Fatty Lumps and Tumors

Here are the pictures of a fatty lump we took off a very sweet Great Dane.  Fatty masses are tumors called lipomas.  They don’t spread to other areas but dogs can get many of them.  Often they are not bothersome only unsightly.  The need to be removed is partly a decision as to whether there is discomfort and restriction of use. This dog had the lump near his armpit and we removed it because it was getting bigger and getting in the way.  It is very important to determine what types of cells are in lumps in the body.  We have been seeing a lot of mast cell tumors lately.  These are often quite serious and can spread to the regional lymph nodes and lungs. Just last week we had an 8 year old dog with a lump that the owner thought might be a fatty mass.  Luckily she brought it to our attention!  It looks like a mast cell tumor and we will be removing it soon.  Recently a young lab about 5 years old was seen with more than one mast cell tumor.  It is really important to send these out to the pathologist to have them checked.  They can tell us what type of tumor it is, if we got it all, what grade it is and if it is likely to spread.  Did you know that dogs and cats can get chemotherapy and radiation for their cancer just like people?  We don’t do that here but there are several locations in the Twin Cities that do.  So keep looking for lumps and bumps and PLEASE bring them to our attention at exam time or before!

To continue the theme of lumps...
We took this mass off the gums of a HUGE dog (170lb Mastiff).  It turns out this mass was a benign epulis which is a tumor of the periodontal ligament.  This particular type of tumor is often cured by removing it even if one doesn't get the entire thing.
Unfortunately, that is not the case with most tumors in the mouth.  The majority of mouth tumors are malignant, that is they spread or they are very invasive cancers.  Some  are cured by a fairly radical surgery called a mandibulectomy.  Check out this link (ORAL TUMORS IN CATS AND DOGS) to a great article about mandibulectomy with pictures (some pretty graphic, so don't look if you don't like the sight of blood).