Cancer Screening for dogs - Furry Friend Friday

It's time for Furry Friend Friday, presented by West Coast Animal Hospital.

I'm Alex Steiniger. As a dog owner, I know that special bond that we have with our pets, and that's why when one of them is diagnosed with cancer, we want to do all we can for them. Dr. Brianne Bower of West Coast Animal Hospital joins us to discuss the options. It's great to have you here, doctor.

What are the latest developments in cancer screening for dogs?

There's actually a brand-new test available. It's called OncoK9, and it's a sample that can actually detect over 30 different types of cancers in dogs. It's available from a company called PetDx, and it uses the same genomic sequencing we have available in human cancer detection services. Right now, the test can only give us, "Yes, there is cancer," or, "No, there's not cancer," answer. But it is still really useful in helping us detect cancer much earlier than we have been able to previously meaning we can get started on treatments much sooner for our patients.

Which dogs should actually get this test?

So I recommend it for any of our breeds who are predisposed to cancer. So dogs like German Shepherds Boxers, Golden Retrievers, or any of our senior patients. PetDx has also made a really helpful tool online to help pet parents determine when they should actually start screening their specific dog. It is available on their website under their cancer safe tool.

If my dog tests positive, what's the next step?

Each case is going to be so different. What you're going to be doing is working very closely with your veterinarian to determine what your next best steps would be. PetDx also does have an available internal medicine specialist who will give your primary veterinarian a call to go over any previous clinical signs or lab work done. Usually, what we recommend as the next steps forward would be blood work, a thorough physical exam, and further imaging like an ultrasound or some x-rays.

Where can we go to find the test?

At West Coast Animal Hospital, we've been providing this service since early June, but this test is available from a prescription that your veterinarian can get through the PetDx company. And I would recommend anyone who has a senior pet or just feels that their personal dog would benefit from screening to talk it over with your veterinarian. You can also find more information online on

Dr. Bower, thank you so much for your time today. Call 619-431-1423 to learn more. Again, visit to learn more.