dog to be euthanized

Dog Oral Cancer: When To Put Down Your Dog?

Dogs become the most crucial part of your life the day they enter your life. Their presence strengthens your heart, and their shiny eyes make you happy. But dogs have a short life span as compared to humans. Dogs' average life span is 10-12 years. We want our pets to outlive as pet owners, but it is not possible because nature has some rules. The disease and poor health of the dog is the saddest situation that a pet owner can see in his life. And in a worse situation, you even need to decide to euthanize your dog. I know it is one of the hardest decisions to make, but it sometimes becomes necessary, especially in the case of a dog's cancer.

Oral cancer in dogs could be due to various reasons. No matter the reason, oral cancer is one of the most painful diseases that dogs ever undergo in their life. To save the dog from the unbearable pain of oral cancer, vets sometimes recommend you euthanizing the dog. Three points will help you decide whether to euthanize your dog or not. First, when the number of health days outnumbers painful days. Second, when dogs stop eating and stop taking interest in anything. Third, when the dog is undergoing unbearable pain. Based on the three points, you can decide either to euthanize your dog or not.

If your dog has oral cancer then make sure to read the article to full length. In this article, we will tell you what is oral cancer, how it is a potential danger for dogs, whats are the common signs, and what to do if your dog has got untreatable oral cancer?

1. Oral Cancer in Dogs

Cancer is a disease in which parts of your body start to grow uncontrollably. Cancer starts to develop when the body's normal processes stop working. It can develop in almost any part of the body. Cancer in any form is dangerous for humans and dogs, but oral cancer, in particular, is a matter of potential danger. Cancer is one of the common diseases in dogs, cancer accounts for an average of 27% of all canine deaths, according to a study.

Oral cancers are potentially dangerous for dogs because they can affect the two most crucial processes of a dog's life; eating, and breathing. Moreover, dog cancers are potentially painful and deadly.

A dog can develop two types of oral cancers. Malignant and benign. Benign tumors are not harmful or least deadly, whereas malignant tumors are dangerous.
Malignant tumors have three types:

  • Squamous cell cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Fibrosarcomas

The percentage of malignant oral cancer in dogs is very high, according to a study, malignant oral tumor accounts 58.1% of all oral tumors in dogs. Oral cancer could have one to various causes in dogs. Let's discuss in detail how oral cancer develops in dogs?

2. How does oral cancer start in dogs?

The exact mechanism of the development of oral cancer is still unknown. But the environmental and the genetic factor is one of the most common causes of oral cancer.

Moreover, there are some breeds of dogs that are more predisposed to oral cancer than others. Breeds at risk of developing oral cancer include German shepherds, boxers, chows, and miniature poodles.

Microorganism specialty viruses can also cause oral cancers in dogs. Older dogs are more prone to oral cancer than younger ones. But young dogs can also develop oral cancer.

Melanoma is one of the most common oral cancers in dogs. Melanoma cancers are aggressive, and they spread very fast. According to the study, the risk of developing melanoma increased more with age and male dogs are at greater risk of developing melanoma.

3. Common Symptoms of Oral Cancer in Dogs

Oral cancer in a dog's mouth looks like the outgrowth swelling and the elevated mass. The size of the tumor or outgrowth may vary depending upon the age, cause, and nature of cancer.

There are several other external symptoms of oral cancer. The most common symptoms include:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling and saliva and regurgitation of food
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Partial to complete inappetence
  • Obvious and sharp oral pain
  • General swelling or edema on the face
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Labored breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of sleep
  • Abnormal discoloration of teeth and gums
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Above mentioned signs are the most common signs of oral cancer in dogs. These signs appear in combination. If your dogs have a combination of symptoms, then you need to visit the veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

4. When To Put A Dog Down With Oral Cancer?

All living things have pain receptors. Dogs face the pain in the same way humans do, but they can't speak to tell you the level of their pain. However, a pet owner can tell how much pain a dog is bearing. Sometimes our best friends develop untreatable diseases like oral cancers. In these diseases, we have to find a way that can give them relief from the unbearable pain.

As I told you before, the euthanasia decision could be difficult. It is hard for any dog owner to accept that his dog will not be present when he gets home after the office. And he would not be able to love his dogs right after awakening. But we have to do it for the sake of our dog.

You can better decide whether to choose euthanasia for your dog or not when you put yourself in the shoes of your dog. Here are the following things to consider while choosing euthanasia for your dog.

1. Take advice from a Vet

If you are a dog owner, then the vet is your best friend. A vet can tell you the pros and cons of euthanasia. He can tell you the potential danger of the disease and the level of pain that the dog is undergoing.

Considering the vet's points, you can decide whether you will put your dog down or not.

2. When the days of Pain outnumber the Happy days

We all know the feeling of being ill. We become so hopeless and exhausted we want immediate treatment and care. And as the disease prolongs, we started hating ourselves and the disease. The same happens with the dogs.

When they constantly suffer from unbearable pain, they become exhausted. That's why they don't like taking part in any physical activities and even refuse to eat.

If you see this type of condition and you know there is not any treatment for the disease. Then what is the purpose of keeping a dog in pain? Do you want to see your dog dying because of pain? To avoid a painful end it is better to choose a peaceful death.

3. When a dog is facing Untreatable, Unbearable Pain

The concept of pain is the same for almost everyone. The dogs hate continuous pain the same as humans do.

In the acute stages, oral cancer could become very painful. At this stage, you can see the visible signs of pain in dogs. Dogs even cry due to sharp pain. If it is so then, it's better to euthanize the dog rather than prolonging the pain.

4. When the dog stops Eating and face difficulty in Breathing

Oral cancers are more painful during eating and labored breathing. That's why in acute stages, dogs stop eating. If your dog has entirely stopped eating, then you can consult your veterinarian to decide on euthanasia.

5. Don't delay euthanasia for your sake

All pet parents are emotionally attached to their pets. They can't even imagine their life without their pets. No matter if they are healthy or not, they want to keep their pets with them.

If you are also thinking this way, then you are becoming selfish. Just to satisfy yourself, you are making your dog bear unbearable pain. Accept that in the case of untreatable cancer, euthanasia is the only thing your dog needs.

Some people might consider the decision of euthanasia as a heartless one, but sometimes euthanasia becomes the last good thing you can do for your dog to elevate his pain.

Conclusion

Dog mouth cancer is a life-threatening emergency in the dog. It is painful, and it spreads very fast. If you see any developing sigh of mouth cancer, then contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. And if you are fortunate to find your dog in the chronic stage of cancer, then try all the means that you can do to treat oral cancer and to give your dog a healthy life.

But in some circumstances, when older age, considerable suffering, poor outcomes of the diseases come together, you need to take the hard decision, such as euthanizing a dog. But keep in mind that always take euthanasia as the last step, to give relief to your dog from the unbearable pain. No one can decide the time of euthanasia for your dog better than you. Take this decision for the good of your dog, to save him from the painful death

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