Tumors of the stomach develop from the gastric mucosa and may be of benign or malign quality. The condition is rare in dogs. Most stomach tumors are primary rather than being metastates from other tumors which have started earlier, elsewere in the body.
Symptoms of a stomach tumor develop gradually and only become apparent in later stages of the condition. They are similar to those of chronic gastritis, but do not respond to therapy. Chronic vomiting, and the vomiting fresh blood or tar-like matter, are common complaints. Passed stool may appear dark as a result of the condition, as the dog may be digesting blood. Stool can also become unusually foul smelling. If the tumor is spreading, further symptoms may appear.
Causes of gastric tumors are mostly unknown. Genetic predisposition is suspected. Older animals are more commonly affected.
X-rays, contrast passage or endoscopy are used in order to detect a gastric tumor. Endoscopy is by far the most reliable method for detection. Biopsies and pathological testing give further evidence about the nature of the growth. In most cases, surgery is necessary to remove the tumor. Depending on its size, small portions, or in very severe cases, the whole of the stomach have to be resected (surgically removed). Benign tumors may be effectively treated with medication, while malign tumors might require chemotherapy.
If your dog is showing symptoms like chronic vomiting or is vomiting blood, consult a veterinary clinic. It is important to rule out other conditions of the stomach, i.e. a gastric ulcer or the presence of a foreign body.