A Guide to the Kinds of Skin Tumors in Dogs

Unlike many other pets, dogs can get tumors similar to humans. Uncontrolled cell development causes cancer. These cells might come from any part of the body. Cancer may infect other tissues and interact with the circulatory or lymph systems if not detected and treated early. A tumor is the primary cause of death in dogs over ten years old. However, 50% of all canine cancers are curable if caught early.

Common Types of Skin Tumors

Skin diseases are one the most commonly reported health problems in dogs. This can range from simple allergic dermatitis to parasites and tumors. Amongst these reported skin ailments, skin tumors are by far the riskiest. Tumors on the skin can indicate several things. Some skin growths appear naturally as the dog ages but don’t usually pose a health problem. 

Skin tumors expand in size rapidly, indicating a more severe issue. Identifying a skin tumor is vital before choosing whether or not additional treatment is required. You can click this link to understand how veterinary care services for pets may help prevent skin tumors.

Mast Cell Tumors

Most mast cell tumors in canines are skin-based, although some are internal. Mast cell tumors are among the most prevalent types of cancer in dogs. Usually, mast cells are located in different parts of the body and play a critical role in allergic reactions in dogs. They contain chemical granules that may cause an allergic and inflammatory response when exposed to the allergen.

Mast cell cancers can be diagnosed through fine-needle aspiration. Recommended procedure after detecting it is to surgically extract the tumor using a wide-margin excision technique that removes a part of healthy tissue or skin to prevent or minimize regrowth. For related questions about skin tumors in dogs, click here to learn why getting a wellness plan helps prevent severe cancers.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a rare condition of skin cancer but the most frequently encountered carcinoma in canines. SCC tumors are commonly seen in senior dogs, and breeds like basset hounds, beagles, and standard poodles are more likely to develop it. SCC in dogs happens as raised, ulcerated plaques and nodules on the animal’s skin. If left untreated, this type of tumor has the potential to grow into a huge mass. 

The recommended thing to do is to have the tumor surgically removed. A wide margin incision throughout surgery will reduce the tumor’s possibility to grow back. Suppose your dog gets infected by squamous cell carcinoma. In that case, you should see an expert that specializes in veterinary surgery treatment to avoid the possibility of a severe skin tumor.


Melanomas are skin tumors that develop in the pigmented cells of the canine’s skin and spread all over the body. This form of tumor is common in dark-skinned dogs. In most cases, melanoma tumors are benign and do not spread to other parts of the dog’s body.

Malignant melanomas are uncommon yet highly invasive and aggressive. When a dog is diagnosed with malignant melanoma, immediate medical attention is required. In dogs, surgical treatment of benign skin melanomas is usually curative, and the risk of recurrence is relatively reduced. 


Keeping track of your dog’s behavior, body, and physical well-being is vital to their overall health. It’s also a good idea to be on the lookout for any lumps or bumps you may see on your pet dog’s body when brushing or petting them. If your canine companion is exhibiting one or more of the symptoms indicated above, arrange an appointment with your trusted veterinarian as quickly as possible.