Many older dogs that were never neutered can run into a problem with testicular cancer. But if this problem is diagnosed early and taken care of this does not have to mean that your dog has been given a sentence of death. This is however; the second most common cause of cancer in all dog breeds who have not been neutered. A large majority of these dogs though, after treatment will live for many years.
If you suspect that your dog might have a testicular tumor it is in both your best interest to get him into see your vet as soon as possible so that he can diagnose the problem because there are three different kinds of tumors that your dog could have. It all depends upon what cells are being affected by the tumors.
The one kind is called sertoli cell and they attack the cells that are elongated in the tubes of the testes of your dog. These cells help to give nutrition to the new sperm cells that are not mature yet. This is the least common tumor that appears in a dog with only about 8% of dogs being attacked by this tumor.
The second kind is called the interstitial tumors or Leydig tumors. These tumors will form in the cells associated with connective tissues of your dogs testes and they help to furnish internal secretions that all sperm to move freely through. These tumors are usually benign and give your dog few if any problems.
The final one is called the seminomas which come from cells that produce sperm. This is usually in the older dog and happens when a testes has not descended. This is usually benign and doesn't spread often. What does happen though is that they produce estrogen and the male dog will take on more female characteristics.
Typical signs of tumors would be the scrotum and groin will enlarge, there might be some sort of mass in the abdomen area and signs of what is called feminization. This is from too much estrogen being produced. A vet can generally see the signs of this immediately. One sign is that the mammary glands of the male dog will begin to enlarge.
The best way for a vet to treat these kinds of tumors is to neuter your dog. Since these are benign tumors this should be the only type of treatment that your dog will need for these kinds of tumors. However; if the tumors, on rare occasion, has metastasized, your vet will more than likely need to recommend that your dog receive chemotherapy a long with some follow up treatments.
The best way that you can help your dog avoid these tumors and the chance of them turning into a cancer that might metastasize is by making sure that you get him neutered. If you dog is a dog used to breed with, it is advised that as soon as you feel his days of breeding are over, you should get him neutered for his own protection.