Choosing when to euthanize your dog with bladder cancer can be scary, but a necessary step if they’re in significant pain. If the ongoing effects of your dog’s bladder cancer are impacting their quality of life, this might be an indicator for you to consider the next steps.
The reality is, there is no “right” time to euthanize your dog, but there are signs and stages that can help you with your decision. If your dog is in complete pain, anorexic, can no longer pass urine, and is too weak to eat/drink/move — these are signs that you might want to consider euthanizing your furry friend.
Euthanizing is never an easy process, but when bladder cancer has completely taken over your dog’s ability to live happily and painlessly — it can sometimes be a no-brainer. Continue reading this article to learn more about dog bladder cancer, the chances of survival, the different stages, and much more.
How Long Will My Dog Live with Bladder Cancer?
Some dogs can survive up to 15 months while battling bladder cancer, whilst others might only live for 1-2 months. Unfortunately, there is no specific time frame you can refer to — as each dog will have a different situation.
Is Dog Bladder Cancer Painful?
Yes, dog bladder cancer is painful for your furry friend. The kind of pain he/she will feel depends on which stage of bladder cancer they’re in. Some of the painful sensations which your dog might feel include a burning vulva, throbbing bones, weakness in the bones, aching to walk, and stabbing in the stomach.
Can a Dog Survive Bladder Cancer?
When diagnosed with bladder cancer, the rate of prolonged survival decreases the further stages they’re in. Unfortunately, it’s extremely rare for a dog with bladder cancer to heal completely of it.
If you’re lucky enough to catch your dog’s bladder cancer early, you might be able to spend at least a year with your pooch. However, if he/she suddenly declines, the tables can quickly turn — especially when the cancer begins to spread outside of the muscle wall.
The best chance of survival is plenty of TLC (Tender, Loving, Care), feeding healthy foods, monitoring their progress each day, and keeping your dog comfortable as best as you can. This way, you can work to spend as long as possible with them.
Stages of Dog Bladder Cancer
The stages your dog with bladder cancer goes through will vary case by case. As a simplified explanation, this includes:
- Stage 1. Recent diagnosis, cancer has extended through the inner lining of the bladder.
- Stage 2. Cancer has grown into the bladder’s muscle wall.
- Stage 3. The cancer has moved into the tissue outside of the bladder.
- Stage 4. This indicates the spread of cancer in other body parts.
If your dog has recently been diagnosed with dog bladder cancer, he/she will develop signs that can either indicate improvement or decline. A dog still in the early stages of bladder cancer will have a better chance of improvement as opposed to a dog in the later stages.
Dogs showing neither improvement nor deterioration are considered to be in the middle stage (stage 1 – 2). This means that your furry friend still has a chance of healing, as the cancer hasn’t developed too far. However, they’re healing at a slow rate or sometimes, not healing at all. The key indicator is your dog is not worsening.
When you hear the words “later stage of dog bladder cancer”, or stage 3 – 4, this can imply that your pooch is rearing the end. Although, this does not mean your dog will pass immediately. It simply refers to extreme deterioration caused by the cancer — with worsening pains to attribute that.
No matter the stage which your dog is experiencing its bladder cancer, your main priority should be monitoring them carefully.
Signs Your Dog’s Bladder Cancer is Getting Worse
Unfortunately, there can be some tell-tale signs your dog might develop, informing you that their bladder cancer is getting worse. These signs include:
- A complete inability to pass urine
- Extreme pain and discomfort to urinate
- Blood clots in your dog’s urine
- Loss of appetite or anorexia
- Frequent weakness in their body
These signs are indications that your dog’s bladder cancer is either worsening or coming to the end-stage. Although some dogs can continue to live months while battling bladder cancer, if your dog shows any of these signs — you should carefully consider their quality of life.
What Causes Dog Bladder Cancer?
The exact cause of dog bladder cancer is unknown. Dog bladder cancer is believed to start in the cells which line the bladder. On the rare occasion where changes to these cells occur, exposure to certain chemicals can influence this process.
If your dog has been exposed to toxic chemicals, maybe in their water or eating certain foods, can always play a part in the cause of their bladder cancer. However, it’s something that can’t always be controlled — as dogs will roam when you’re not around.
What Do You Feed a Dog with Bladder Cancer?
Vegetables are the best source of food, specifically for a dog battling bladder cancer. Feeding your dog vegetables, leafy greens, in particular, work to slow the damage in your dog’s blood cells.
Apart from leafy greens, you can also feed your dog vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. These may include carrots, broccoli, avocados, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and also asparagus. Foods to AVOID feeding your dog with bladder cancer are high amounts of red meats, greasy foods, or any form of dairy produce.