Cancer in Dogs
Dogs suffer form a variety of cancers on their face and head. The mouth is a common site for cancer. Breeds with dark pigment, like black cocker spaniels and chows, are prone to melanomas in the mouth. Signs include swelling around apparently normal teeth. Cancer of the nose and nasal sinuses accounts for 2 percent of all cancer in dogs. Sniffing chemicals and carcinogens like herbicides and pesticides are though to be causative factors. High-energy radiation therapy provides the longest survival time for nasal tumors. Dogs survive for 12 to 18 months with this treatment but most eventually die as a result of the tumor.
(NOTE: Cancer is common in boxers.)
A benign overgrowth of gum tissue is called an epulus. These growths are not uncommon and tend to become quite large. They can lead to gum disease because food deposits can become trapped in the gap between the tumor and the tooth allowing bacteria to multiply and attack the gums. These growths are benign and are not life threatening.
WHAT YOU AND YOUR VET CAN DO
* Look at your dog’s mouth regularly, on a daily basis if possible, so that you can identify problems early. Any growth in the mouth should be checked by your vet to establish a diagnosis.
* Limiting exposure to sunlight helps decrease the risk of developing skin, nose and mouth cancers. To avoid excessive sun, use sun block with 30 plus protection, keep your dog inside from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the sun is at its hottest and get your dog a jacket or even a hat if necessary.
Two remedies that may help decrease the size of an epulus (gum growth). For dogs over eight years old, Caldaria fluorica 30c given twice each week can be beneficial, for younger dogs try Calcarea carbonica 30c twice a week.