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Canine Colon & Rectal Cancer

Dogs can get many types of cancers, including colon and rectal cancer. Although dogs of any age can get colon or rectal cancer, it most commonly appears in older dogs, according to Canine Cancer Awareness.

Types

Cancer of the dog's anal sacs is called anal sac adenocarcinoma. Cancers in the dog's colon, liver or spleen are called gastrointestinal lymphosarcoma.

Symptoms

Symptoms can vary for each dog, but common symptoms include constipation, passing blood, hair loss, loss of appetite and loss of energy. Sometimes the dog may seem to have an insatiable thirst, according to veterinarian Dr. Kimberly Cronin.

Treatment

Surgical removal is necessary to prevent the cancer from spreading, followed up with chemotherapy and radiation, according to "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook."

Prognosis

The average lifespan of a dog diagnosed with adenosarcoma is nine months, according to Canine Cancer Awareness. But dogs with lymphosarcoma can sometimes be cured.

Misconception

Dogs can grow what appear to be flesh-coloured grapes in side the rectum and out of the anus. These are called polyps and need to be removed but they are not cancerous, according to "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook."

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About the Author

Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.