Cancer is a health condition in which cells grow out of control and no longer perform the functions necessary for life. These cells can form solid tumors that press on other organs, causing pain and malfunction. Cancers can metastasize, meaning that the original cancerous cells can travel to nearby and distant parts of the body and cause a secondary type of cancer to grow there. For example, breast cancer can spread to the lungs and liver.
As with humans, canine cancer risk rises with age. Other possible canine risk factors include exposure to toxins, early spay and neuter, and diet. The link between spaying and neutering and cancer risk is controversial. Some studies indicate that spaying and neutering reduce the risk of certain cancers; more recent ones suggest that early spaying and neutering increases cancer risk. The AKC now recommends that spaying and neutering be delayed at least until a dog has reached sexual maturity. This delay also allows a male dog’s muscles to develop properly, too.
Regrettably, certain breeds are more susceptible to certain types of cancer, primarily owing to genetics. While there are measures you can take to minimize the likelihood of cancer in your dog, completely eliminating the risk is not possible. As your dog ages and cancer progresses, there might come a time when your beloved companion is enduring too much suffering. Fortunately, options like in-home dog euthanasia offer a way to make the process peaceful and comfortable. Being mindful of the potential complications associated with your dog’s breed can prove advantageous in providing them with the best possible life and care.