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Intestinal Tumors (Apudomas) in Dogs

Apudoma in Dogs

Intestinal tumors, known as apudomas, are a type of gastrointestinal tumor observed in both dogs and cats. These tumors secrete peptide hormones, which are vital for regulating various bodily functions such as metabolism, growth, development, and tissue function. Over time, these tumors can lead to the development of ulcers and cause damage to the esophagus due to chronic reflux. Additionally, they can also harm the lining of the intestines, leading to further complications.


  • Vomiting, occasionally accompanied by blood.
  • Weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite, also known as anorexia.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Lethargy.
  • Fever.
  • Depression.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Stools with a tarry appearance.
  • Bloody stools, characterized by the presence of red blood.
  • Abdominal pain.


The precise cause of apudoma remains unknown at present.


Diagnosing apudoma in your pet involves a process of eliminating other potential diseases, including kidney failure, inflammatory gastritis, stress-induced ulceration, medication-induced ulceration (such as from anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids), uremia, and other conditions associated with digestive tract hyperacidity and ulceration. Your veterinarian will conduct blood tests and chemistry analysis to detect signs of iron-deficiency anemia resulting from gastrointestinal bleeding. They will also assess for potential protein deficiency in the bloodstream and electrolyte imbalances caused by excessive vomiting.

Additionally, imaging techniques like abdominal ultrasound can help identify tumors in the pancreas, while aspiration of any masses may be conducted to test for mast cell disease. Your veterinarian may also recommend an endoscopy and biopsy of the upper digestive tract to gather further diagnostic information.


Treatment for apudoma is often challenging, as the majority of these tumors are malignant, and by the time of diagnosis, treatment options may be limited. However, aggressive medical management can sometimes alleviate symptoms and prolong the animal’s life by several months or even years. Surgical exploration of pancreatic masses is crucial not only for diagnostic purposes but also to initiate a treatment plan.

Living and Management

Living and managing a pet with apudoma requires regular physical examinations and close monitoring at home. Your veterinarian may recommend periodic X-rays and ultrasound exams to track the progression of the disease and assess the treatment’s effectiveness. Since there is no cure available, the primary goal is to maintain your pet’s comfort and alleviate any pain they may experience, potentially extending their quality of life for several months to even years.

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