This may come as a surprise, but a significant percentage of dogs will experience some form of skin mass during their lifetime. What are the three symptoms that warrant a visit to a veterinarian?
1. If your dog shows signs of noticing a mass that was previously ignored
2. If an existing mass changes in color, size, or texture
3. When a new mass is detected
Below are general guidelines to three of the most common types of skin masses in dogs:
1. Mast Cell Tumour
MCT comes in the form of a bump or a lump on or under the skin and is the most common skin tumor in dogs. This malignant mass can spread to other organs of the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract and lymph nodes. Examples of breeds that are predisposed to MCT are Boxers and Pugs. Treatment success varies depending on tumor grade, stage, and ability for complete surgical removal.
2. Sebaceous Cyst
A small bump can appear underneath the skin in the form of a cyst due to a blocked sebaceous gland. Though usually benign, a sebaceous cyst can be surgically removed if it becomes infected or irritated. Under no circumstances should the skin mass be squeezed. Certain breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels and Poodles, are prone to sebaceous cysts.
This common fatty skin tumor is virtually benign for dogs but can gradually increase in growth and number to cause discomfort and affect mobility. Surgical removal is an option. Older dogs, and breeds such as Dobermans and Labradors, are predisposed to Lipomas.
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