Have you recently discovered a lump on your furry friend’s skin? Perhaps you found it while you were scrubbing her down with dog shampoo in her dog bath tub; maybe you felt it while you were going over her coat with a dog brush; perhaps you saw it while you were strapping her into her dog harness; or, maybe you rubbed your hand across it while you were giving you her some love. However you learned about the lump, there’s no doubt you felt your heart drop to the pit of your stomach as your mind instantly goes to the “C” word: cancer.
Before you panic, take a deep breath and try to relax. While it’s true that tumors of the skin and the tissues that lie just underneath it are the most common forms of canine cancer, fortunately, not all lumps and bumps are malignant; in fact, a large percentage of skin tumors found on dogs are benign. Nevertheless, if you find a lump on your pup, make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible to have it properly assessed and biopsied, if necessary. With that said, to help put your mind at ease, here are some of the non-cancerous skin tumors that commonly develop on dogs and tips that can help you identify these growths before you get to the vet.
- These benign growths are more commonly referred to as fatty tumors, and for good reason; they’re quite literally soft lumps of fat that like just underneath the surface of the skin. They can vary in size and grow anywhere on the skin, and they are rather soft to the touch and easy to move around.
- Better known as basal cell tumors, these growths lie within the base layer of skin, and they’re largely benign. They can develop on the back, back, and shoulders, and they look like hairless bumps. Older dogs are mostly affected by basal cell tumors.
- Another type of non-cancerous growth, melanocytomas affect the cells that are responsible for skin color. They look like dark splotches and kind of resemble moles. Typically, they’re located on the front side of the body.
Treatment for the benign growths will vary and depend on the specific case. Often, there is no need for removal; however, if the tumor continues to grow or if it impedes your pet in any way, surgical removal may be necessary. Your vet will let you know the best treatment approach of your canine companion.
As a pet parent, providing your pooch with the best care possible is your top priority. That’s why you go to great lengths to ensure you are offering her the very best of everything; highly nutritious dog food, wholesome dog treats, a super comfortable dog bed, plenty of chew toys for dogs, interactive dog toys, and plush dog toys… Even more important than all of the products you offer your pup is care, affection, and medical attention whenever necessary. If you spot any growth on your furry pal’s skin, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible – even if the mass fits any of the descriptions above – to get an accurate diagnosis.
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