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Paw prints: Lumps and bumps

Community Columnist

The biopsy results will describe the tumor type, if it is malignant or not, provide a prognosis and determine if the tumor was removed entirely.

One of the most common lumps found on a dog is a lipoma, also known as a fatty growth. Lipomas are benign and usually slow-growing. They feel soft, are well-defined and grow under the skin. They can be found anywhere on the body, but tend to grow on the chest or abdomen.

These tumors can become quite large, which can worry many pet owners, but fortunately they do not pose a health threat. Lipomas are usually left alone unless they are located in an area that could interfere with mobility.

Sebaceous gland tumors are another very common bump, again more likely in an older dog. They appear similarly to a small wart and are found on the skin. These tumors are almost always benign and tend to grow on the face, head or back.

They are mostly just a cosmetic concern, but if these tumors become infected, itch or bleed easily, removal may be recommended.

Histiocytomas are found typically in younger dogs. They grow on the skin and are round with an eroded surface. They are frequently found on the front half of the body but can develop anywhere. Certain breeds can be predisposed to these growths, such as Boxers, Labrador Retrievers and Staffordshire Terriers.

These growths are benign and usually go away on their own within a few months.

Mast Cell Tumors are another very common skin tumor. Unfortunately this tumor could be metastatic and difficult to treat.

Most mast cell tumors arise on the skin, but can form elsewhere in the body. The appearance varies, but many appear as small, raised, hairless growths that can sometimes increase and decrease in size. Any breed can develop mast cell tumors, but Boxers, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Boston Terriers, Schnauzers and Shar peis are at higher risk.

Types of skin tumors vary widely. Although the majority of skin tumors are benign, you should have any new lump on your pet checked by your vet.

Dr. Anne Weiskotten Galton is a veterinarian at Cazenovia Animal Hospital. She can be reached at 655-3409 or agalton28@yahoo.com.

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