Symptoms of Bowel Cancer in Dogs

Symptoms of bowel cancer can be easily mistaken for symptoms of other intestinal diseases. Therefore a veterinarian checkup is imperative as soon as you suspect that there might be something wrong with him. In many cases, the symptoms are only visible when the disease is in an advanced state. If diagnosed in an early stage, bowel cancer can be treated. For this reason, you need to pay attention to milder symptoms as well.

Symptoms of Bowel Cancer in Dogs

Bowel cancer in dogs can have different forms, but they all manifest in the same way. The most common symptoms of bowel cancer in dogs are:

  • Vomiting (normal, projectile or bloody vomit)
  • Loss of appetite and refusal to eat
  • Loss of weight
  • Diarrhea or constipation (depending on where the tumor is located)
  • Unusual consistency and color of stool
  • Bloody stool
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Lethargy and changes in mood

Dogs with bowel cancer cannot properly process the food they eat. Vomiting is a common symptom and sometimes the dog vomits unprocessed food or blood and sometimes he expels food without any warning.

Dogs also lose their appetite because of the overall poor state of health. They lose weight both because of undernourishment and because their body is unable to properly digest and assimilate food. The most important part of digestion takes place in the small intestine. This is where proteins, fats and carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed. If the small intestine no longer functions properly, the digestion is deficient. Nutrients are also lost through vomiting.

Sometimes blood penetrates the intestines which results in black or bloody stools.

Types of Bowel Cancer in Dogs

There are 3 main types of bowel cancer in dogs:

  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasia, a malignant tumor located mostly in the intestines, although it can occur in other places too. It usually develops in older dogs. Collies and shepherds are breeds with higher predisposition to this type of cancer. The symptoms may be extremely severe.
  • Lymphosarcoma is a type of cancer which affects mainly the lymph nodes and the lymphatic tissues. Given that the lymphatic tissues are located in the intestines, the disease easily degenerates into intestinal lymphosarcoma. The dog manifests symptoms similar to other types of cancer, but his lymph nodes are swollen.
  • Adenocarcinoma is a type of colon cancer which consists of tumors growing in the aprocrine glands in the area of the rectum. Dogs with adenocarcinoma have problems defecating and their stool is usually bloody. They can also lose hair and experience rashes.

Treatment of Bowel Cancer in Dogs

Surgery for removing the affected tissue and malignant tumors is the first step in treating bowel cancer in dogs.

Chemotherapy usually follows in about 1 week after surgery to kill malignant cells which might still be in the body.

Homeopathic veterinarians can also recommend natural remedies meant to enhance the immune system and protect against the development of cancer cells.