Are Rottweilers Prone to Cancer?

Last Updated on January 20, 2022 by Griselda M.

If you’re looking to get a Rottie, you should definitely learn about their health, asking “Are Rottweilers prone to cancer?” is part of that. There are many different forms of cancer and different dog breeds develop different levels of proneness to them. In today’s article, we will closely examine the relationship between Rottweilers and cancer to learn how worried should you be?

Rottweiler Cancer – How Common Is It?

Even though cancer isn’t necessarily common in dogs, it’s more prevalent among some breeds. Unfortunately, Rottweiler belongs on that list. They’re more likely to suffer from cancer than most other dog breeds. They’re prone to bone cancers, lymphomas, cancers of soft tissues, the bladder, and blood vessels. Some other breeds are also prone to cancer, like Poodles and Dobermans.

Unfortunately, there’s virtually nothing you can do to prevent cancer in your dog. However, what you can do is recognize the symptoms early on and seek professional help for your dog.

Cancer Symptoms In Dogs

The list of symptoms your dog might manifest if they’re suffering from cancer is quite extensive. Sometimes, the same form of cancer might cause different symptoms in two different dogs. Because of this, it’s important to learn how to recognize all of these symptoms. Cancer symptoms are actually quite similar to Rottweiler’s old age symptoms.

ottweiler old age symptoms

Digestion symptoms

Cancer could easily affect your dog’s digestion and bowel movements. Their appetite could virtually completely disappear. Sick dogs will often stop eating completely, or just eat enough to not starve! This happens because the food likely makes your dog feel ill. If you notice that your dog hasn’t been eating right for a few days, you should definitely visit the vet.

The same applies to your dog’s bowel movements and urination. If they’re constantly suffering from diarrhea or a particularly black stool (this usually means that there’s blood in the stool), you should take your dog to the vet. It’s also possible to find blood in the stool or in the urine! Regarding urine – some dogs become terribly thirsty when they suffer from cancer, while other dogs refuse to drink. If you notice these changes, make sure to react properly.

Because of both thirst and hunger, most dogs lose weight because of these symptoms.

General health and physicality

Dogs will also have trouble healing from even the simplest of wounds. It often happens that a dog will get a small cut or a graze. These things usually heal on their own, but a dog in poor health will often be unable to heal these wounds on its own.

It’s also possible for you to smell foul, odd odors coming from the mouth. It’s also possible to smell it coming from the ears, but that’s rarer.

Read more about The Top Best Supplements For Rottweiler.


One of the most common symptoms, however, is noticing lumps! Not all tumors form lumps, but when they do, it’s possible for you to see and feel these lumps under your dog’s skin. They usually have a fleshy feel to them (for lack of a better word), you’ll be able to squeeze them gently, but they’re mostly solid. If you notice a lump (or lumps), make sure to take your dog to the vet immediately!

Forms Of Rottweiler Cancer

There are many different forms of cancer when it comes to dogs. Rottweilers are more prone to cancer of the lymph nodes, bones, bladder, blood vessels, and soft tissues.

Lymphoma in Rottweilers

This is possibly the most prominent form of cancer when it comes to Rottweilers. Lymphoma forces the body to form abnormal lymphocytes (white blood cells). Along with erythrocytes and thrombocytes, lymphocytes can be found all over the body. Cancer can really be anywhere because of this. On the other hand, it’s entirely possible for your vet to treat your dog for this form of cancer. In even better news, the success rates of treating lymphoma with chemotherapy in dogs are great!

It’s very easily diagnosable with blood tests, so your vet shouldn’t have any problems diagnosing your dog if lymphoma actually is present!

Bone cancer in Rottweilers

Bone cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer with larger breeds, and about 85% of these bone tumors are osteosarcomas. These tumors are very aggressive and they’re most often found in limbs, but it’s not impossible to locate them in other body parts of a dog, such as a skull or the ribs. This tumor might be more difficult to diagnose in comparison to lymphoma. Blood tests, as well as X-rays and biopsies, are required to diagnose it successfully.

When it comes to treating this tumor, it’s possible to treat it with both surgery and radiation. Depending on the severity, stage, and location of the tumor, sometimes amputation of the limb can be the only effective solution. Other times, combining surgery with radiation therapy can save the limb of your pup. However, this really does depend on multiple factors, so you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions before you talk to your veterinarian.

rottweiler cancer

Blood vessel cancer in Rottweilers

Hemangiosarcoma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the blood vessels, and it can develop more or less anywhere. These tumors are highly aggressive and can spread easily. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot a vet can do for a dog suffering from a hemangiosarcoma. Even with surgery and chemotherapy, dogs usually don’t live for more than 7 months, with only 10% of dogs surviving for more than a year after finishing their course of therapy. 

To Sum Up

Rottweilers are a breed of dog that’s definitely prone to developing cancers. There’s no way you can lower the chances of this happening, but you can be on the lookout for signs of your dog being ill. A sick dog will manifest signs of digestive issues, particularly regarding their diet, as well as problems with their general behavior and health. It’s also possible for your dog to develop lumps if they’re suffering from cancer.

Lymphoma is the most common type of cancer with Rottweilers, but it’s also possible for them to develop bone cancer and cancer of the blood vessels. All forms of cancer are treatable if you react on time.