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

DogCancer.TV: Mammary Tumors- What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Cancer

Do you know what the signs and symptoms of mammary tumors would look like in your pet? Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger discuss the detection, diagnosis, and the Full Spectrum Care Approach to the treatment of mammary tumors in dogs. Click play to learn.


Transcript of: Mammary Tumors- What You Need to Know About Your Dog’s Cancer

James Jacobson: One of the cancers that you talk about in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide are mammary tumors. Dr. Dressler, I’ll start with you first. If a dog has been diagnosed with mammary tumors, what is it, that the guardian may be seeing?

Dr. Demian Dressler: The most common way of mammary tumors shows up is the exact same way that breast cancers shows up in a woman and that is with a growth in a mammary gland. We don’t usually think about breasts in dogs because it’s a human term. However, dog’s mammary glands are exactly that, they’re breasts. And instead of having one pair, canine species has five pairs; there is a total of ten. And every once in a while, they will be an added one year there and maybe one missing here or there are the given dog, but usually around ten. The mammary tumor shows up as a bump. And this is a bump that many times can be under the skin within the mammary gland itself which is around the nipple, and the best way to feel those is by very gently massaging actually jelly squeezing or pinching the mammary gland itself, and you can often feel them inside the gland as a firm nodule sometimes if there a small little beady and other time if they are larger, you can even see them on the surface of the skin and in worst cases they’re big angry and inflamed.

James Jacobson: Dr. Ettinger, your thoughts on mammary tumors.

Dr. Susan Ettinger: I think it’s important to realize that mammary tumors are a very treatable cancer in dogs as Dr. Dressler points out just feeling your dog along their belly is of really important for early detection to find these. There are some several guidelines in general but fifty percent are benign and fifty percent are malignant and even the malignant aggressive ones, fifty percent of those will be cured with just surgery alone. So, seventy-five percent of dogs with mammary cancer with just surgery is all they’re gonna need. They have a nice good adequate surgery, and I think that’s important. It is to know that it’s a very treatable cancer in the majority of dogs.

James Jacobson: Dr. Dressler, what are your thoughts on treatment options for mammary cancer?

Dr. Demian Dressler: I think the surgery is important, this brings up an interesting topic which has to do is spaying and a dog that has been diagnosed with mammary cancer recent evident shows now. I went back in forth but the most recent sort of trends seems to be that’s spaying a dog who has mammary cancer later in life may be beneficial. We also need to, I believe in those cases limit exposure we can to red meat, if we use the human data red meat is a risk factor, and we need to limit the exposure to dietary carcinogens and improve the diet, and also of course throw in some supplements that can help hopefully decrease the development of new mammary cancers in the future. So I think using all of the different tools that we have in our toolbox with these cancers is very, very critical to have the best longest life with their dogs.

James Jacobson: There is a tremendous amount of information on mammary cancer in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. I wanna thank both of you Veterinarians for joining us today. Dr. Ettinger in New York, and
Dr. Dressler in Hawaii, thank you.

Dr. Demian Dressler: Thank you!

Dr. Susan Ettinger: Thank you!

Discover the Full Spectrum Approach to Dog Cancer

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  1. Mack Gallamore on October 18, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Large mass square in shape move able under the skin next to a nipple,starting clear loquid to oze out,hot to the touch compared to rest of the body,what can be done if anything.she is 12 yrs old.

    • Dog Cancer Vet Team on October 22, 2018 at 7:36 am

      Hello Mack, thanks for writing. We’re not vets here in customer support so we can’t offer you medical advice. However, we can provide you with information based off of Dr. D’s and Dr. Sue’s writings 🙂

      As Dr. Sue says in the article below, if the lump is over 1cm, or has been there for over 1 month, get it checked ASAP. Here’s the link: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/lumps-on-dogs-when-to-get-them-checked-by-a-veterinarian/

      Once you know what it is, you can develop a treatment plan with your veterinarian 🙂 As Dr. D says in the video above, you can make changes today to your dog’s diet by limiting red meat and reducing the risk of dietary carcinogens. You may find this article by Dr. D on red meat and mammary cancer to be beneficial: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/oleic-acid-red-meat-and-mammary-cancer/

      We hope this helps!

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