Gastric or intestinal tumor in dogs: causes and treatment

Gastric or intestinal tumor in dogs: causes and treatment

Gastric or intestinal tumor in dogs

When we say gastric or intestinal tumor in dogs, we sometimes refer to a leiomyoma. This is actually a relatively harmless and non-spreading tumor that forms in the stomach and intestinal tract. The actual concern with this tumor is that it can block the passage of food and fluids through the digestive tract or displace organs, which will bring about other health complications.

A malignant tumor is known as an adenocarcinoma. These do have the potential to metastasize or spread to the rest of the body.

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Causes of gastric or intestinal tumor in dogs

As with many other types of cancers, adenocarcinoma does not really have a known cause. Male dogs between six and nine years of age are more regularly affected than their females counterparts.

Symptoms of gastric or intestinal tumor in dogs

The signs of intestinal tumors are usually gastrointestinal and they usually cannot be distinguishable from other, less serious gastrointestinal diseases. Some of the main symptoms include:

  • Vomiting in dogs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea in dogs
  • Weight loss
  • Tarry feces
  • Bloody vomit of feces
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hematochezia (maroon feces because of the presence of blood)
  • Tenesmus (recurrent defecation)
  • Peritonitis


Your veterinarian will run a series of tests rule out other causes of intestinal disorder. These include physical exams, palpation, X-rays, blood tests, endoscopy, exploratory surgery, aspiration, and histopathology.

The most likely course of treatment is the surgical removal of the tumor. Full recovery will depend on how successfully the entire tumor was removed.

If this is a malignant tumor that has already metastasized, the recommended procedure is chemotherapy. This course of action is sometimes also recommended as an alternative to surgery. Also, depending on symptoms and accompanying conditions, some special diets or other medications will be used.

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