Pancreatic cancer in dogs is a serious issue, even more so than several other types of dog cancer due to the way it manifests itself.
Just having a pet can be very daunting in itself, and that's without all the steps you'll need to take to make sure it never falls prey to any serious illnesses. There are a number of dog health problems that dogs are vulnerable to, but most can be prevented or treated with proper knowledge of dog first aid and regular visits to your veterinarian.
However, pancreatic cancer in dogs is still too poorly misunderstood for dog cancer treatment to be fully reliable, and it's unfortunately one of the dog diseases that can be most dangerous to the animal's health.
All vertebrate organisms have a pancreas. It is a vital gland that carries out numerous important processes, such as the regulation of blood sugar and the digestion of food. Without a healthy, functional pancreas, these things can't be properly carried out, which results in pain and debilitation for the afflicted animal.
Pancreatic cancer in dog breeds often proves fatal due to the difficulty in treating the illness, so it's best to take active measures to ensure the disease never develops to begin with.
There is still no single known cause for pancreatic cancer in dog breeds, unfortunately. However, the disease is very rare, with pancreatic cancer comprising only five percent of all forms of cancer in dogs.
This fact can perhaps be seen as a bit of a double-edged sword, though; the rarity of this dog cancer means that not very much is known about it.
Also, the dog cancer symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer are rather non-specific, and can often be caused by all sorts of other diseases.
This, combined with the fact that the symptoms usually don't even show up until long after the dog with cancer has matured, means that many dogs with pancreatic cancer often don't even receive diagnosis or treatment until it's too late.
A dog suffering from pancreatic cancer could have any number of the following symptoms:
Some dogs may also start to experience seizures after developing pancreatic cancer. Due to the damage done to the organ, blood may also be found in the dog's stool, and its skin might develop a somewhat yellow coloration due to an obstructed bile duct.
Dogs with this form of dog cancer may experience loss of coordination and control.
Unfortunately, dogs with pancreatic cancer are often not expected to live much longer than a year.
The disease is incredibly difficult to treat, especially when given time to advance into its later stages, at which point most forms of surgery have little chance of doing much help.
Gastrointestinal bypass surgery is an option, but for the most part it does nothing but provide short-term relief for the dog's pain. Drugs, radiation and chemotherapy may also be administered.