Tumors on Dogs' Legs

Tumors on dogs are typically detectable by palpating the dog's skin. Tumors can be felt like lumps and are often located on the dog's legs. The tumors may be either benign or malignant and according to the diagnosis, a treatment may be established. Surgery may be an option, and there are certain drugs that may be applied. In some cases, the vet will not recommend any type of treatment.

Causes of Tumors on Dogs

The tumors on a dog's legs are an accumulation of skin cells that may be of different types. In some cases, the tumors may contain cancerous cells and these are known as malignant tumors. The causes of the formation of tumors are not completely known, but may be attributed to:

  • Sun exposure
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • A deficient diet or a diet that contains a lot of synthetic ingredients and preservatives
  • A reaction of the immune system

Symptoms of Tumors

The tumors located on the legs of dogs may be felt as lumps that can be solid or filled with liquid, depending on the composition of the tumor. The tumors may originate from the bones or directly from the skin of the dog. The dog may also have additional symptoms, especially if the tumor is malignant and will affect other areas of the body as well. Other symptoms of tumors can include:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Limping and difficulty moving, especially if the tumor gets large and affects the bone or the joints

Diagnosing Tumors on Legs

If you identify a suspicious lump on your dog, you should immediately get the opinion of a vet. The lump may not necessarily be a tumor; it could also be a benign cyst or a lipoma. However, the vet will perform a few tests that will reveal if the lump is a tumor.

The composition of the tumor should be established. The tumor can be made up of different types of cells; some may be benign, while others are malignant. A cell biopsy will be performed by extracting a cell sample and analyzing it under a microscope. This test will establish if the dog has cancer.

If the cells are cancerous, the vet should also perform a few x-rays and ultrasounds to detect how advanced the cancer is. The cancer may be in its initial stages or it may already affect a few internal organs.

Treating Tumors on Legs

The treatment options of tumors on legs will depend greatly on the diagnosis established by the vet. If the dog has a benign tumor, this is very unlikely to develop and cause additional problems. A benign tumor may be removed through surgery, especially if it causes discomfort and hinders the dog from performing certain movements.

If the tumor contains cancerous cells, surgery is necessary and the dog may need an amputation. If surgery is no longer possible, the dog will receive chemotherapy and radiation therapy.