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Early detection of skin cancer is in your hands.

Make the most of your contact time with your faithful friend.

Whether relaxing on the sofa or during a more active routine grooming session, there are countless opportunities to help ensure your pet is healthy.

Every moment you share, you can be helping them.

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By feeling for possible lumps and bumps you can help identify any concerns quickly.

A frequent skin check can also help you detect any other issues, such as fleas, ticks, and other skin conditions.

If you notice any lump or bump, see your veterinarian.

Your dog's skin can change over the years. When a lump appears on the skin, it is best to have a veterinary examination but it does not necessarily mean cancer.

Common lumps and bumps in dogs include:

  • Malignant (or cancerous) tumors, such as mast cell tumors
  • Benign tumors, such as lipomas (fatty tumors)
  • Sebaceous cysts
  • Warts
  • Abscesses

When a lump appears it is important to plan a visit to your veterinarian as soon as possible, since the early detection of skin cancer improves the outcome.

Some of the more common types of skin cancer in dogs are:

  • Mast cell tumors
  • Malignant melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Fibrosarcoma

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The most common type of skin cancer found in dogs

Mast cell tumors are the most common type of skin cancer found in dogs, representing 16-21% of all cutaneous cancers1.

Mast cell tumors are highly variable and cannot be diagnosed from their appearance alone. The classic mast cell tumor is typically hairless, raised and pink to reddish, and they can shrink and grow over a short period of time. It’s really important to have any new lump or bump examined by your vet, since approximately 1 in 5 lumps are mast cell tumors.

Some factors which can predispose your dog to development of mast cell tumors include: genetic mutations, age, breed, or chronic inflammation.

Some breeds are more susceptible to mast cell tumours, including:



Shoop et al.: Prevalence and risk factors for mast cell tumours in dogs in England. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology 2015 2:1.


About 50% to 60% of mast cell tumours are on the trunk of the dog. Other common locations are the legs, head or neck.

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1.Withrow SJ, Vail DM. Small Animal Clinical Oncology, Elsevier Inc, Canada. 2007;402-421.

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Visit your veterinarian to check any lumps or bumps today

Initially, a lump may be evaluated with fine needle aspiration (FNA) and a microscopic examination of the sample. This can help your veterinarian determine if there are tumor cells present.

Fine needle aspiration benefits are:



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