Dog Breast Tumor: How Serious Can It Be For Our Dogs?

vet checking a dog breast tumor

Dog breast tumor is the most common type of tumor that can develop in the un-spayed female dog. However, male dogs can also have this condition, although in rare cases only. A breast tumor can either be benign or malignant. It would be best to know facts about it and prevent it from happening in the first place.


Dog breast tumor

Dog breast tumors or mammary tumors are the outcomes from the abnormal replication of cells in the breast tissue. A dog’s mammary tumors can either be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

According to recent results, a dog’s breast cancer diagnosis turns out to be half benign and the other half malignant. In this case, different approaches a dog with breast tumor lying in grassand treatments apply. As a pet owner, it would be best if you are familiar with the common symptoms of breast cancer in your dogs. Please see them below.

  • You might see single or multiple masses in your dog’s mammary glands. In most cases, about half of the patients consist of numerous mammary tumors.
  • Aside from that, you may also notice an apparent loss of tissue on the dog’s mammary tissue’s skin. It might even show inflammation or drainage.
  • Likewise, the masses are also possible to move around freely. In this case, we can say that the mammary tumors are benign.
  • On the contrary, if the masses are more likely to stay in one area of the skin or body, it implies a malignant condition. These types of lumps are usually hard to move around.
  • Additionally, your dog may also have breast cancer if there is swelling on a nearby lymph node. Once the lymph node becomes involved in the condition, breast cancer and metastasis are possible to recur.
  • Your dog is experiencing breathing difficulties.


Other signs of dog’s breast cancer

  • You might also notice abnormal odors or discharge coming out from your dog.
  • Besides that, your dog’s wounds are mostly not healing.
  • Sudden weight loss.
  • You also need to pay attention to apparent evidence of pain in your dog.
  • Additionally, your dog might even show signs of depression.
  • Your dog might even have changes in its bathroom habits.

Generally speaking, any of these symptoms require immediate attention from your veterinarian. Familiarization with these symptoms will help you detect cancer earlier. In effect, your dog can receive immediate treatment, which can preserve your dog’s health and quality of life.



During your visit to your veterinarian, your dog will undergo a complete physical exam. It will help determine the inward and outward symptoms of the disease. Additionally, it might be necessary to do a biopsy as well. A biopsy is the most reliable method to confirm which are benign and malignant tumors.

Furthermore, other examinations can also help to decide what treatment the dog has to undergo. It includes a complete blood count, serum chemistry panel, and urinalysis. Veterinarians have to perform this series of tests to confirm if the breast cancer has already spread throughout the dog’s body. In effect, it might already affect the dog’s body functions.

Moreover, malignant mammary tumors can spread to lymph nodes. To confirm its spread, veterinarians will use a small needle to get cell samples from the lymph nodes. Other options that can help verify cancer’s extension in the lungs, other organs, or lymph nodes are X-rays and ultrasound.

Once the veterinarian has achieved their diagnostic exams, they will start making the dog’s treatment plan. They will decide which treatment option should apply to make your dog recover from cancer.


Treatment options

A dog breast tumor is still treatable with early detection. Treatment options are available, and the selection will depend on the cancer stage.

  1. Surgery: Veterinarians mostly recommend this treatment option for benign tumors and some malignant mammary tumors. In some cases, animal surgeons combine surgery with other treatments to improve the dog’s prognosis.
  2. Chemotherapy: Dogs with a higher risk of metastasis or already metastasized mammary tumors usually undergo this procedure. However, the establishment of chemotherapy for malignant mammary tumors is still not stable.
  3. Radiation therapy: Even though the investigation has not yet fully taken place, radiation therapy shows increasing beneficial evidence for dogs with inflammatory carcinomas.
  4. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Carcinomas can also be curable through NSAIDs.

Your animal surgeon can still make changes with the treatment options to use for your dog. It can vary depending on your pet’s needs. Aside from that, it would be best to know that these treatment options involve risks that your dog might experience afterward.


Risks associated with cancer treatment

  • Your dog might show bleeding and complications from healing or infection.
  • There are also risks coming from the use of anesthesia. However, these risks are minimal.
  • Additionally, vomiting or diarrhea is also possible, although temporary only.
  • Besides that, your dog might even experience a decrease in white blood cell counts temporarily.
  • Furthermore, the dog may also lose appetite and show exhaustion.
  • Another side effect that can occur is skin irritation.

During the healing process, your veterinarian will prescribe medications to support the recovery of your pet. To ensure the continuous improvement of your dog’s condition, you have to pay attention to their medications. However, it would be best to coordinate with your oncology team to address the situation if any unusual event arises.


Preventive measures

save your dog. prevent the risk of developing cancer.In actuality, your dog no longer has to undergo these procedures and recovery periods. You can prevent the development of cancer in your dog in the first place. Spaying is the surgical procedure wherein doctors will remove the dog’s ovaries and uterus entirely.

Doing this method before your dog’s first heat cycle will reduce the risk of developing cancer. The earlier you have this method for your dog, the higher probability of saving your pet from cancer. Although there is no age limit in spaying, the ideal age is six to nine months.


Final thoughts

Dogs are also at risk of developing diseases, such as tumors. For this reason, it would be best to maintain a regular visit to the veterinarian to ensure that our pets are healthy. Our pets also deserve the highest quality of life.

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