Ask the Vet About Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Ask the Vet About Cancer in Dogs and Cats
Dr. MichaelDym
Dr. Michael Dym

As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Date: Sep 15, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Mast cell tumor
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Question:My pet, dog, was recently diagnosed with a MCT about the size of a quarter. I had it surgically removed and the mass sent off to pathology. I was informed that the results showed it was a low grade MCT and that all was removed in the surgical procedure. I was also informed that the lymph nodes did not appear to be swollen or affected. Should i have more testing to see if it has spread elsewhere or should i just monitor her. She is a young 3 and half year old playful happy lab. I'm not sure how to proceed at this point.

Answer:Not really - at this point, it sounds like you have done everything that you need to. Monitor for more masses and have them checked quickly and remoeved because dogs that get MCT are generically predisposed to more, but often they will just have the one.

Date: Aug 19, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Swelling of a wrist joint
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Question:I have had an X-ray of Romeos wrist & nothing is broken. I have been told that arthritis does not cause swelling. He is not walking on it at all. He does have MCTs & I’m wanting to knw if it’s cancer ? How can I tell?

Answer:A biopsy is usually necessary to definitively diagnose cancer. Biopsies have many plusses and minuses. Sometimes radiographic changes are very suggestive of cancer.

Date: Jul 27, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Dog passed away suddenly
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Question:I had a 101/2 year old English bulldog that developed some sores on his eyelid that kept bleeding then scabbing , he also had a bad sore underbid nose that bled and a bloody lip that wouldn't heal.. we took him. To the vet several times to be given prefisone and a strong antibiotic and Allergy shot and antifungal shampoo, it seemed to kinda help, but the day before he died he was labored breathing and I felt more bumps on theright side of his chest under the skin. We were on our way to the vet's office when he died I didn't ask for a autopsy but, I'm now racked with guilt on what it was and what could I have done to save him?

Answer:You filed this question under cancer and yes, that would be a high rule out for what was going on based on your description. Cancer with them, at that age, is usually not very treatable, so definitely don't blame yourself. I'm very sorry for your loss - I know it's hard!

Date: Jul 26, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Swollen Lymph Nodes
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Question:I have a 4 year old lab/pitbull mix. We recently noticed that he has numerous swollen lymph nodes in his neck, arm pit and hind quarters. He shows no obvious signs of infection. Should I be concerned?

Answer:Yes - definitely have your veterinarian check them out. Could be as minor as a tick born disease but could also be something more serious like lymphoma (cancer). Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist.

Date: Jul 24, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Warts
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Question:y Bichon has a wart on his head and I'm not sure if this is something to worry about. Is it. Image: https://ibb.co/jG7XL48

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: Jul 18, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Skin tag changing
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Question:My bloodhound has a small skin tag for a long time under the chin blackish color looked like a normal skin tag but the past week looks like a pink/red raw irritated lump is it normal for skin tags to change? So suddenly? Should I be concerned?

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: Jul 14, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: hemangiosarcoma
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Question:My 10 year old lab mix's spleen tumor ruptured and he had to be euthanized last Saturday. The emergency vet said that he had hemangiosarcoma. We had no idea he was even sick. He seemed fine most of the time. The only thing we noticed was he seemed to have a reaction to pizza all of a sudden. He started panting and looked distressed. we stopped giving him pizza , but then he had the same reaction from chicken. We realized they both had a little garlic on them. I'm wondering if the garlic was affecting his blood vessels and that's why he was having that reaction.

Answer:No, that won't cause such a severe problem - cats are very sensitive to onions and garlic but dogs aren't really - the very small amount on pizza should have zero adverse effects on him, so it wasn't that. It isn't uncommon for our hemangiosarcoma patients to pass away suddenly - since the cancer grows in their spleen, it finally grows into a large blood vessel and that is what suddenly ends their life with very little symptoms before this happens. I'm very sorry for your loss - it's always hard to lose them, but when it happens suddenly, it's even harder.

Date: Jun 7, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Dog skin cancer
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Question:Hi, my dog(female, neutered, 13kg, medium mixed breed, 5yrs old) has this skin growth/infection thing for a few weeks now. We took her to the vet yesterday and they took a sample and see it under a microscope, and told us that it was cancerous. The vet said that this type of cancer was common in unnuetered dogs, and we told her that our female dog is already neutered. But our dog frequently run out of the house, so maybe she could have got in from other dogs? They provided us with antiobiotics and Maximus Hep liver supplement only, and also told us to bathe her every three days. However i realized they did not take her temperature or do any other checkup. The vet also didnt give us anything to apply on the wound. Is this normal? Also, the wound started bleeding just now, is there anything we can apply?

Answer:she could have got in from other dogs?" No - if it is cancer, it is not contagious. I really need more information to really advise you - like I don't know where the cancer is - mammary gland cancer, maybe? being spayed later in life predisposes them. Most mammary gland cancers, especially that are secondarily infected, need to be surgically removed.

Date: May 26, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Cancer?
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Question:I have a 5-year-old pit bull and I'm extremely worried about him and suspect he might have cancer. Has many symptoms like difficulty breathing, abnormal discharge in ears, eyes nose, and butt. Aswell as foul odors. He has a bump on his back and im not sure if its just a muscle. Its close to the skin but the size of a pointer finger. Swelling in paws and he whines when breathing and overall breathing weird.

Answer:None of those (many) symptoms make me overly concerned about cancer but he has so much going on, you will definitely get your moneys worth with one exam fee visit to see your veterinarian, which is ideal to see exactly what is going on.

Date: May 13, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Nodules on Liver
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Question:Are nodules always cancerous. Ultrasound showed a few small nodules on liver. On Denamarin. She is 9 a PitBull rescue Can she be saved. Elevated levels on liver test

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. See if your veterinarian can get a diagnosis with ultrasound - they may be able to do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: May 7, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Masses near spleen
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Question: Vet found a mass with X-rays. Getting ultrasound on Monday. Still drinking too much and not eating. Is this cancer or diabetes. Should I get bloodwork done

Answer:I would deinitely do some blood work along with the ultrasound, because of the "drinking too much" and it will tell you a lot more about what is going on.

Date: May 4, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic:  Lymphoma
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Question: My dog has cancer of the fatty tissue in his right thigh. It has been three moths it is quite large he is still quite active but tires quickly foxhound 11 years old I bought him 5 compound mushroom powder which I mix with his food. Also we. Dehydrate chicken breast?s and give to him as pure protein Doctor gave him less than 2 months now thinks he might have misdiagnosed him but he does have cancer Legs used to be hard. Now it soft it now on his hip. It?s growing but soft Need to get him better I am a senior what can I give him.?

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: May 3, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Info please
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Question:Have a pic to see if dog has cancer maybe. Has big tumor?

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

Date: Apr 16, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic: Mast Cell Tumor
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Question:I noticed a small bump on my dog's left hind leg on the part where the tendon is, not on his "hamstring". I took him in immediately when it looked a little scaly. My vet kind of laughed at me when i expressed my concern but I convinced him to do a fine needle aspirate and sure enough, mast cell tumor. The size of the lump was about half the size of a mechanical pencil eraser and pretty flat to the skin. The tumor has been removed in an elliptical shape with probably 4x the size on either side. So basically, what I'd like to know is does it help my dog's chances of having a grade I tumor bc I caught the MCT early and why would the shape of the tissue removed not be a circle but was elliptical?

Answer:Yes, catching them early is definitely ideal. We remove with ellipses because of how you close the wound - try closing a circle in a linear fashion and the skin would jumble all up and be uncomfortable and not heal well.

Date: Apr 14, 2020
Category: Cancer
Pet Type: 2
Topic: lump under skin
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Question:i found this lump under my dogs skin. it has started to pus and bleed but i don?t know what it is and if i should be concerned

Answer:Masses can be benign, malignant and everything in between. It is impossible to tell, just by looking at a mass, what kind of cells it contains. Have your veterinarian check it out - they will usually do a "fine needle aspirate" - a little mini-biopsy where they stick a small needle in it and suck some cells out and either look at it right there in their office or send it off to a pathologist. Then you can make a plan for it - if it is definitely benign, your veterinarian may recommend doing nothing.

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