Dog liver cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases that canines can come down with, but dogs usually don't die from cancer due to the fact that most tumors are benign.
Liver cancer lowers dog's life expectancy by a considerable amount, and dog first aid treatments can't really do much to stop it.
While there are a few things you can do to decrease the likelihood of your dog getting the disease, as well as several dog cancer symptoms you should learn to look out for, the unfortunate truth is that a dog with this type of tumor usually won't survive for long.
Before we can talk about why dog liver cancer is so deadly, we must first understand what the liver is and why it's so pivotal to the body's functions.
The liver is a vital, multipurpose organ that's located in all vertebrates, as well as some other organisms. It's responsible for carrying out such processes as detoxifying the body, synthesizing proteins, neutralizing dangerous chemicals in the blood, and helping to digest food by secreting bile.
Fortunately, the liver is a rather resilient organ; though damage to this part of the body can hinder a lot of important processes, the liver is able to continue functioning normally even if 60 to 70 percent of its mass has been affected by a dog disease.
This means that in the early stages of dog liver cancer, the tumor won't be causing any huge problems for the animal.
However, it also means that most of the symptoms don't really begin to show up until the dog cancer has had time to reach its metastatic phase. Once this happens, there's not much that can be done aside from administering dog cancer treatment to ease the dog's pain as much as possible.
Another problem is that even when symptoms are noticed, it's possible that they'll be mistaken for signs of a more benign illness. Since liver cancer in dogs affects the entire body, many of the dog cancer symptoms associated with it are also symptoms that are common to other illnesses.
Some of these conditions aren't nearly as dangerous as liver tumors, so a person with a cancerous dog might not even realize there's a serious problem until it's too late.
On the plus side, dog liver cancer isn't like other forms of dog cancers where the cause of the disease is unknown. This type of tumor is usually caused by ingestion of toxic foods, heavy metals, household poisons and exposure to lawn and garden poisons.
Once the dog has consumed hazardous materials, they have to pass by the liver for the detoxification process—and so begins the problem. This isn't always the case, though; not all types of dog cancer start in the liver.
Secondary liver disease begins in other body parts before reaching the liver through the process of metastasis.
When it comes to treating liver cancer in dogs, the aim usually isn't to increase the animal's lifespan. All that can really be done is to administer therapy to offer relief from the pain.
The best thing to do is to prevent the disease from ever occurring in the first place, which can be done by carefully monitoring what kinds of substances your dog comes into contact with.