Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. It can originate in any tissue, and if not found and arrested in time, it can spread and attack organs or other tissues. Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over 10 years old, and about half of all cancers are treatable if they are caught in the early stages.
Almost any dog owner who has ever heard their pet may have been confronted with two emotions: fear for their beloved companion’s life and hope for an effective treatment. Pet owners must watch for signs of illness, including a lump or bump, any wound that doesn’t heal, unexplained weight loss, any change in eating, drinking or peeing habits and a general change in behavior. Depending on the type of tumor, some symptoms are more obvious than others. Some tumors can be felt with the touch of a hand, such as an enlarged spleen or a swollen lymph node. Others cannot be seen or felt, but are observable by a veterinarian during a physical exam.
If a tumor is located in the brain, it will manifest as extreme changes in behavior and/or seizures. In this case, the veterinarian will use a combination of tests to determine the location and severity of the tumor, such as an MRI and/or CAT scan. Once the tumor is detected, chemo and/or radiation therapy can be used to control the cancer and alleviate symptoms.
Dog lymphoma can affect any breed of dog at any age and is often identified by swollen lymph nodes (glands) that can be seen or felt under the neck, in front of the shoulders, or behind the knee. Lymphoma can also occur in glands that are not visible or felt, such as the spleen and digestive tract. It is usually treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation, but some forms of lymphoma are less responsive to these treatments and have a poor prognosis.
Recently, a video circulating on TikTok and Facebook has claimed that the dog dewormer fenbendazole cures cancer in humans. While some preclinical studies have suggested this drug could be a potential treatment for human cancer, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved it to do so. In fact, if a person takes this drug without proper supervision from a medical professional, it could have dangerous or even fatal consequences. Fortunately, there are experts who are working on ways to use dog dewormers and other natural remedies as cancer treatments for humans. For example, Penn researchers are using a dewormer for dogs and a pinworm medicine for people to target mutated BRAF, which is linked to many forms of cancer in humans. By understanding how mutated BRAF affects cancer in dogs, the team hopes to develop useful strategies that could be applied to human patients with glioblastoma and other brain tumors. dog dewormer cancer