Nasal Cancer In Dogs
The most common kind of nasal cancer in dogs is nasal adenocarcinoma. Nasal cancer occurs in the dog’s nose when too many cells grow in the dog’s nasal and sinus passages. This is a slow-growing cancer and there are good treatment options when the disease is caught early and treated aggressively.
Carcinomas such as adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma form in the nose’s lining. Another kind of nasal cancer in dogs are sarcomas. These tumors form in the nose cartilage, in the bone, or in the connective tissue of the nose. Other kinds of tumors are possible in the nose but they are very rare. It is rare for these nasal cancers to have spread to other parts of the body when they are first diagnosed. However, because nasal cancer does grow very slowly, if a dog dies from nasal cancer, up to 50 percent of these tumors may have spread to other places in the body. This is because the tumors would have had such a long time to metastasize. If the tumor does spread, it usually spreads to the lungs and lymph nodes, but it can spread to other organs.
Causes of Nasal Cancer in Dogs
Nasal cancer in dogs appears to be more common in larger breeds of dogs. It also seems to be more common in male dogs than females. Dogs that live in an environment with many pollutants are more at risk of developing nasal cancer.
Nasal cancer in dogs is rare and is estimated to make up only about 1 percent of tumors in dogs. However, if your dog does have a tumor in his nasal cavities or sinuses, it is believed that up to 80 percent of these tumors are cancerous. Most dogs who develop nasal cancer are around 10 years old.
Symptoms of Nasal Cancer in Dogs
Symptoms of nasal cancer in dogs include:
- Blockages in the dog’s nose
- Loss of weight
- Nose pain
- Facial deformity
- Nasal discharge
- Bleeding from the nose
If your dog is exhibiting some of the symptoms listed above you should take him to the veterinarian to get a diagnosis. Your vet will probably need to use a tiny microscopic camera and place it in your dog’s nose to look inside the nasal cavity. This is called rhinoscopy. Your vet will also need to do a biopsy to take a tissue sample of any kind of mass found in the nasal cavity. Your vet can also take bacterial cultures from cells in the nose. Your vet may also want to take material from your dog’s lymph nodes to see if the growth in your dog’s nose has metastasized to other parts of the dog’s body.
Treatment of Nasal Cancer in Dogs
In most cases the recommended treatment for dogs with nasal cancer is surgery along with radiation therapy. Surgery alone is not as effective as when it is combined with radiation. Chemotherapy can also be used as a treatment.
Left untreated, dogs with nasal cancer may live three to five months. With radiation therapy, 20 to 49 percent of dogs survive the first two years after they are treated.