German Shepherd Cancer: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment


Cancer is one of the world’s biggest health problems. Scientists all over the world try to develop a cure for it. Although sometimes successful, many cancer types are still incurable.

And, very unfortunately, this decease also goes for animals. As an example, German shepherds can have different cases of cancer, and even sometimes are more vulnerable to it. Including, but not ending on:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Bone cancer.
  • Spleen cancer (spleen tumor).
  • Skin and lung cancer.
  • Hemangiosarcoma (Circulatory system tumor).


Although cancer is hard to identify on it’s first stages, and the only true method of identification is, of course, the visit to your vet, you should be beware of the following symptoms:

  • Your German shepherd might just not want to do anything. Not because of laziness, more like being unable to do something. You should have already learned your dog enough to know if this happens. A good sign for taking your pet to the vet clinic.
  • Various difficulties with breath, recovery of cuts and other wounds, eating, problems when defecating and such. But because thees symptoms might refer to many more different illnesses, seeing one of them doesn’t necessarily mean cancer.
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight are another things that might get mixed up, but it’s truly a good thing to keep in mind as such symptom mostly means that something bad (or good) is going on in your dog’s system.

Those are not all possible symptoms, and many more can be found, though they will definitely point to the simple fact, that your dog is having problems.

Different Types of the Problem

As stated, the list of cancer subtypes is pretty long. But here are some of the most oftenly seen from the list, and what you need to know about them:

  • Tumor of the spleen. In most cases, it is still possible to save your dog. But to do so you have to act fast! The biggest problem that might occur is cancer distributing to other organs. In this case, it is very unlikely to treat anything. Although, if only the spleen is affected, then it can be removed. The best thing to do would be taking biopsy analysis and deciding on removing the organ.
  • Osteosarcoma (Bone cancer). Occurs more frequently in dogs like the German shepherds, mostly in limbs. An awful case of illness. Because it is very painful, the dog’s ability to walk will be much worse. And the worst thing, is that the only and most effective way to cure it would be amputating the limb, or the animal may not even live for next couple of months.
  • Hemangiosarcoma (Blood vessels cancer). German shepherds are very affected by it. It is a fast-growing tumor, which, if compromised, leads to an immediate bleeding and, eventually, death. It is a very bad decease. Even with all possible cures, the survival time can increase to less than a year. That is, when cured with chemical therapy and by removing the organ, which is affected by the tumor.


In any case, cancer is a very bad thing and need to be taken seriously. By reacting ASAP to the problem, you are increasing the chance of your dog’s survival by a big margin. Thank You for reading!

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Author of Silvia Brown
Written by Silvia Brown
Glad to see you, my friends! I started this blog several years ago as a hobby and continue to write articles about dogs.
I'm a dog lover and the proud owner of two wonderful dogs: French Bulldog Maya and Beagle Tom. It's been more than 10 years since I had a dogs and worked closely with them. I've raised four dogs throughout my life and have experience assisting in the births of two dogs. At least once a week, I volunteer with friends at a dog shelter AMA Animal Rescue and Animal Care Centers of NYC in NY.

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