Signs & Symptoms of Throat Cancer in Dogs

Updated February 21, 2017

Like humans, dogs are always susceptible to throat cancer. However, the signs and symptoms of a throat malignancy depend on the part of the throat affected. Since early treatment is the most effective with any cancer, it is important to recognise signs and symptoms early.

Esophageal Cancer

According to Pet Cancer Center, esophageal cancer is very rare in dogs, counting for only 0.5 per cent of all canine cancers. The most common symptoms include an overall malaise, regurgitation, weight loss and painful swallowing. Dogs with esophageal cancer are usually in a great deal of pain, and medication is almost always required to control symptoms. Several tests are needed to diagnose esophageal cancer, like biopsies, X-rays and an esophagoscopy.

Tracheal Cancer

Tracheal cancer affects the tube that carries air to the lungs. Like esophageal cancer, tracheal cancer is rare in dogs, according to the Pet Cancer Center. The most common signs include breathing problems when active and a persistent cough. This is also a very painful cancer that often requires medication. Also, in many cases tumours on the trachea are benign in dogs, but to determine whether the growth is cancerous a tissue biopsy is required.

Laryngeal Cancer

Like all other throat cancers in dogs, laryngeal cancer is rare. When tumours do appear on the larynx, they are often benign. Common symptoms are change in tone in the dog's bark, loss of interest in food and lethargy. In most cases, treatment for this type of cancer is usually successful. To diagnose laryngeal cancer, X-rays and biopsies are necessary. This is the most treatable of all throat cancers that can affect your dog.

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About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.