Just like humans, your furry friend can get cancer. This is especially true when they are older. However, knowing if a mass on your dog is a tumor can be difficult. The lump could be cancerous or one arising from another health issue. Without the assistance of a medical expert, you will find it hard to determine if it is benign or cancerous.


If you notice any masses on your dog, you should consult your veterinarian immediately. Here are a few ways you can tell if the mass on your dog is cancerous. These tips do not replace the expertise and care of a professional veterinarian, so it’s always best to schedule an appointment with your friendly vet at Montana Veterinary Hospital.


Persistent Swellings 


A persistently growing mass on your pet is the most common sign of severe health issues. As a pet owner, you should not wait and see if it goes away. Your vet will recommend examining it to ascertain if it is cancerous or not. If it is, you can pursue appropriate treatment options.


Wounds That Do Not Heal


These can be sores in the form of skin wounds that do not heal. This happens despite using ointments or oral antibiotics. It could be a symptom of multiple health complications in your pet’s immune system, infections, or cancers. Some types of cancer appear as non-healing or open sores.


Chronic Diarrhea or Vomiting


It is one of the ways you can tell that your dog has some health issues. These symptoms are synonymous with some types of gastrointestinal cancers. If your canine friend vomits regularly and has diarrhea often, take them to the vet for an immediate checkup.


Severe Weight Loss


If your dog is not on a diet and unexpectedly loses a lot of weight, you should take your dog to the vet. It does not necessarily mean they have cancer, although it could indicate other health issues. Just like in humans, most cancers result in significant weight loss.


Lethargy and Weakness

When your dog is not behaving like themselves and displays lethargy and weakness, take them to the vet. These are common signs of cancer. But they could also indicate other health issues, especially in older dogs. For this reason, it is imperative to take your dog to the vet for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.


Other Signs of Cancerous Lumps

Cancerous masses commonly develop on your dog’s digestive system and skin. For female dogs, they can form in their breasts. Some are hard to spot due to your dog’s fur. It is vital to take your furry friend to the vet if you notice the following:


  • Large lumps on your dog

  • An abrupt appearance of masses

  • Discharge from the mass, eyes, or nose

  • Lumps change in texture, color, or size. If the mass turns purple or black, it could indicate a severe health issue, including cancer

  • Evidence of pain

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Odors from the ears and mouth


Should you notice any of these signs in your dog, make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.


For more information on cancerous masses on dogs, contact Montana Veterinary Hospital & Boarding at our office in Bozeman, Montana. You can call (406) 586-2019 today to schedule an appointment.