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Could My Dog's Suspicious Lump Be a Mast Cell Tumor?

December 5, 2015 at 5:29 PM by Nikki Wardle

Tumor in your dog

Tumor. If there's a word that strikes more fear into the heart of pet parents, we're not sure what it is. Fortunately, new advances and acquired knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine have given dogs with mast cell tumors a much better prognosis for a long and happy life.

Are Mast Cell Tumors Common?

While subcutaneous (under the skin) and surface skin tumors make up about a third of cancers found in dogs, mast cell tumors are the most common of the malignant skin tumors. The good news is that, with thorough veterinary treatment, mast cell tumors often will not spread if removed in time.

Know the Signs

Taking a "wait and see" approach when you spot a lump of any kind on your dog is a dangerous mindset. Early detection and treatment are critical, especially for certain breeds and when other criteria and symptoms are involved.

  • Purebred dogs are more susceptible, especially the following breeds: Rhodesian Ridgeback, Boxer, Boston Terrier, Pug, Weimaraner, Pitbull, Bulldog, Terrier, and Shar-Pei.
  • Your dog is older than 6 or 7.
  • The lump seems to grow rapidly.
  • Your dog has a history of malignant tumors.

Keep these things in mind:

  • Mast cell tumors can easily pass for something else. Any new bump or lump on your dog's body at any location could possibly be a mast cell tumor.
  • Mast cell tumors may grow very rapidly or they may not. Get it checked out in either case.
  • The lump may shed hair and become ulcerated or the hair may remain intact.
  • Mast cell tumors may (or may not) be accompanied by diarrhea, loss of appetite or vomiting. Whenever your dog exhibits these symptoms, get to a veterinary hospital without delay!

I'm Concerned About My Dog. Is There a Veterinary Hospital Near Me?

At Intermountain Pet Hospital, we care about you and your dog. With two locations in Meridian, we're here when you need help. Contact us today for more information.

Topics: Animal Hospital Near Me

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.