Cancerous Moles on Dogs

Cancerous moles may develop on the surface of the skin. Skin cancer is more common in senior dogs and dogs that have light colored coats. The moles may occur due to an uncontrollable development of cells. Not all moles are cancerous, but your dog should be checked by a specialist if he has any moles or abnormal skin growths.

Moles on Dogs

Moles on dogs may be benign or malignant and develop due to an abnormal division and multiplication of the cells. The division and multiplication of cells is controlled by the genes in the nucleus of cells. However, there may be some external factors that could influence the abnormal growth of skin cells.

Appearance of Canine Cancerous Moles

Moles are hard lumps and in dogs, they are typically dark in color. The moles may be present on any area of the dog’s skin. Many dogs have moles, but not all of these are cancerous. Typically, moles that grow at a fast rate are cancerous. There are a few means that you could suspect the moles on your pet are cancerous:

  • Cancerous moles are dark and grow on skin areas with hair (the color of the moles may change)
  • The moles may have various sizes, but the edges are irregular
  • Are raised and may bleed occasionally, as there are many blood vessels in the area

Benign moles may sometimes look like cancerous ones, so it’s always a good idea to have a veterinary checkup and have a clear diagnosis.

Types of Cancerous Moles on Dogs

There are several types of cancerous moles including:

  • Melanoma, which is made up of malignant cells that typically develop in an older mole and affects certain breeds more often: Cocker Spaniels, Scottish Terrier and Boston Terriers.
  • Sebaceous adenomas, which are lumps affecting the sebaceous glands. These moles are light in color and are smaller. Cocker Spaniels seem to be more often affected by this type of skin cancer
  • Skin carcinomas have the appearance of cauliflower and are most frequently located on feet and legs
  • Mast cell tumors, which often affect the legs or the abdominal area. This type of cancer is more common in Boxers

Diagnosing Cancerous Moles

A sample of cells is required to be biopsied to see if the mole is benign or malignant. The pathologist can establish the type of cancer and the stage of the cancer.

Other tests are needed if the cancer is suspected to be in a more advanced stage and it is present in neighboring lymph nodes or other organs.

Treatment Options for Cancerous Moles

Cancerous moles on dogs may be fully treated, but a timely detection is essential. Surgical excision is possible in the early stages of the disease and in some dogs, the moles will not be recurrent. If the cancer affects other organs, surgery is not an effective course of treatment and chemotherapy will be recommended.