Stomach cancer in dogs: symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention


Gastric adenocarcinoma is an extremely serious disease and some canine breeds are more predisposed to it than others, such as the Beagle or the Chow-Chow.

Relatively rare in dogs, stomach cancer should be diagnosed as early as possible because late treatment will not save the animal. Alas, it is usually quite advanced when diagnosed. Let’s take stock of this cancer, its symptoms, its causes. Let’s also see if there are any chances of saving the animal and if this type of cancer can be prevented.

Gastric cancer in dogs: symptoms

Stomach cancer in dogs causes symptoms related to digestive system discomfort, such as:

  • Tenderness in the abdominal area,
  • Black droppings,
  • Vomiting which may be bloody
  • An increasingly disturbing, marked loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss,
  • A reduction.

Those symptoms get worse as the cancer grows.

However, it should be noted that the clinical expression is not specific gastric cancer. Digestive symptoms are common in dogs who present with even a very minor health problem unrelated to a malignant tumor. In the case of gastric cancer, at the onset of the disease the symptoms often go unnoticed or are more or less trivialized and therefore neglected by the owner of the animal. However, these demonstrations must be taken very seriously and at the slightest alert the veterinarian must be consulted.

If stomach cancer is not diagnosed early enough, it inevitably leads to serious consequences for the animal because it is one of the most aggressive cancers.

Stomach cancer in dogs: treatment

Gastric biopsy, abdominal ultrasound, endoscopy, blood test are all investigations that can confirm or rule out the presence of stomach cancer in dogs.

The best solution to treat gastric adenocarcinoma is to use the surgery when it is still possible. However, this is not always the case. If the tumor has ever produced metastasis or if the cancer has caused significant gastric lesions, the veterinarian can no longer operate on the dog. Note that tissue ablation nevertheless gives good results when the diagnosis is early, all the more so if the surgical act is associated with chemotherapy or at the radiotherapy.

In the vast majority of cases, the treatment of stomach cancer in dogs comes too late because, as we have seen previously, it does not cause specific symptoms so that breeders are rarely alerted. the prognosis is then very bad since the lifespan of the animal after late treatment does not generally exceed 4 to 6 months.

Stomach cancer in dogs: prevention

To reduce the risk of stomach cancer, make sure you give your dog a very high quality feed and always keep food in excellent conditions to avoid bacterial contamination. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium responsible for gastric infections that can become chronic.

However, it is difficult to prevent hereditary and genetic forms. This serious cancer must be treated before the proliferation of metastases. For this, at the slightest symptom even if it seems a priori benign, a consultation with the veterinarian must be scheduled as soon as possible.