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

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Cancer for Sure? Read Chapter 9: How We Diagnose and Stage Cancer

How do you know if your dog has cancer? Well, no one can tell by look or feel. You have to test. Learn how veterinarians diagnose and stage cancer.

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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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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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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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Dog Cancer Mistake - Paying for Tests You Don't Need

Common Dog Cancer Mistake: Doing Too Many Diagnostic Tests Before Seeing the Oncologist

When you first hear your dog has cancer, you may panic and feel that everything must be done, and now. It’s true, cancer is an urgent situation, and it’s a great idea to find out as much information about your dog’s cancer as is possible. But how many diagnostic tests should you have your vet…

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Common Cancer Mistake: Starting Your Dog with Lymphoma on Prednisone Too Soon

It happens all the time, so don’t beat yourself up if you’ve done it. But if you can, avoid the use of steroids (such as prednisone) before chemotherapy, or before the diagnosis of lymphoma is confirmed. Now, I’m not bashing prednisone across the board. Steroids are used for many things in veterinary medicine. For example,…

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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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Primary Lung Tumors, part 2

Unlike people where lung cancer is one of the top five cancers and the leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide, primary lung cancer is very rare in dogs. Dogs are often diagnosed with lung cancer as in incidental finding during a routine geriatric screen. Lung Cancer Symptoms in Dogs Often dogs have NO clinical signs,…

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DogCancer.TV: Dog Cancer Surgery When is Surgery a Good Option

In this video, Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger discuss their perspectives on surgical treatment of dog cancer and the different types of surgery that maybe performed.

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DogCancer.TV: Soft Tissue Sarcomas- What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Cancer

Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger discuss the detection, diagnosis, and Full Spectrum Care Approach to treating soft tissue sarcomas in dogs.

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DogCancer.TV: Diagnosing Dog Cancer with a Biopsy or Fine Needle Aspirate

In this informative video, Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger discuss and describe fine needle aspirates and biopsy as techniques used by veterinarians in the diagnosis of dog cancer.

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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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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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All about Mast Cell Tumor Grade

Knowing the grade of your dog’s mast cell tumor (MCT) is important, because the grade tells us a lot about how serious a case your dog has, and what the likely prognosis or outcome will be. Tumor grade cannot be discovered via aspirate. MCT grade is determined by a boarded pathologist at a lab, who…

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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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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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What’s new with oral malignant melanoma? Part Two

If you read part one, you remember I was all excited after a recent weekend meeting in New York City on the topic or oral malignant melanoma. As discussed in my chapter in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, oral melanoma is the most common tumor in the mouth of dogs, accounting for 30-40%. It is…

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Can Needle Biopsy Spread Cancer?

Can needle biopsy spread cancer? As always when it comes to dog cancer, there is no “one right answer.” Dr. Dressler, DVM goes over the facts.

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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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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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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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An Overview of What Else Can I Do?

The most common question I receive is: My dog has cancer.  What else can I do? Well, this is a very short question that needs a very long answer. I will do my best to give the big categories here. First, get the data you need.  A real guardian needs information to make aware decisions. …

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Signs of Dog Lymph Node Cancer

Many find a bump or a lump on their canine companion at home.  The first question is usually, “what is this?” Sometimes the second question is, “Is it a gland or a lymph node?” These are good questions.  The reason is that glands, or lymph nodes, become swollen for different reasons.  Like in people, infection…

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Help! Found A Lump On The Dog… Now What?

Dr. Demian Dressler, best-selling author of “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide”, explains exactly what to do when you find a lump on your dog.

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Signs of Dog Cancer and Decompensation

People are often stunned to find out their dog has cancer. Why? Because cancer seems to hit out of the blue. I often hear “but he’s been fine until the last couple days!” In this article, I’m going to take just a minute to explain why “cancer” seems to happen overnight. (Hint: it’s because of…

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Why Is There No Standard of Care?

I was recently sent an interesting question from a reader about the right way to deal with a lump. The question revolved around standard veterinary practices upon finding an external mass in a dog. Is it correct to simply monitor and wait for a cancer to grow before doing something about it? Good question! The…

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Lipoma and Liposarcoma in the Dog: Fatty Tumors

Many times dog lovers will arrive in my hospital and point out that their canine companion has a bump. This one is soft, kind of like very firm jello. “Doesn’t seem to be causing any pain,” they say. Hm. Well, it could be a “fatty” tumor. This is simply a tumor made out of fat.…

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