Dog Lumps and Bumps: What is Cancer and What is Not?
As dogs age, lumps often arise on their bodies and under the skin.
If you see lump or bump on your dog, you immediately think “Does my dog have cancer?“
All skin lumps and bumps on dogs should be examined by your veterinarian.
There are several types of dog lumps and bumps, some are cancerous and some are noncancerous.
An abscess is a painful collection of pus, usually caused by a bite or a puncture wound.
Abscesses, by definition, are non-cancerous.
But, certain types of cancer can cause abscesses.
Any abscess should be treated by your veterinarian.
Basal Cell Tumor
A Basal cell tumor is a type of skin cancer.
Basal cell tumors are the most common type of cancer.
Luckily, Basal cell tumors rarely metastasize or cause death.
Ceruminous Gland Adenoma
A ceruminous gland adenoma is a benign tumor in the ear. Ceruminous gland adenomas are non-cancerous.
Epidermal Inclusion Cyst
An epidermal inclusion cyst is a benign cyst usually found on the skin. Epidermal inclusion cysts are non-cancerous.
A hematoma is a localized collection of blood outside of the blood vessels. The blood is usually liquid form within the tissue.
Hematomas are non-cancerous.
A histiocytoma is a benign tumor.
Histiocytomas are caused by an overgrowth of histiocytes (immune cells). Histiocytomas are non-cancerous.
A lipoma is a benign tumor composed of fatty cells found between the skin and muscle tissue.
Lipomas are non-cancerous.
Mast Cell Tumor
Mast cell tumors are the most common cutaneous tumor found in dogs.
Mast cell tumors are cancerous.
Perianal Gland Tumor
A perianal gland tumor is a tumor found near the anus of a dog.
Perianal gland tumors can be either cancerous or noncancerous.
A sebaceous adenoma is a benign, slow-growing tumor of the sebaceous gland. Sebaceous adenomas are non-cancerous.
A skin papilloma is a benign epithelial tumor, also known as “skin tag”. Skin papillomas and skin tags are non-cancerous.
Soft-tissue sarcomas are cancerous tumors of the soft tissues of the body.
Transmissible Venereal Tumors
Transmissible venereal tumors are sexually transmitted malignant tumors that occur on canine genitalia.
Transmissible venereal tumors are cancerous.
Many photographs of dog tumors are available in books and online.
But, the only sure way to diagnose your dog’s lump or bump is to have your veterinarian send a biopsy or cytology to a lab for analysis.
Along with tumors, other signs of dog cancer are:
- Unusual odors
- Weight loss
- Changes in appetite
- Respiratory problems
- Behavior changes
- Open sores
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Pale gums
Dogs with tumors can often maintain an excellent quality of life.
There are several options available to treat tumors and lumps on a dog’s body including surgery, herbal remedies, alternative treatments, and cryotherapy.
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