Cancer: Skin

Cancer Quicklinks

Types of Skin Cancer:

In general cancer canine skin is classified as benign or malignant, i.e. benign may not be always cancerous but has the potential to develop into cancer. Benign dog skin cancer does also run the immediate risk of spreading to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors on other hand are true cancers and can spread to other parts of the skin and body, including visceral (nearby) organs and the vascular system. This form of classification only describes the status of the canine skin cancer.

The definite classification of canine skin cancer is based upon the different types of skin tissues affected by any cancerous developments. Epidermal, hair follicular, connective and glandular tissues can be affected by different cancers, which are described in brief as;

Epidermal and Hair Follicle Cancers:

Cancers of Connective Tissues:

Glandular and Lymphatic Cancer Canine Skin:

cancer canine skin
Picture of Dog Skin Cancer
Dog Mast Cell Neoplasia on Legs of a Sharpei

Symptoms and Diagnosis:

Clinical features of cancer canine skin do not differ from several other skin problems, such as nodules, lesions, inflammation and alopecia. The biggest difference is that symptoms caused by cancers are incurable, they persist and spread over time time. Malignant forms of skin cancer spread to other parts of the skin and viscera (internal organs), while benign tumors grow larger after quite some time.

Anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, lymphatic insufficiency and respiratory problems may accompany some malignant forms of cancer. Possibilities of other conditions should be eliminated by using detailed laboratory tests and radiographs.

A detailed biopsy is the only possible way to confirm the presence of cancer canine  skin. Tests are performed with the help of a fine needle. Collected tissues are thereafter studied for evidence of cancerous development.

Cancer Skin Treatment:

Different options for cancer canine skin such as surgery, cryosurgery (freezing diseased area), chemotherapy and radiation therapy have been identified as effective for treating various types of skin cancer in dogs. Detailed and confirmatory diagnostic procedures are essential prior to the implementation of any treatment plan.

Supportive therapies such as the application of dermal (skin) preparations, and supplements can be helpful in improving a dog's overall condition and for reducing the side effects of chemotherapeutics and radiation. Natural remedies such as C-Caps Formula can also help in this regard.

To find a dog skin specialist, visit the American College of Veterinary Dermatology (ACVD).