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Dogs + Tumors

  • Systemic lymphoma is a very common cancer in dogs, but the cutaneous form is actually quite rare. Current statistics suggest that cutaneous lymphoma accounts for only about 5% of canine lymphoma cases.

  • The histiocyte group of cells are part of the body's immune surveillance system. Cutaneous (reactive) histiocytosis is an uncommon condition of dogs. Cutaneous, reactive histiocytosis is an immune dysfunction, mainly of young dogs and probably due to persistent antigenic stimulation by a variety of antigens (foreign proteins).

  • Cytology is the microscopic examination of cell samples. Cytology can be used to diagnose growths or masses found on the surface of the body, and also to assess bodily fluids, internal organs, and abnormal fluids that may accumulate, especially in the chest and abdomen. Cells can be collected using various methods including fine needle aspiration, skin scraping, impression smear, cotton-tipped swabs, or lavage. A biopsy is the surgical removal of a representative sample of tissue from a suspicious lesion. The most common biopsy techniques are punch biopsy, wedge biopsy, and excision biopsy. The tissue is then processed and is examined under a microscope via histopathology. Histopathology allows the veterinary pathologist to make a diagnosis, classify the tumor, and predict the course of the disease.

  • Tumors of the intestinal epithelial lining include non-cancerous polyps, benign adenomas and malignant epithelial tumors (adenocarcinomas). The polyps and adenomas may be multiple and cause local obstruction.

  • Muscle (called smooth muscle) and fibrous connective tissues form the framework (stroma) that holds other tissues together within the organs of the body. They enable these organs to contract and stretch as part of their function, for example in digestion of food.

  • Ear canal tumors can be benign or malignant. Diagnosis is typically via fine needle aspiration or tissue biopsy. The treatment of choice for ear canal tumors is surgical excision. For benign tumors, complete surgical removal is curative. With malignant tumors, a CT scan is often performed prior to surgery to determine how invasive the tumor is and enable surgical planning. Total ear canal ablation and bulla osteotomy (TECA-BO) is the most common surgical option. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be pursued.

  • These are tumors arising from structures within the eye. The most common intraocular tumors originate from the melanin producing cells (discussed in a separate handout).

  • Melanocytes are cells that produce a pigment called melanin. They are found in many parts of the body where there is pigment, particularly the skin, hair and eyes.

  • A 'tumor' is a lump. Some tumors are cancerous and some are benign. There are several different types of tumors that occur in the tissues around the eye. Many of these tumors have physical effects on the eye, causing soreness, redness and weeping. The most common treatment for tumors around the eye is surgical removal of the lump.

  • Fibrosarcomas and spindle cell tumors originate from the connective tissue of, or beneath, the skin. The tumor is diverse in appearance and several different cell lines produce tumors of similar appearance.

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