Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs

Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Disorientation / Straining To Urinate

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Rated as serious conditon

10 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Disorientation / Straining To Urinate

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Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What is Urinary Bladder Cancer ?

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a soft-tissue sarcoma which forms near the region of the bladder known as the trigone. In some cases, the tumor can occur on the wall of the bladder. The mass appears as a cluster of round bulges (similar in appearance to a cluster of grapes) and can force itself into the bladder and fill up the urethra. This type of cancer is rare and can occur in dogs that are large breed and young in age.

Urinary bladder cancer, also called rhabdomyosarcoma, is a type of cancer found in the muscle walls of the bladder or the trigone. While this cancer is very rare, it has a good prognosis if diagnosed in the early stages and treated accordingly.

Symptoms of Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs

Signs of urinary bladder cancer are sometimes confused with a kidney or urinary tract infection. It takes a veterinary exam to rule out any type of infection before giving the diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma. Clinical symptoms include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Urinating frequently with little flow
  • Blood in the urine
  • Blocked urethra
  • Malaise or restlessness
  • Lameness

Types

The tumors of botryoid rhabdomyosarcoma can be found in two different places, depending on the dog and, at times, the breed of the dog. Certain breeds are more susceptible to others in terms of characteristics of tumors, such as size and location.

  • Urinary bladder cancer, or botryoid rhabdomyosarcoma, is usually found near the trigone. The trigone is the smooth region inside the bladder, shaped like a triangle. Many of the tumors are located close to the trigone.
  • In some cases, the tumors can be located on the urinary bladder wall. This area is not connected with the trigone.

Causes of Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs

Urinary Bladder Cancer (Rhabdomyosarcoma) in Dogs is quite rare, with only one-percent of canines being diagnosed with this type of cancer. There is still much research being conducted on rhabdomyosarcoma in canines. This soft-tissue cancer can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Wastewater parasites
  • Trauma to the muscle
  • Foreign bodies
  • Orthopedic implants

Diagnosis of Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs

If you suspect your companion may have bladder cancer, track the symptoms. If your canine has trouble urinating, acts as if he is in pain, has blood in the urine, or any of the other signs listed above, immediately call your veterinarian. If you are able to do so, collecting a urine sample may help the veterinarian do preliminary testing on the specimen, but may not be necessary. The veterinarian will tell you what to do if anything needs to be done before the appointment.

To diagnose the issue, the veterinarian will conduct a physical examination that will include complete blood work, rectal examination, complete urinalysis with a urine culture, a serum biochemistry profile, electromagnetic radiation imaging of the thorax, abdomen, and bladder. The veterinarian will be looking for specific signs of the cancer, such as a thickened wall of the muscle in the urethra or trigone bladder region, enlarged lymph nodes, or any mass in the bladder. The veterinarian will also check for a bladder that is distended.

The veterinarian will be very careful during the diagnosis to prevent the tumor (if present) from seeding. He will use a carefully inserted catheter to collect the urine if it cannot be collected freely.

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Treatment of Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs

There are several different modes of treatment for urinary bladder cancer in dogs. 

Emergency Surgery

  • The location of the trigone and lesions on the urethra prevent surgery from being performed successfully. Surgery is only used for emergency treatment, such as in removing large tissues from any lesions or with an obstruction of the urinary tract.

Radiation

  • Radiation can be used successfully in checking any tumor growth, but complications can arise. The dog can become incontinent, develop an inflammation of the bladder, and have even more difficulty in urinating. In some cases, though, radiation can be effective along with chemotherapy in the eradication of the tumors.

Chemotherapy

  • With chemotherapy, the treatment and type of drugs are decided in accordance with the specific types of tumors, where they are located, the size, and of the course the stage of the cancer and if it has metastasized. With smaller lesions, chemotherapy can be effective and can lead to remission. This is if the cancer is caught in the early stages.

Recovery of Urinary Bladder Cancer in Dogs

During chemotherapy, nutrition is vital to keeping the dog healthy and thriving. Your veterinarian will give you options and advice on nutrition to enable your loved one to react to the chemotherapy or other treatment in the most positive way possible.

The veterinarian will want to see the dog at regular intervals during treatment, and after treatment is complete. Having regular veterinary visits ensures the dog is doing well and if anything happens health wise, it can be addressed immediately, rather than waiting. Being proactive is important during and after treatment.

If this cancer is caught in the early stages, remission is quite possible. The outlook of this disease, after treatment, is considered good. With treatment, the dogs that have rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder can survive. About one-third of dogs diagnosed with this type of cancer succumb to the disease.

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Urinary Bladder Cancer Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$9,500

Urinary Bladder Cancer Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Calvin

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Ridgeback mix

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15 Years

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Critical condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Difficulty Urinating

I have a 50 lb ridgeback mix who is 15 years old. He has severe arthritis, a fused spine from a break and is missing a front leg. Without Adequan and pain med's he can't walk. An x-ray shows a mass in his prostate/bladder and he had blood in his urine and pain with urination which cleared with anitbiotics. My vet said he can do ultrasound, urinalysis and blood work to determine the type of mass and potentially treat it but I am concerned about putting him through all of that at his age. I am managing his pain and am really torn about putting him through so much at his age and in his condition. What would you recommend?

June 19, 2018

Calvin's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Ultrasound, urinalysis and blood tests are not really invasive except for ultrasound may be a little distressing with the probe; it would be a good idea however to go through those tests just to gather more information. Once you have more information from the ultrasound etc… you will be more informed to make decisions. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 20, 2018

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Angel

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miniature poodle

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6 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

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Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Blood In Urine

My dog has had recurring uti's for about s year, this one she has had 2 weeks and not cleared up. There is very little bacteria in her wee and no crystals have grown from the sample. The vet wants to do X-rays and take a wee sample from the bladder . Could it be something else rather than bladder cancer? If it was that I would put her down straight away as I don't want to see her deteriate any more and suffer, I font know if that's right or wrong tho? She is weeping all the time and it's is nearly all blood and I know she is pain now as she squatting for age's and nothing is comming out just blood , then she will lick herself . I'm scared I'm going to have to lose my dog

April 20, 2018

Angel's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

An x-ray or ultrasound is the next step in a case like this, however if it is bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma) treatments like piroxicam show good management. Other possible causes may be due to trauma, clotting disorders, low level poisoning, kidney disease among other causes. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 21, 2018

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Marley

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Labrador Retriever

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8 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Wee All Time Lay On Grass Anight

My dog has bladdercancer he is waking me up all through the night for a wee it is so tiring took another urine sample into vet what shall I is my dog in pain should I put him to sleep

March 30, 2018

Marley's Owner


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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Without examining Marley I cannot say whether he is showing signs of pain or not, with his condition it may be a case that at some point you may need to think about putting him down but that is a decision that you need to make. This type of cancer normally affects the neck of the bladder which may lead to frequent urination, discuss Marley’s case with your Veterinarian and discuss whether the time has come or not. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 30, 2018

Just had,my,12 yrs,old,staffy,put,to,sleep,she,had,bladder,tumor,was,told,weeks,ago,carnt,have,operation.final.vet,appointment,i,was,told,lady,hadnt,got.long.so.i had to do the right thing for her,as,i,cudnt,see,her,suffer,any.longer,constant,weein,and,straining,to.wee,blood,in,her,urine.it has broke,my,heart to.lose her,but that was all I could do.marg57.

July 11, 2018

Margaret B.


My dog seems fine in herself playfull and eating & drinking. But I know she's in pain .She is going out all the time for a wee and it's turning more blood now than wee , if it turned out to be cancer I would put her down straight away as I know there is no cure and I font want to see her deteriorate and suffer ? But I don't know if that's right or wrong .

April 20, 2018

Sharon S.


My girl dog is 6 years old , she's has had recurring uti's, she has had one now for nearly 2 weeks , antibiotics are not working. There is very little bacteria in her wee and no crystal drown from the wee sample. The vet now want to do X-rays and take a sample of wee from her bladder . I'm worried it is bladder cancer . Could it be anything else ?

April 20, 2018

Sharon S.

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Ellie

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pit bull terrier

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11 Years

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Blood In Urine

My dog was diagnosed with bladder cancer 15 months ago . Now she’s peeing and not even waking up . Is is normal for her to do that towards the end of her life ? She sleeps a lot , drinks a lot sometimes but she still eats good . I’m having a very hard time with this and I don’t know what to really expect . She was sleeping on my bed and when she woke up there was a big puddle under her and I’ve found pee on her other blanket . She also acts like her tummy is sensitive if I try to touch it . Sometimes there’s blood in her urine

March 20, 2018

Ellie's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

The urination whilst sleeping may be due to old age, bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma typically affects the area around the neck of the bladder), weak sphincter or another cause; you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination since Ellie has a painful abdomen and has blood in the urine which may be an indicator of the bladder cancer progressing even with the Deramaxx (deracoxib) treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 20, 2018

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Lucy

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Chihuahua

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11 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Blood In Urine
Frequent Urination
Straining To Urinate

We started seeing bloody spots on our dog's blanket after her night sleep. After the vet did blood work, urinalysis and an ultrasound he found a small growth on the back wall of the bladder and diagnosed TCC. She is now on deramaxx and ciprofloxacin. She was on deramaxx last month alone and this month he added the cipro. She seems to have diarhea now and a loss of appetite. How important is the cipro to manage or try for remission. Is there another alternative to add with the deramaxx? Or is this the best combo out there now?

March 1, 2018

Lucy's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that is happening to Lucy. There are not very may options for management of TCC, and the combination of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory may help keep anything under control. If she is having GI signs from the medication, it would be best to follow up with your veterinarian, as there may be other medications that can by used to decrease those signs.

March 2, 2018

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nestle

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Chihuahua

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1 Year

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Critical condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Depression
Coughing
Loss Of Appetite
Kidney Failure
Vomiting,

My baby Nestle was only 1.6 yrs old. She was so happy and energetic, loved everyone . Well, she began vomiting and I worried and gave her water to re-hydrate but she threw it up so I stopped and gave her ice chips only. She was depressed and tired and moaned and coughed . I found a large puddle of urine that was very dark red. I took her to the vet and they tested her urine and all her levels were off. She was going through kidney and liver failure stage 4 , out of nowhere. They were doing an ultrasound and saw that her bladder was "ill-defined and had a mass or clot" . I took her to another vet I was recommended to and he did diuresis for 3 days. The first day, she progressed. Then the last 2 she got worse again. I had to put her down, she was dying of renal and liver failure. I told the doctor that the other doctor had found a mass that they thought was a blood clot, but this doctor said she wasn't bleeding, it was cancer they must have seen. Im very devastated and hurt. it happened so fast. I miss her so much....I don't know what caused this all...its driving me insane. I feel like its cancer or leptospirosis because we lived in a warm area with streams and lakes with wild life such as raccoons around. I need to know what caused this, or have a better idea of what it was to have closure...any thoughts? she was cremated already so I can't get a necropsy.

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ailsa

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Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Incontinance Poor Mobility

My Yellow lab is 10 and was just diagnosed with bladder cancer and tumour is on right wall about 3cm thick and has travelled to her lymph nodes. The vet has given me garbapentin for her pain which she takes every 12 hours . She strains to pee and sometimes she pees blood sometimes no pee and sometimes a small stream. It now she is peeing while resting and has no idea she has peed herself.. her mobility is not as good anymore she can move but seems her back legs are giving her difficulty. Is this signs she is nearing the end I am so torn I do not know what to do, so hard to make the call. Vet says it’s our call and it’s all about quality of life. She is still eating.

Urinary Bladder Cancer Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$9,500

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