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Educational Articles

Tumors

  • Round cell tumors are among the most common skin tumors in dogs, and they typically form just under the skin, although they may change the surface of the skin above them. When caught early, most round cell tumors are removed easily, and surgery is generally curative. The most important take home message is to be vigilant, and to have any skin lumps or bumps assessed by your veterinarian promptly.

  • Salivary cancers are almost invariably malignant tumors originating from the secretory cells of the glands. Other swellings or tumors of salivary glands may be due to infections and cysts.

  • This tumor is a disordered and purposeless overgrowth of sweat gland cells. Most sweat glands are attached to the hair follicles (paratrichial, or beside the hair) but a few are not associated with follicles (atrichial).

  • This is one of many similar tumors that arise by disordered growth of the hair follicles. Almost all of these tumors are benign and can be permanently cured by total surgical removal.

  • This tumor is a disordered and purposeless overgrowth of sebaceous gland cells. These glands are attached to the hair follicles where their function is to lubricate the hairs and skin.

  • The spleen is an abdominal organ located near the stomach. The spleen contains two types of tissue, red pulp and white pulp.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a tumor of the cells that make up the contact or upper layer of the skin. UV light exposure has been described as a developmental factor in people and appears to be associated with the development in cats. Areas affected include the ear tips, skin, toes, or peri-ocular region. Fine needle aspiration or biopsy may be performed for diagnosis. The metastatic rate does not appear overly clear, though staging is always recommended. SCC of the toe can occur as a primary tumor or may have spread from the lung (lung-digit syndrome). Surgery is almost always recommended in any case of SCC; the role of chemotherapy is controversial. Radiation therapy has an excellent response rate in cats with the SCC affecting the nasal planum and may give long-term tumor control.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a tumor of the cells that make up the contact or upper layer of the skin. UV light exposure has been described as a developmental factor in people, though it is still in question as to the role for dogs. Several breeds are known to be predisposed to this type of cancer. This tumor may affect any area of the skin, the nose/nasal planum, or the toes. Fine needle aspiration or biopsy may be performed for diagnosis. About 30% of dogs with the digital form of the disease will have evidence of spread. Regardless of the location, surgery is typically the treatment of choice, and staging is usually recommended prior to any surgery. The role of chemotherapy remains controversial.

  • Tumors of the epithelial, glandular stomach lining include non-cancerous polyps and some types of chronic (hyperplastic) gastritis. Malignant epithelial tumors (gastric adenocarcinomas) cause progressive illness.

  • Skin gland, hair follicle, and sebaceous gland tumors are more commonly found to be benign. Matrical carcionoma and sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma are rare and more aggressive forms of the disease. Regardless of the type (sweat, hair, or sebaceous) diagnosis is made by fine needle aspiration, biopsy, and/or initial surgical removal and histopathology. In the majority of cases, surgery is recommended and other treatments are unnecessary. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy in pets with matrical carcinomas or sebaceous gland adenocarcinomas may be recommended.