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How Long Can A Dog Live With Cancer?

How Long Can A Dog Live With Cancer?
How long can a dog live with cancer

Getting a cancer diagnosis for your dog seems like the worst nightmare of any owner. But know that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Thankfully, there are many different treatment options available nowadays. If you’re currently sick with worry for your dog the only question you have in mind is how long can a dog live with cancer. The answer to this question depends largely on many different factors.

In this article we will be going over the most important ones.

If you want to know more about canine cancer, read this. And if you want to read about the life expectancy in dogs, this article is for you.

How long can a dog live with cancer?

The key for a successful treatment and therefore also a better life expectancy for your dog is early diagnosis! Tumors in earlier stages of cancer usually don’t metastasize and cause other health issues. Besides this, another equally as important thing is the type of cancer your dog has.

Some other factors that will affect the outcome are also the age of your dog, additional diseases, treatment options and the stage the cancer advanced to.

Early diagnosis

By diagnosing the cancer early, the chances of possible complications are minimized. The tumor didn’t have the chance to metastasize or cause other organ damages that could occur. For example some larger tumors may cause difficulty breathing because they are pressing the lungs.

There is one simple thing you can do to make sure cancer is diagnosed in time. Schedule regular appointments at the vet! There are different ways for diagnosing cancer. But the main thing you can do is to monitor any changes in your dog. Be on the lookout for signs such as loss of appetite, weight loss, change in urine or/and feces, skin changes, lethargy. If you notice any stranger behaviors in your dog, discuss it with your vet.

You can read more about cancer diagnosis here.

Type of cancer

How long can a dog live with cancer largely depends on the type of cancer. To read about the most common types of cancer in dogs, click here.

Not all cancer types are equally as invasive. Another huge problem is that some tumors are “quiet” and won’t cause any symptoms until they are advanced. Make sure to inform yourself about the type of cancer your dog is dealing with. And don’t get too scared by all of the google searches. Contact your vet and ask them to educate you. Read books, look for people in similar situations. Try to find someone who’s dog has the same disease and share your experiences.

Only by knowing the cancer you can know what to expect.


When diagnosed with cancer most dogs are over the age of five. In most cases, however, they are already seniors. How long a dog can live with cancer also depends on the dog’s age. Older dogs with weaker bodies will have a smaller chance of surviving invasive cancers. Older dogs also often have additional diseases, such as different heart diseases.

These conditions make it harder for the dog to fight the cancer.


There isn’t a universal answer to the question how long can a dog live with cancer. Like we already discussed, it depends on a number of things. We can’t tell you if your dog will live up to an average life expectancy, or tragically lose their fight to cancer in a few months.

Before creating any expectations you’ll have to take all of these factors into consideration. Clearly, your vet will be discussing it with you as well. But no matter what the diagnosis says, know that the last thing you want to do right away is lose hope.

When it comes to cancer, the main thing you want to have in mind is your dog’s mental well-being. How well are they pushing through the fight, and how much energy do they have to keep on fighting.

As hard as it it, sometimes the only thing we can do is to let go before the little bodies of our furry friends go through too much suffering.

At this difficult time you’ll want to discuss every decision with your vet. They are the ones that know your dog’s condition the best, and they will let you know about any possible further steps.