Dogs and Tumors: 4 Early Detection Tips

There are several types of tumors that affect dogs. Some are benign, but some are deadly to dogs, and tumors should always be checked by a veterinarian.

Benign or Malignant

Lipomas, fatty deposits just under the skin, are very common and not dangerous. They are not painful and removal is at the discretion of the dog owner and/or veterinarian. Mammary gland tumors, melanomas and fibrosarcomas are more dangerous and require prompt medical attention. Early detection is the key to the most successful outcomes.

4 Early Detection Tips

  • Check the skin and coat - Run your hands over your dog. Any lumps or bumps should be noted. Spread the fur apart to be sure you're not feeling an engorged tick, blood blister or other traumatic injury.
  • Feel the lymph glands - Your dog has several sets of lymph glands located along this neck and body. Check for swelling behind the jaw, under the front legs and near the groin.
  • Gums and teeth - Check inside your dog's mouth. Melanomas can form along the gum and under the tongue.
  • Mammary glands - Primarily a cancer of older female dogs, mammary gland tumors have a high malignancy rate. Look for inflammation and swelling in the mammary tissue.