Tumor in dog diagnosis cancer

Not all tumors are the sameThe "cancer is a spectre of horror without a clear shape in many pet owners' minds. Often dog and cat owners feel that they have to lose their pet willy-nilly to cancer.

In this short overview, we would like to show you that not every lump that is discovered has to be malignant and that there is also a possibility of "malignant" lumps In the case of malignant tumors, there are therapeutic approaches that may not always completely cure our pets, but can certainly prolong their lives.

The aim of the therapy must always be to ensure the best possible quality of life for the animals, also during the therapy.

Most tumors in dogs are found mainly in the skin, in the mammary gland tie or in the abdominal cavity. There are also bone tumors, tumors of the internal organs, nervous system or urinary and sexual organs. Tumors of the skin are often discovered by the owner at home. Can be clarified during a general check at the veterinarian. Many small lumps that appear in old age can be benign fatty tumors or "age warts" d.h. Tumors of the hair, sebaceous and sweat glands can be. 70-80% of the lumps that appear in the skin are benign in dogs. The malignant mast cell tumor cannot be distinguished from a benign lump, depending on its appearance. It is therefore always advisable to assess the lump for shape, color, displaceability, and itchiness, and to take a small sample. A fine needle aspiration or a small punch biopsy can be taken without the dog having to be put under anesthesia for it. A diagnosis can usually be made on the basis of the cell type. In the case of a malignant tumor, this can now be surgically removed at the earliest possible time. In the case of small lumps that are discovered early, the surgeon can usually keep a sufficiently large distance from the tumor and catch all the degenerate cells. In unfavorable places, e.g.B. at joints where there is not much tie and constant movement comes on the suture, a drug therapy (chemotherapy) or radiotherapy can be used additionally.


Not only tumors of the skin can be removed, but also tumors of the internal organs are basically operable. It is clarified in advance whether the animal does not already suffer from metastases. X-rays of the lungs are taken, the regional lymph nodes may be pricked to look for cancer cells, and an ultrasound of the abdomen is recommended. For example, if a single nodule is present on the spleen, it can be removed completely. The dog may be without its spleen. Can live for many years afterwards. Lymphoma on the kidney can be cured by removing the affected kidney. The prognosis for the animal depends on the number of tumors. Their tendency to metastasize from. A single node that can be removed has in principle a good prognosis.

The irradiation

Radiation is given in several sessions at an oncology center. One irradiation lasts 2-5 minutes. The animal is put under short anesthesia for this purpose. With modern linear accelerators with photon and electron radiation, it is possible to irradiate only the tumor and a surrounding safety area, thus sparing healthy tie. Depending on the size and malignancy of the tumor, radiation may be curative (curative) or palliative (palliative). In palliative radiation, the tumor is reduced in size as much as possible to alleviate the symptoms of the disease and allow the animal to live a pain-free life if possible.

The medicinal fight against cancer cells, also Chemotherapy named in dogs and cats is usually limited to the inhibition of the growth of the tumor, in the best case to the destruction of all cells. However, the aim is not the complete disappearance of the tumor as in humans, but the palliative therapy to spare the dog the severe side effects of chemotherapy. With these low doses, in some cases the patient shows only some diarrhea and nausea. However, he does not lose his fur nor does he feel sick for days on end. Most dogs come out of the clinic wagging their tails after oral or intravenous administration of the drug. Chemotherapy is administered in several sessions. The blood is checked regularly. If the white blood cells are too low, a break is taken. Another therapeutic approach is metronomic chemotherapy. In this case, very low doses of the drug are given to damage the supporting tie and blood supply of the tumor. Growth is inhibited with it. Side effects are hardly to be expected. This therapy is life-long and the tumor is supposed to be "stabilized" so that it does not affect the animal any further.


If a tumor grows z.B. into a bone or changes the surrounding tie to such an extent that a clean removal is not possible, sometimes only the amputation of toes, limbs, tail or ears is still an option. The squamous cell carcinoma on white cat ears caused by UV radiation can usually be completely removed only by amputation of the ears. The cat can live with it very well and the remaining ear base is well hairy and therefore less exposed to the sun. Amputations of the toes are well tolerated by dogs and cats, again often carcinomas, which at first only look like a complicated claw bed inflammation but do not respond to antibiotics. An x-ray will show if the bone is already affected, if so, the toe is very painful and removal of the toe is indicated. The fact that amputations of limbs usually cause less trouble for animals than a chronically painful tumor is shown by the success story of the bitch Cayenne.

The history of Cayenne

The Briard dog Cayenne suffered from a soft tie sarcoma, which was very unfavorably located. The node had grown very fast. Grow even more rapidly after any surgical intervention. The sarcoma begins to destroy the bone. The dog suffered from constant pain. There is little skin at the elbow joint, so the tumor could not be removed with enough safety margin. After the lump began to grow again shortly after the second operation and radiation was unfortunately unsuccessful, the owner decided to amputate the forelimb. The right front leg was removed together with the scapula, the vessels and nerves were spared and the severed muscles were sewn together. Although the suture was very long, the wound healed well. Cayenne regained her equilibrium relatively quickly. On the second day, he wanted to jump into a paddling pool outside the clinic to take a bath. Two weeks later, the owner sent us a video of a short walk. We are very pleased to see such a lively Cayenne who has regained her balance and can romp around again without pain. Often the amputation of a body part is the last solution before euthanasia if the tumor damages the tie so much that the animal suffers from chronic pain. Not every animal is suitable for such an intervention. Often animals have not even fully weight-bearing the affected limb in advance due to pain and cope relatively well with amputation.

Pictures of Cayenne before and after amputation

The malignant, invasive tumor on the right elbow kept coming back despite several operations. Without amputation, she would soon have had to be euthanized. But they still had so much zest for life. Was in top shape except for her tumor on her leg. Good surgical skills and the best pain management are important for a quick recovery without complications.

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