Symptoms of Canine Melanoma

Canine melanoma is a common type of cancer normally found in the mouth, toes, on the skin or behind the eyes but can originate from various parts of the body. Melanoma of the skin is usually characterized by small, dark lumps or large, flat, wrinkled masses. This type of cancer commonly occurs in dogs with dark skin. Malignant melanomas can spread to the organs, however, benign melanoma (usually on the skin) does not tend to spread.

Symptoms of canine melanoma:

  • Odd or strangely shaped lesions
  • Odd colored lesions
  • Visible tumors on the toes, mouth or skin
  • Loss of appetite or reluctant to eat
  • Noticeable weight loss
  • Excessive drooling
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unusually bad breath
  • Bleeding of the mouth or gums

Tumors of any size with or without symptoms should never be ignored. Once your dog has been diagnosed with melanoma, treatment will include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. With early treatment you are much more likely to be able to prevent the spread of the cancer.