What’s that Lump?
Our canine friends can develop many lumps and bumps over the years, some fatty tumors called “lipomas” are benign, other lumps can be dangerous. Below is important information regarding a few types of canine cancer; including signs to look for, how your veterinarian diagnosis them, and available treatment options
What to Look For
New lumps or bumps that have appeared.
Firm lumps under the chin.
Limping, especially in older large breed dogs.
Firm masses around the mammary chain of intact females
Intact males are at risk for testicular cancer, causing one testicle to be larger than the other
Mast Cell Tumors: It May Not Be Just Another Growth
Mast cells tumors can present as a small growth under or below the skin. Sometimes these masses will break open and refuse to heal.
These masses generally begin smaller in nature.
Luckily, mast cell tumors can be removed surgically, and if removed early in diagnosis they may not need further treatment.
Breeds most susceptible include Boxers, English bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Bullmastiffs and Pugs.
The lymph nodes become enlarged. The easiest place to feel your
dog’s lymph nodes is at the sub-mandibular location.
Lymphoma is diagnosed via FNA or biopsy.
The best treatment for lymphoma is chemotherapy.
Breeds most susceptible: any breed, mainly middle aged dogs.
The most common type of bone tumor found in dogs.
Large breeds are most at risk.
Symptoms can include limb lameness and swelling at the site of
Diagnosis of osteosarcoma is done by X-ray of the affected limb.
Treatment is best done by amputation of the affected limb, followed by chemotherapy.
Spaying a female dog before her first heat cycle can decrease her chances of getting mammary cancer by 96%
Intact female dogs that have firm areas around their mammary chain could have mammary cancer.
Treatment is excision of the mammary gland/ chain affected, this can be a very involved procedure. If both mammary chains are affected only one chain can be removed at a time, with a lengthy healing process before the second chain can be removed.
A fine needle aspirate or biopsy is the best way to diagnose a mammary tumor.
Mammary cancer is almost 100% preventable by spaying your female dog.
This cancer can also be prevented. By neutering your pet, you omit the risk of him contracting this type of cancer.
The first symptom to appear is a slightly larger testicle on one side, increasing in size and severity as long as your dog remains intact.
Surgical intervention is needed to remove the testicles to prevent the cancer from spreading.
If your pet has a mass, your veterinarian may perform an FNA, (Fine Needle Aspirate), where a small amount of cells is sent out to a lab for analysis. An FNA may or may not yield results due to such a small amount being sent. The best way to diagnosis any suspicious lump is to have it removed and sent out for biopsy, this ensures that the entire mass has been removed, as well as tumor grading if it is cancerous.
Lymphoma patients can benefit from chemotherapy, and live up to years following their diagnosis.
Combination of surgery and drug therapy
Many options to help keep your dog comfortable and maintain a good quality of life.
Dr. Rogers and her medical team encourage you to have your pet seen by a veterinarian at least once a year for a comprehensive medical exam. Senior pets are encouraged to visit their veterinarian every six months. Early diagnosis gives you and your pet the best option(s) for treatment.