Is It a Tumor?
When it comes to canines, it’s difficult to give a yes or no answer on whether or not your dog has a tumor. You will have to have your dog examined. A good way to tell if there is a tumor is the overall look of your dog – is she or he thriving? Is he or she extremely active? Does your dog have a normal appetite? If the answer to these questions is yes, then chances are your dog doesn’t have a tumor. If the answer to one or more of these questions is no, then the situation may be a bit more serious, and it’s best to have your dog checked out.
If palpation (feeling your dog with your hands) of your dog’s stomach or any other area where a tumor might be present doesn’t reveal anything, a vet might try to locate a mass or lump with an x-ray or ultrasound. And if the vet confirms that your dog does have a tumor, he or she may perform a fine needle aspirate on the affected area to get a definitive diagnosis.
What Cancerous Tumors Look and Feel Like
Many dogs get tumors on their skin or within the underlying tissue. Most of these are benign; there’s a specific word for tumors that start and stay within the tissue—fibromas. But there are plenty that are cancerous.
Some tumors may be irritated by scratching, by allergies, or by the dog itself. But cancerous tumors also pose a risk to the dog, since they can spread to major organs and system (with cancer spreading to the bone marrow, for example).
There are a number of different types of cancerous tumors, each affecting different organs. Often cancerous tumors will be the size of the dog’s clenched fist or bigger, and they’ll be painful. Check with your vet if you’re worried that your dog has a tumor.
Will It Go Away on Its Own?
Cancerous tumors in dogs can be challenging to identify. They are not always easily detected even when they are benign. Dogs can sometimes have tumors that are not life threatening and can be left alone. However, it is better to be safe than sorry, as in some cases the cancerous tumor will spread and cause serious health problems to your pet.
The tumor itself will feel hard and fixed in the dog’s body. It is important for you to be careful when handling it, as handling a cancerous tumor rough will cause a lot of pain to your dog.
The cancerous cells tend to infiltrate and grow on soft tissues. They will stick to the surrounding walls of the tumor, making them hard to remove.
Another way to tell if a tumor is cancerous is to look for signs that it has spread. For example, if the tumor has spread to the skin, you will see sores on the skin. Another way for a tumor to spread is by cerebrospinal or intradermal infiltration. If it has spread to the cerebrospinal fluid, you will see an enlarged head. If it has spread to the skin, you will see skin lesions.
Treatment Options for Cancerous Tumors in Dogs
Treating a cancerous tumor in a dog is something that most pet owners will have to deal with at some point in their lives. However, it’s a good idea to understand the different types of tumors a dog can develop to aid in diagnosis and treatment options when the time comes.
A tumor, or more accurately, a neoplasm, is an abnormal growth of cells caused by genetic damage or exposure to toxins (including certain drugs). While some tumors are cancerous, others grow benignly (they are not cancerous).
The vast majority of tumors a dog will develop are benign, but it’s still wise to check for cancerous tumors as part of a comprehensive diagnostic workup when your pet is experiencing any health issues.
Cancerous tumors that are either small or localized in one area can usually be treated in a variety of ways. But if the tumor begins to slowly spread throughout your dog’s body, then the disease can be fatal. The best way to treat a cancerous tumor is to catch it early, and monitor your dog regularly (preferably with annual check-ups) to catch any tumors before they are too advanced.