Paraneoplastic Syndrome

When your dog has Paraneoplastic Syndrome, it is normal to jump into panic mode. Some tumours can be fatal. Others will not affect your dog’s life. Paraneoplastic syndrome is one of the side effects of having a tumour. This article will discuss the causes, treatments, and how the vet comes to a diagnosis to give you the peace of mind you need. 

More About Paraneoplastic Syndrome

Paraneoplastic Syndrome | Healthier Pets Today

When a tumour develops in a dog, several issues can arise. This issue is called Paraneoplastic Syndrome, and it affects the tissue situated around a tumour. These issues are caused by the secretion that the tumour in question has produced. A wide variety of symptoms can come from this syndrome that will depend on the underlying condition. 

What Symptoms Will My Dog Have?

A wide variety of symptoms presents itself in a dog with paraneoplastic syndrome. These symptoms, as mentioned above, depending on the underlying cause of the condition. The most common symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Hair loss
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Developing anaemia 
  • Ulcers

What are the Causes?

When the secretions of a tumour go on to affect nearby tissues, it is known as a paraneoplastic syndrome. The secretions are often hormonal in nature. 

How Paraneoplastric Syndrome is Diagnosed

Paraneoplastic Syndrome | Healthier Pets Today

Your vet will need you to give them a full medical history and the list of symptoms that your dog has. The history that you provide your vet with could indicate which organs are responsible for causing these underlying symptoms. 

Your vet will perform a very detailed physical exam and a full blood profile. The test results will provide the vet with evidence of an immune system response to cancer as well as to measure the effects of the tumour secretions on various tissues and organs in your dog’s body. 

Imaging will be done to rule out cancer in your dog’s lungs and abdomen. The imaging will also be used to examine the structures of both the internal organs and adrenal glands. If there are any skin disorders present, samples will be taken of the affected areas. Biopsies may also be performed on the affected organs. 

Possible Treatments

Paraneoplastic Syndrome | Healthier Pets Today

The medical action taken will depend on the underlying cause as well as the severity of the issue. Your vet might recommend the removal of a tumour if necessary. Nutritional support will be needed to stabilise your dog if it is suffering from anorexia before further medical intervention can take place. 

If the tumour is highly malignant, invasive treatment will be necessary. It is possible for chemotherapy to be recommended if the tumour responds to chemical therapy. The vet will discuss all your options with you so you can make an informed decision. 

If the tumour cannot be removed or treated, the vet will choose to manage the symptoms to provide your dog with the best quality of life possible. 

The Takeaway

Paraneoplastic syndrome is common amongst dogs with tumours. Your vet will take further steps to prevent the spread or remove the tumour causing it when it occurs. There are treatments available. However, not all treatments will work. If your vet cannot treat the underlying condition, he’ll provide you with the steps to give your dog the best possible quality of life.