Testicular Cancer Symptoms in Dogs

Although the condition is rare in most dogs, it's still important that you be aware of testicular cancer symptoms so that you can monitor your pet's health. Quick detection and prompt treatment of this condition are necessary in order to ensure your pet's survival, as testicular cancer can spread and be fatal. However, dogs that have been neutered have no risk of developing testicular cancer, so the following list of symptoms should only apply to dogs that have not had this procedure done at some point in their lives. Testicular cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in older unneutered dogs, however.

Types of Testicular Cancer

There are three distinct types of testicular cancer in dogs. They are separated out according to the type of tumor and the cells that are affected. However, in most cases they are treated and diagnosed in the same way as one another. The three types do occasionally display different symptoms, though, so the signs that you see in your pet may be a good indicator of which type of cancer he is suffering from.

Sertoli Cell Tumor Symptoms in Dogs

Sertoli cell tumors are considered to be the most common and the most serious form of testicular cancer in dogs. They also produce the widest range of symptoms. One of the primary results of sertoli cell tumor growth in your pet's testicles is hyperestrogenization. This is the process that occurs when the cancerous cells stimulate production of excessive estrogen in your dog's body. The result is a set of symptoms that are related. The symptoms of hyperestrogenization as caused by a sertoli cell tumor include the following:

  • Enlarged mammary glands
  • Anemia
  • Hair loss, typically in symmetrical patterns
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • General tendency to attract other male dogs due to pheromone production

This type of tumor will also give other symptoms as well. These tend to be physical and are similar to the symptoms displayed in the other types of cancer listed below.

Dog Seminoma Symptoms

Seminomas are the second most common form of cancerous growth in a dog's testicles. They are characterized by a mixture of different physical symptoms, including the following:

  • Swelling in the groin or abdomen areas
  • Tenderness to the touch
  • Discomfort
  • Altered gait or difficulty sitting or laying down

Seminomas will generally not result in increased estrogen production, so they will not bring about symptoms as listed for the sertoli cell tumors above.

Interstitial Cell Tumors

The third type of tumor is the least common but also the safest. It is generally left without treatment, as interstitial cell tumors do not produce any additional estrogen and have no risk of spreading to other parts of your dog's body.

If you detect any symptoms listed here, or if you have any other reason to believe that your dog may be suffering from testicular cancer, take him in to the veterinarian immediately. Bring along a list of the symptoms that you've seen to ensure that the diagnosis can be made as easily and quickly as possible.