Definition of Skin Tumors
Skin tumors are extremely common in dogs. They can be caused by infection, cancer or the simple accumulation of fat, among many other things. Skin tumors include pimples, pustules, hives, hematomas, cysts, blisters, abscesses, lick granulomas and skin tags. They can be on the skin (cutaneous tumors) or in the soft tissue just underneath the skin (subcutaneous tumors). Fortunately, most skin masses are little more than a cosmetic nuisance. However, even harmless tumors can turn malignant, which means that they can become cancerous and spread to other parts of the dog’s body. Owners should be on the lookout for any suspicious bumps or sores on their dog’s skin and have them evaluated by a veterinarian, especially if they are new, bleeding, oozing or growing rapidly. Slow-growing masses usually aren’t particularly bothersome, unless the dog becomes busy licking and chewing at them from boredom, itchiness or discomfort. Malignant tumors can grow rapidly, ulcerate, bleed and become quite painful.