Ovarian cancer in dogs, though rare, is a serious condition that requires attention. Early detection can greatly improve the prognosis and quality of life for affected dogs. In this article, we’ll explore the causes and early signs of ovarian cancer in dogs, providing valuable information to help you recognize and address this condition promptly.

Causes of Ovarian Cancer in Dogs

Facteurs génétiques

Genetics play a significant role in the development of ovarian cancer in dogs. Certain breeds are more prone to cancer due to inherited genetic mutations. Breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Boxers, and German Shepherds have shown higher incidences of various cancers, including ovarian cancer.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can contribute to ovarian cancer in dogs. Unspayed female dogs are at a higher risk due to prolonged exposure to estrogen. Spaying your dog can significantly reduce the risk by eliminating the primary source of estrogen.


Older dogs are more commonly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As dogs age, their cells are more likely to undergo mutations that can lead to cancer. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for early detection, especially as your dog gets older.

Environmental Exposure

Exposure to environmental toxins and carcinogens can increase the risk of ovarian cancer in dogs. This includes exposure to secondhand smoke, pesticides, and industrial chemicals. Keeping your dog’s environment clean and minimizing exposure to harmful substances can help reduce this risk.

Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer in Dogs

Recognizing the early signs of ovarian cancer in dogs is essential for timely intervention. Here are some common symptoms to watch for:

Abdominal Swelling

One of the most noticeable early signs of ovarian cancer in dogs is abdominal swelling. This can result from the tumor itself or from fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites). If your dog’s abdomen appears unusually enlarged, seek veterinary care immediately.

Lethargy and Weakness

Dogs with ovarian cancer often exhibit lethargy and weakness. They may become less active, sleep more than usual, and lose interest in their favorite activities. This change in behavior can be subtle but is significant.

Perte de poids

Unexplained weight loss is another early sign of ovarian cancer in dogs. Despite having a normal or increased appetite, affected dogs may lose weight due to metabolic changes caused by the cancer.

Changes in Appetite

Changes in appetite, including both increased and decreased eating habits, can indicate ovarian cancer. Some dogs may refuse food altogether, while others may seem hungrier than usual but still lose weight.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea are common in dogs with ovarian cancer. These symptoms can be intermittent or persistent and are often accompanied by other signs of illness.

Abnormal Vaginal Discharge

In female dogs, abnormal vaginal discharge can be an early sign of ovarian cancer. This discharge may be bloody or pus-like and can occur regardless of the dog’s reproductive status.

Changements de comportement

Behavioral changes, such as increased irritability or depression, can also be early indicators of ovarian cancer in dogs. These changes often result from the discomfort and pain caused by the tumor.


Understanding the causes and early signs of ovarian cancer in dogs is essential for pet owners. Early detection and intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome for affected dogs. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult your veterinarian for a thorough examination and appropriate diagnostic tests.

By staying informed and vigilant, you can help ensure your dog receives the best possible care and maintain their quality of life. Remember, regular veterinary check-ups and preventive measures, such as spaying, play a vital role in safeguarding your dog’s health against ovarian cancer.

For more information on dog health and holistic treatments, visit our blog at TCMVET, where we provide cutting-edge research and insights into natural supplements and cancer care for pets.


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