When you pat down or stroke your dog, you might find a lump. Do not panic. There are all types of lumps and bumps. Some are enlarged lymph nodes. Some look like warts. These are usually sebaceous adenomas.
There are also fatty tumors called lipomas. They are common in aging dogs. In fact, most lumps you find are benign fatty tissues. Nevertheless, if you do find a lump or more, it is always a good idea to consult your Vet. They will take a sample fluid from the lump and determine whether it is benign or malignant.
Around 30 per cent of all the tumors your dog may get are cutaneous skin, or subcutaneous cancers. Between 70 and 80 per cent of these tumors turn out to be benign. Mast Cell Tumors (MCT) comprise around 20 per cent of the malignant tumors. Some breeds are more likely to develop MCTs. Boxers, Boston Terriers, Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, Schnauzers and Bull Dogs are more susceptible to specific tumors. Their risk increases as they age. At around 8 years old, these breeds may develop MCTs. Almost half of mast cell tumors are malignant. They require immediate attention to remove the risk of death.
Treatment requires surgical removal. Radiation therapy is also possible. Surgery combined with chemotherapy increases the success rate of treatment. If the MCTs are metastic, Systemic Mast Cell Disease occurs. This is not curable but you can treat it with chemotherapy.
Another form of tumor your dogs may develop occurs on the breast. Mammary tumors are rare in males. Half of the tumors you may find on the breast of your dog are benign. Many of the malignant tumors are adenocarcinomas. Some are inflammatory carcinomas, sarcomas, or soft tissue tumors, or carcinosarcomas.
Malignant breast tumors may require a mastectomy. If the growths have spread internally, your dog may require a radical hysterectomy. It depends upon the extent of the spread of the malignant cells. As with skin cancer, some breeds are more susceptible, specifically different types of Spaniels, Poodles and Dachshunds.
In the case of malignant breast tumors, there is one preventative action. You should spay your animal before her first heat. Other things you can watch are the food he or she eats, the amount of exercise you provide and such things as vaccinations. Some alternative practitioners suggest it is not healthy to provide your dog with a chemically produced or questionable manufactured dog food product. They also believe people over vaccinate their pets.
Some opt for titer tests to determine when you should vaccinate your dog. Others believe acupuncture, Reiki, and other alternative forms of treatment are useful in the treatment of cancer. Before you decide what therapy your animal needs, talk to your Vet about traditional and alternative treatments.