Paraneoplastic Syndromes in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

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Paraneoplastic syndromes in dogs, sometimes abbreviated as PNS, refer to a number of problems that can develop in tissues near a tumor. They are caused by secretions produced by the tumor in question.

These syndromes can produce a wide range of symptoms that will depend on the exact underlying cause of the condition.

If you see signs that your dog has symptoms of these syndromes, then you should consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and advice. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for paraneoplastic syndromes in dogs.

Symptoms of Paraneoplastic Syndromes in Dogs

Paraneoplastic syndromes in dogs can produce a wide range of symptoms depending on the underlying cause of the condition. Some of the more common general symptoms include:

  • Losing weight
  • Hypoglycemia (low glucose)
  • Hair loss
  • Develop anemia
  • Ulcers (in the stomach and intestines)

Causes of Paraneoplastic Syndromes in Dogs

Low angle view of female veterinarian using digital tablet during medical examination of dog.

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The cause of paraneoplastic syndromes in dogs is a tumor, the secretions of which then affect nearby tissues.

These secretions can often be hormonal in nature.

Veterinary treatments

If you suspect your dog has symptoms of paraneoplastic syndromes, your veterinarian will want to ask you about your dog’s most recent activities and review their complete medical history. This helps determine the underlying cause of the problem, as well as rule out any other underlying conditions.

The veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination of your dog. They will also analyze a comprehensive set of blood tests to identify how well your dog’s immune system is working.

Additionally, veterinarians can use various imaging techniques to monitor the health and function of specific organs, and a biopsy can help confirm a diagnosis.

As for treatment, the exact course of medical action will depend on the precise underlying cause and the severity of the problem. Sometimes veterinarians may suggest removal of a tumor.

In cases where it is unsafe to remove the tumor, veterinarians may recommend lifestyle changes to help ease your dog’s discomfort and improve his daily quality of life.

Has your dog developed paraneoplastic syndromes? What steps has your vet taken to treat your dog? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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