Every dog owner fears hearing the word “cancer”; however, not every growth is malignant. It is natural to feel anxious and concerned if your vet has detected skin cancer in your dog or if you suspect your pet has a skin tumor or lump that could be malignant.
Consult your vet if you have concerns about your pet’s health or skin. To better recognize your pet’s possible condition, below are some details regarding dog skin cancer that you need to understand.
Types of Skin Cancer in Dogs
Dogs, like people, have more than one layer of skin and, thus, more than one type of skin cancer. Tumors can form in any part of the skin, at any layer, and some tumors may be malignant. Below are some of the common types of dog skin cancer:
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The most common type of skin cancer in dogs is squamous cell cancer. Skin cancer is more common in elderly dogs, particularly Dalmatians, Beagles, Whippets, and white Bull Terriers. Most commonly found on the dog’s head, lower legs, rear, and abdomen, these tumors have a raised, wart-like look and are firm to the touch. One potential cause of squamous cell carcinoma is sun exposure, though papillomavirus might also contribute.
Mast Cell Tumors
Mast cell tumors form in the dog’s immune system and are very common. These tumors can form anywhere on the dog’s skin and internal organs. Mast cell tumors typically form in the limbs, lower abdomen, and upper body. Any dog type is at risk; however, 8- to 10-year-old Boxers, Pugs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and Boston Terriers are especially at risk for getting this type of skin cancer.
Melanomas are bumpy, dark-pigmented growths that often grow on the dog’s lips, mouth, and nail bed. Melanomas are usually benign, but they can be malignant. Malignant melanomas are a significant health problem. These tumors progress faster and are very likely to spread to other organs. Schnauzers and Scottish Terriers, especially male dogs, appear at a higher threat of melanoma than female dogs.
Lumps & Bumps on Your Dog
You’re probably worried about cancer if you’ve found a lump or discolored skin patch on your dog. However, dog parents must remember that not all lumps and bumps are cancerous, and many are treatable if detected early.
Contact your vet to schedule an appointment and ct scan for dogs if you discover anything weird on your dog. Early diagnosis is essential to improving treatment results.
Diagnosing Dog Skin Cancer
Your vet might do a fine needle aspiration to collect a small sample of tumor cells for examination or a biopsy to collect a piece of tumor tissue to detect skin cancer in your pet. Your vet will provide you with an accurate diagnosis of your puppy’s condition after these samples are examined in a laboratory at Cascade Veterinary Referral Center.
Vets may recommend additional diagnostic tests to determine the extent of your pet’s cancer. This way, you and your vet can provide your dog with the best possible treatment and a more accurate prognosis.
Treatment for Dogs Skin Cancer
Fortunately, several cases of dog skin cancer are treatable if diagnosed and treated early, helping pets enjoy life for months or even years. A variety of methods, such as soft tissue surgery for dogs, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapies, or palliative care, may be utilized to treat your dog’s skin cancer.
The diagnosis and treatment options for pet skin cancer depend on many factors, including the specific type of tumor, its location, and the stage of cancer at which it was diagnosed.