Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide
collection

Found a Bump/Lump on My Dog

lumps on dogs

Lumps On Dogs: When To Get Them Checked By A Veterinarian

Finding lumps on dogs is scary, but waiting to get them checked is a terrible idea. The sooner you know what it is, the better. Get the guidelines now.

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Video: Lump on Dog? Here’s What You Need to Know

Don’t wait — aspirate. Dr. Susan Ettinger helped Dr. Andy Roark with this excellent, informative video about WHY we should ask our vets to test each bump or lump.

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Don’t Forget Your Dog at the Veterinarian

When booking a new consultation with me, pet Guardians often ask if it is necessary to bring their dog to the appointment. From their point of view, they are often concerned about the stress of the visit on their pet, or maybe the travel itself. But from my point of view, a consultation without the…

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Worried about Oral or Nasal Tumors? Here’s What (and What Not) to Do

Checking for Oral and Nasal Tumors The mouth and nose are truly the command center of the dog. Remember that as much as our dogs love us, their DNA is programmed from centuries of survival in the wild.  Their senses are many millions of times more acute than ours.  Naturally, they instinctively guard these tools.…

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Checking Your Dog for Anal Gland Cancer

Unseen Does Not Mean Undetectable It’s great to develop a habit of performing regular check-ups of our dog’s body by physically running our hands down their legs, looking in their ears, and sneaking in some extra neck rubs while we feel for lumps and bumps. Some dangers however, develop internally. Knowing how to detect these…

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Lumps or Bumps Around Your Dogs Eyes or Ears? Here’s How to Check

Keep an Eye on It Most dogs aren’t comfortable with direct eye contact. That’s just their nature. So if my boy has a weepy eye or I suspect there may be a problem, of course he will hesitate to let me have a good look. He may also not want my vet to peer even…

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Checking Your Dog’s Legs for Signs of Osteosarcoma

Taking it in Stride: Those Amazing Legs Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is a common cancer in our dogs, and it usually develops in the long bones of the legs and the ankle or hock joint.  It is more common in some breeds than others, and although there are certain reasons a dog is predisposed to bone…

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Checking your Dog for Testicular Cancer

One for the Boys Intact males (those who have not been neutered) may, in later years be more prone to bladder, prostate or testicular cancer.  Dr. Ettinger’s post “Spay/neuter and the association with cancer in dogs: part one” discusses the pros and cons of neutering in more detail, and is a wonderful read. When my…

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How Important Are All Those Expensive Diagnostic Dog Cancer Tests?

You could easily spend over $1,000 just to diagnose your dog’s cancer. Are any of those tests worth it? Which ones?

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Five common mistakes with cancer surgery, and how to avoid them in your dog

Mistake # 1: Watching and Waiting Don’t: Watch the bump or lump. Do: get an aspirate or biopsy. I’ve blogged about this before, but it deserves repeating. No one, not even a boarded oncologist like me, can look at a skin mass, or a mass in the spleen, liver, or lung on imaging, and tell…

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Dr. Sue’s Recommended Tests for Osteosarcoma Diagnosis and Work up (pre-surgical biopsy optional)

As I discussed in the previous blog, the first sign of osteosarcoma (OSA) that a pet Guardian sees is usually limping, or refusing to put weight on the leg involved. This is because bone tumors hurt, especially when the bone bears weight — so your dog will be lame or will limp. You may see…

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How Long to “Watch and Wait”

Last week I told you about two recent cases in which the tumors were too big for surgery by the time they came to me. I also promised to give you some guidelines about how long to wait when your vet says “let’s just monitor this.” Too many lumps and bumps are being monitored for…

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Waiting and watching — but for how long?

Have you been told to “just watch” a lump or mass on your dog by a veterinarian? I wouldn’t be surprised if you have. I too have advised that to my pet Guardians.  But how long is ok? What size is too big?  Are there actual guidelines? In my veterinary training, I was taught that…

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Staying vigilant with mass aspirates

I am a huge advocate of aspirating every lump and bump on your dog, even though many turn out to be benign cysts or lipomas (fatty tumors). The story below will illustrate why I’m so vigilant, but first, a little about aspirates. Aspirate: What Is It? When there’s a lump or bump on the surface…

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Beyond Mast Cell Tumor Grade: Other Prognostic Factors

In my last blog on mast cell tumor (MCT) grade, I discussed that grade is one of the most important prognostic factors, or predictors, for dogs with MCT. And I also discussed the challenges of using the grade as a predictor: a good percentage of grade 2 MCT behave more aggressively than the rest of…

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The oncologist’s thoughts on what to do after the aspirate confirms mast cell tumor?

In my recent blog, we discussed the aspirate that confirmed the diagnosis of mast cell tumor (MCT.) Now there is a decision to make, should you have your dog staged to make sure the MCT has not spread, or should you proceed to surgery to remove the tumor and find out the grade? Remember what…

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The Oncologist’s thoughts on mast cell tumors

If ever there was a tumor that fits the saying: “one size does NOT fit all”, it is mast cell tumors (MCT). These tumors are common, particularly skin tumors, in dogs. You may know a dog that had a mast cell tumor removed with surgery and went on to live many happy years to never…

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Diagnosing mast cell tumors

When should you see an oncologist for a mast cell tumor (MCT)? I recommend you get an oncologist involved early. But before you see me, you need to know what a MCT looks like, and how they are diagnosed. Most dogs are not feeling or acting sick when they are diagnosed with MCT. Usually the…

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My Experience with CyberKnife RadioSurgery

In my last post, I introduced CyberKnife RadioSurgery, a type of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). This is the radiation unit we have at my specialty hospital, the Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers NY. I want to tell you a little bit more about my own experience with this new technology, but first, a quick recap on…

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CyberKnife RadioSurgery in Pets

If you have been following me on Facebook at Dr. Sue Cancer Vet, you know that last week I was lecturing with what I call “ASC Team CyberKnife.” This team includes radiation oncologist Dr. Sarah Charney, neurologists Drs. Rick Joseph and Jason Berg, and me, the medical oncologist.  We manage all the CyberKnife patients that…

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Not All Soft Lumps are Lipomas!

Many times dog lovers will be told that their dog’s soft lump is a fatty tumor, and is no problem.  The veterinarian is usually thinking about lipomas, benign tumors made of fat that may be genetic in dogs. This information is not always correct, and sometimes the mistake is life threatening.  Although it is true…

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Incidentalomas: when you find a cancer you were not looking for

Recently, there was an article that caught my attention in the New York Times. In A Tumor is No Clearer in Hindsight, Denise Grady wrote about whether Steve Jobs had made the right decision to wait 9 months to go to surgery after finding out he had a type of pancreatic cancer. The article goes…

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Lymphoma – what you need to know BEFORE you see the oncologist

In my last blog post on lymphoma, I shared that I would personally treat my dog with a multi-agent chemotherapy protocol if she was diagnosed with lymphoma.  You will learn a lot about diagnostics and treatment options once you meet an oncologist, so in this blog post, I will share some of the things you…

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How to Get A Diagnosis Before Surgery

There are several different ways of finding out if a lump is a cancer.  Each involves having some of the growth tested, but which is best? There are several ways to collect a sample.  Often a biopsy is done.  A biopsy involves collecting a piece of the growth for analysis.  Sometimes the growth is removed…

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What I would do for my dog with lymphoma?

When Guardians come in for a consultation with me after receiving a cancer diagnosis, they often ask “Doc, what would you do if this was your dog?” I usually refuse to answer the question (with one important exception, which I will get to in a moment). There are too many personal factors that go into…

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CCNU Use for Lympho Rescue Protocols

Chemotherapy in dogs is used differently than in people.  In people, there are protocols that might in some cases eliminate the cancer for many years. In dogs though, the cancer usually comes back, many times in months. (For this reason, we use a wide variety of treatments above and beyond chemotherapy in the Guide). However,…

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Cancer-Prone Dog Breeds

If you have a purebred dog, be on the look out for problems that are more common in your dog’s breed. Different breeds are more prone to certain health issues.  Many are familiar with genetic diseases like hip dysplasia, more common in large breed dogs.  However, there are more examples of breed-associated diseases, and cancer…

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Testing for Mast Cell Tumor Spread: Buffy Coat?

Mast cell tumors occur commonly in the dog. There are three basic grades of mast cell tumor (Grade 1, 2 and 3).  The Grade of the mast cell tumor is useful because it gives the veterinarian or oncologist an idea of how aggressive the mast cell tumor will be. Another way of talking about this…

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Carcinoma of the Anal Sac, part 2

In the last post, anal sac carcinoma was discussed, including diagnosing these malignant tumors in the dog.  In this post, we will cover more on treatments and some data concerning outcomes. If a guardian is coping with a diagnosis of canine anal sac carcinoma, often major questions arise soon after the news is received.  Chemotherapy? …

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Carcinoma of the Anal Gland

One of the less common cancers is carcinoma of the anal gland. Carcinoma of the anal gland occurs on the rear end of dogs, and are found on the anus, in it, or on the edge where the haired skin starts.  Sometimes they can be found only by doing a rectal exam, which is a…

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