Vail Pets: Watch out for serious tumors |

Vail Pets: Watch out for serious tumors

Nadine Lober
Pet Talk
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Malignant lumps are bad, potentially deadly lumps.

It is important to always check our pets for lumps and bumps and if a lump grows quickly or looks aggressive, then get it checked by your local veterinarian as soon as possible. Aggressive lumps can be hard, irregular or discolored. I will discuss a few common malignant lumps in this article.

Mast cell tumors are one of the most common malignant skin tumors in dogs and cats, and most often occur in older animals. These tumors can vary in appearance. They can be soft or firm, hairy or hairless, pink, ulcerated or even flesh colored. They are usually solitary but may be multiple.

They are removed surgically and, if they can be treated, are treated with radiation, injections and chemotherapy.

Fibrosarcomas are another tumor that occurs in dogs and cats. This tumor is more common in cats and may be caused by a sarcoma virus or even vaccines. In dogs, the timors tend to grow on the head and limbs. In cats, they more commonly occur on the trunk, limbs and ears. These masses are firm, nodular to irregular, and can be ulcerated. They are treated similarly to mast cell tumors.

Mammary tumors are the third most common tumor in cats, with a higher incidence in Siamese cats. In dogs, mammary tumors occur more commonly in intact females. The chances of developping mammary gland tumors decreases if you spay your pet before the first heat.

Mammary tumors can be benign or malignant. They are usually firm and nodular. There can be multiple mammary glands involved. Again, they are removed surgically but veterinarians will use X-rays to see if the tumor has spread.

In cats, radical mastecomy reduces the chance of recurrence. In dogs, excision or unilateral mastectomy is performed surgically. The other treatment is chemotherapy. Again, biopsy is very important to determine the stage of the tumor and how aggreassive the treatment needs to be.

Unfortunately, there are many other types of tumors that can occur in our pets. It is always important to detect these masses early and identify them. Look over your pets regularly and there is a better chance of keeping them healthy and happy.

Veterinarinan Dr. Nadine Lober can be reached at 970-949-7972.

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