My sister's beloved German Shepherd died yesterday of cancer after chemo. Any ideas how he got cancer? He was a mostly inside dog.?
- J MLv 77 months ago
Cancer is very common these days. Pets are living longer.
- Aged KiwiLv 47 months ago
● "My sister's beloved German Shepherd died yesterday of cancer after chemo. Any ideas how he got cancer? He was a mostly inside dog."
Without being told WHICH type of cancer, we haven't a clue.
Even knowing which, we wouldn't be much better off for explanations.
Cancer is basically an out-of-control version of the cell-division process that every living thing needs in order to grow, and in order to replace cells that die for reasons such as their own "old age".
Many people believe that every cell in our body is replaced every 7 years. Were that 100% true, I'd be on my 12 set of cells now.
Scientists state that, in humans:
1: Skin cells live about two or three weeks.
2: Colon cells die off after about four days.
3: Sperm cells have a life span of only about three days.
4: Brain cells typically last an entire lifetime (they have to - neurons in the cerebral cortex, for example, are NOT replaced when they die).
Except that dogs have a much briefer life-span than us, I see no reason why it should be much different for them.
I had to have my vet put my last home-bred bỉtch to sleep with cancers on my 70th birthday. She was 10 years 2 months old.
My maternal grandsire died of bowel cancer. His elder daughter married an Irishman. They had 5 children. He died of cancer. My aunt lived to 96, so obviously she escaped "genetic cancer", but cancer took their oldest son, then their youngest child, then their 2nd child (those 2 were daughters). The 3rd & 4th child are/were sons - they moved away and I haven't heard from or about them this century.
Having lived all my childhood in a country exposed by the hole in the ozone layer at a time when children spent most of their life OUTSIDE, wearing minimal clothing (especially when at beaches or gardening), I was at risk of skin cancer, and about 9 years ago I had a cancer spot on my forehead frozen off by liquid-oxygen.
Cigarette smoking is a familiar cause of cancer - especially in the lungs. Sadly, a person (or pooch) doesn't have to be the one DOING the smoking.
And, sadly, there are MANY bacteria, chemicals, viruses that can cause cancers.
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/genera... has several VERY extensive lists!
At present, I don't consider cancer actually inherited - but I DO believe that a SUSCEPTIBILITY to one or more of the CAUSES of cancer is inherited. So, for causes of cancer you must consider (1) genetics, and (2) carcinogens - bacterial, chemical, viral. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/caus... gives links to a dozen relevant sites.
😷Your doctor and your vet know WHERE you live, and can probably tell you which carcinogens are in your (and presumably your sister's) local environment.
🐶Assuming she bought her pet from an intelligent breeder, the breeder might be willing to inform you of her pet's relatives that developed cancers, and which types of cancer.
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😛 To discuss GSDs, join some groups such as
by sending an e-mail about yourself to the Subscribe address on that page.
The people in them KNOW about GSDs. Plus you can include several actual photos in your posts.
To find other groups or breeds, type the breed-name into the top field of
then choose a couple of groups to Join - use the group's
on its /info page to make sure that it still has members who are ACTIVE.
😛 Also join
so that you can easily look up all sorts of information about dogs, especially GSDs. It is an "encyclopaedia" group (to which members can ask for new sources to be added), not a discussion group.
Les the aged Kiwi - first pup in 1950; GSD breeder & trainer as of 1968
- Anonymous7 months ago
Honestly no one can answer this for you, no one knows why people or animals get cancer really, just don’t blame yourself. I’m so sorry for your loss.
- OcimomLv 77 months ago
I believe we all (human and animals) have some kind of cancer cells in our body. Just a matter of time or other circumstances that trigger the cancer cells to react and grow.
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- thejanithLv 77 months ago
So sorry to hear of her loss. There is no way for us to determine why or how the dog got the cancer. Cancer often just plain happens.
- Badge 203Lv 47 months ago
No reason, it just happens. Just like in people, some people in what seems to be in great health find out they have cancer. No cause or reason. Sorry for her loss
- Anonymous7 months ago
I was going to troll this question, but even I have my limits.
Just want to say I feel very sorry for you. This must've been very sad. I myself had a dog that passed away about a year ago.
- CarsonLv 67 months ago
Im sorry that her dog died
It is more than likely Genetically predisiposed to cancer.
- bluebonnetgrannyLv 77 months ago
He must have been predisposed genetically for cancer. He was prone to get it.
I have a female Dalmatian with skin cancer. Vet said we lived in a high dessert & she is a white dog. So her's wasn't in her genes, it was her environment. You didn't say what kind of cancer. Did the dog also have problems with his hips & hind legs? GSD's are prone to hip dysplasia, did your sisters dog have it? problems with joints?
- Karen LLv 77 months ago
Same as with people, you can never really know.