Shih Tzu Cancer: Symptoms and Treatment


Death. Alas, death is something that no living being can avoid. Nowadays cancer is considered as one of the most widely-spread causes of death, but not many people know cancer affects dogs too. And the best way to postpone the inevitable as far as possible is to know the symptoms and notice them in time. Of course, only a skillful vet can diagnose oncology with certainty, but the symptoms you still need to know.

The Symptoms

Weight loss and gain

If a dog started losing weight for no obvious reason, this is a bad sign.

But! Weight gain for no obvious reason is also a cause for concern, because this may be triggered by bone cancer (osteosarcoma)


Having notice a bump or lump under the dog’s skin, you should take some measures. This may be either a benign tumor or a deadly carcinoma, especially if they discharge blood. Anyway, you can’t know it for sure until the bump is cut out and send to a lab. In order to find a new bump in time, check your dog’s skin monthly. Remember to check around the face and behind ears.

Appetite Loss

Among all other diseases, cancer is one that may decrease appetite, but of course one single appetite loss cannot serve as a relevant sign of an oncology disease.


Exhaustion, lack of energy can be caused by cancer too. If your dog shows no interest in playing and even walking, if he is just laying down, eyes closed, instead of running to you when you are entering the home, this may well be a symptom of cancer.

Changes in Behavior

Sudden tantrums or alienation may be caused by cancer as well. Besides, behavioral changes usually manifest in physical changes, for example limp, slow in getting up or inability to run or walk slowly.

Swollen Belly

Belly can swell not only because of overeating or pregnancy as swelling caused by overeating disappears quickly after a meal and pregnancy is preceded by the corresponding changes in organism, not to mention coitus. If neither of these appears then cancer may be the reason.


Of course, diarrhea is not something that should put you in fear immediately. But if diarrhea is obviously not as a result of changing diet, it’s worth the careful attention of you and your vet.

Bad Smell

Tumor may result in unusual odor from nose, mouth or anus. You probably know what your dog’s usual breath smells like, so it must be easy for you to compare.

Respiratory Problems

Most probably your dog is coughing because he caught a common cold. But if he is also wheezing and feels shortness of breath after a little exercise, these might be symptoms of lung cancer.

E.N.T. Problems

Constantly runny nose, sneezing, excessive tears and bulging eyes are also signs that cannot be ignored. Together with other symptoms, these may be caused by a growing nasal carcinoma.

Open Sores

Wounds and sores that are not healing may be caused by serious medical issues, including cancer.

Pale Gums

Cancer often causes blood loss and consequently pale color of gums.


Firstly, you should understand that simple measures you can take at home to treat cancer simply do not exist. There is nothing you can do by your own. However, there are plenty of things doctors can do:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Cryosurgery (freezing)
  • Hyperthermia (heating)
  • Immunotherapy

Of course, the type of treatment depends on the type of cancer and defined by a veterinarian. To find out what type of cancer your dog has, if any, a specialist can study the symptoms, e.g. hardened breathing indicates lung cancer; oral cancer is characterized by excessive drooling, difficulties in swallowing and/or bleeding mouth; severe diarrhea is a symptom of digestive cancer etc.


We hope that this leaflet will prove to be effective in opportune diagnostics of cancer, so you will have enough time to wrest your beloved pet from the hands of cancer before it is too late.

6 Photos of the Shih Tzu Cancer: Symptoms and Treatment

Do Shih Tzu get cancerShih Tzu mouth cancerBone cancer in Shih TzuShih Tzu cancer symptomsCancer in Shih TzuShih Tzu cancer
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.
Medically reviewed by Awilda Rodriguez, DVM on April 7th, 2016,

Comment Box of Shih Tzu Cancer: Symptoms and Treatment

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Popular Gallery

Shih tzu flea treatment
Shih Tzu Flea Treatment
Caring for a pregnant Beagle
Caring For A Pregnant Beagle
Training a Beagle to hunt birds
Training A Beagle To Hunt Birds
Names For Girl Huskies
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Copyright © All about dog breeds