy, which will delay the development of the cancerous cells. Radiation therapy will also be performed to control the pain.

The dog may also benefit of homeopathy or herbal remedies, which can help the dog and boost his immunity, so that he is stronger and able to fight the disease.

However, the prognosis at this stage is poor. The dog may start developing secondary infections and these may often be fatal, as the dog’s immune system will no longer respond.