Skip to content

Educational Articles

Tumors

  • While not as commonly seen as they are in dogs and cats, tumors do occur in birds. Birds of any age can develop tumors.

  • Primary Kidney tumors are rare in dogs and cats. When they do occur, they are almost invariably malignant (invasive and spreading) and are called renal carcinoma. These tumors tend to invade the adjacent tissues including the main blood vessel draining the kidney (renal vein).

  • Uterine tumors are quite rare in North American pets, mainly due to routine spaying practices. Several types of tumors can arise from the tissues of the uterus. How the tumor will affect your pet is entirely dependent on the location and type of tumor. By far, uterine cancer is most commonly diagnosed by abdominal ultrasound or during a spay procedure. Full staging is recommended prior to surgery to determine if the cancer has metastasized. Treatment for solitary masses without evidence of spread typically involves ovariohysterectomy. If metastasis is present, chemotherapy should be considered, however its efficacy is not completely known. Without evidence of spread, uterine tumors carry a good prognosis.

  • Vascular tumors of the skin develop from the blood vessels of the skin. These tumors may arise anywhere on the body and appear as a firm and raised lump on or under the skin. Hemangiomas may ulcerate and bleed; hemangiosarcomas may bleed into the surrounding tissues. This type of tumor is typically diagnosed via a tissue biopsy or surgical removal of the entire tumor. Surgery is the recommended treatment for vascular tumors of the skin.

  • Visceral vascular tumors are tumors that develop from the blood vessels found in the internal organs of the body, most commonly the heart, liver, and spleen, although other locations, such as the urinary bladder, are possible. There are two forms of visceral vascular tumors: hemangiomas and hemangiosarcomas. Certain breeds, such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers, are particularly predisposed to developing hemangiosarcoma. The clinical signs vary depending on the location of the tumor. This type of tumor is often diagnosed with ultrasound of the chest or abdomen depending on the location of the tumor. Surgery is the recommended treatment option and chemotherapy may be recommended.

  • Cancer is classically described as the abnormal growth of a specific cell type with the potential to invade many parts of the body and damage organs or tissues. Cancer has many hallmarks, including its ability to evade the immune system’s safeguards, uncontrollably proliferate, and metastasize (spread). Several genetic and environmental factors have been implicated in the development of cancers, though their origin is likely multifactorial. This handout broadly describes what cancer is, what causes it, what the signs are, and how it can be diagnosed and treated.