Canine Nasal Tumor

"Sinus cancer"

Sinus cancer

Fear your dog may have a canine nasal tumor or sinus cancer? Watching for possible symptoms could allow you to detect a tumor in time to arrest the disease process.

Sneezing and nasal discharge are common for dogs, however combined with any of the other symptoms listed below can indicate a serious condition that needs the attention of your veterinarian.

Signs of nasal cancer

1) Rubbing the nose or pawing at the face

2) Gagging

3) Pharyngeal Gag Reflex or “reverse sneezing”

4) Excessive swallowing from post-nasal drip

5) Bleeding or pus-like discharge from one or both nostrils

6) Foul smell from mouth or nose

7) Obvious facial pain

8) Swelling of facial features

9) Noisy breathing

10) Loss of appetite or obvious weight loss

11) Lethargy or lack of energy

12) Excessive tear production

13) Bulging eyes

14) Seizures that indicate metastasis to the brain

Canine nasal tumors are typically diagnosed as paranasal sinus fibrosarcomas or paranasal sinus chondrosarcomas.

Both of these types grow slowly but are progressive and invasive in nature. Routine blood and urine tests are used to diagnose these tumors, along with biochemical profiling, biopsies and CT scans.

The vet can also use a device called an endoscope, which is a camera that is passed into the nasal tract to visually inspect this area.

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Canine tumors

Treatment can include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other anti-cancer drugs. Surgery is used on occasion, however, it is a difficult procedure due to the complex structure of a dogs nose. This makes it difficult to nearly impossible to remove a tumor from the dogs nasal passages.

Radiation therapy for dogs is only available in select cities and some veterinary schools, and is only helpful in reducing the size of the tumor and not removing it or curing the disease process.

Treatment is necessary to stop the spread of the cancer to the brain, which can cause seizures and other body function disorders. The condition can also breakout through facial bones and cause facial deformity.

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There are several breeds that have proven to be more susceptible to canine nasal tumors. These include:

Airedale Terriers

Basset Hounds

Old English Sheepdogs

Scottish Terriers


Shetland Sheepdogs

German Shorthaired Pointers

Labrador Retrievers

Golden Retrievers

These nasal tumors aretypically detected at age 2 years to 12 years, with 10 years being the mostcommon age for detection.  Theprognosis after

detection of a nasal tumorcan vary, with 1 year being the standard survival rate after diagnosis.

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