Educational Articles

Tumors

  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a tumor of the cells that make up the contact or upper layer of the skin. UV light exposure has been described as a developmental factor in people, though it is still in question as to the role for dogs. Several breeds are known to be predisposed to this type of cancer. This tumor may affect any area of the skin, the nose/nasal planum, or the toes. Fine needle aspiration or biopsy may be performed for diagnosis. About 30% of dogs with the digital form of the disease will have evidence of spread. Regardless of the location, surgery is typically the treatment of choice, and staging is usually recommended prior to any surgery. The role of chemotherapy remains controversial.

  • Tumors of the epithelial, glandular stomach lining include non-cancerous polyps and some types of chronic (hyperplastic) gastritis. Malignant epithelial tumors (gastric adenocarcinomas) cause progressive illness.

  • Skin gland, hair follicle, and sebaceous gland tumors are more commonly found to be benign. Matrical carcionoma and sebaceous gland adenocarcinoma are rare and more aggressive forms of the disease. Regardless of the type (sweat, hair, or sebaceous) diagnosis is made by fine needle aspiration, biopsy, and/or initial surgical removal and histopathology. In the majority of cases, surgery is recommended and other treatments are unnecessary. Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy in pets with matrical carcinomas or sebaceous gland adenocarcinomas may be recommended.

  • The testicle or testis contains several different cell types. These include the germ cells, which make sperm, the supporting and nourishing Sertoli cells, and the hormone-producing interstitial (or Leydig) cells.

  • The thyroid gland is a two-lobed endocrine gland wrapped partially around the front of the trachea (windpipe) just below the throat. Its function is the production and release of thyroid hormones.

  • This is a common tumor, only found in dogs. It has a patchy worldwide distribution including parts of the Caribbean, USA, Southern Europe, Asia and Africa. It is transmitted by direct physical contact.

  • Lipomas are benign fat tumors commonly found in Budgies, some Amazon parrots, galahs and sulphur crested cockatoos. They are most often found under the skin on the sternum (breastbone or keel bone) or on the ventral abdomen, but can be anywhere on the body.

  • Xanthomas are discrete masses or diffuse, thickened areas of skin that are yellow-orange and dimpled in appearance. They are accumulations of fat and cholesterol and are most commonly found in cockatiels and budgies (and they are more often found in females).

  • While not as commonly seen as they are in dogs and cats, tumors do occur in birds. Birds of any age can develop tumors.

  • Primary Kidney tumors are rare in dogs and cats. When they do occur, they are almost invariably malignant (invasive and spreading) and are called renal carcinoma. These tumors tend to invade the adjacent tissues including the main blood vessel draining the kidney (renal vein).