Sarah is a lovely 14 year old Jack Russell Terrier who came to see us in May for a large, infected lump on her back that had burst. Dr Cathy examined her and apart from the infected lump on the back and dental disease, Sarah was otherwise in excellent health for a senior citizen. She was prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to treat the infection.
Two weeks later, Sarah returned for her revisit and the lump had not improved. The decision was made to surgically remove the lump under general anaesthesia. Sarah's pre-anaesthetic blood work and urinalysis results were all within normal limits.
Dr Stacy removed the lump and sent it away to our pathologists for histopathology (microscopic examination of the lump) to determine if the lump is benign (good) or malignant (bad). A few days later, her lump histopathology returned and revealed it was a Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma (or SCC) is a malignant tumour of the skin cells and accounts for 5% of all skin tumours found in dogs. These tumours generally grow slowly but are aggressive in nature. They are commonly associated with prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light (the sun) and are commonly found in areas of the skin with minimal pigmentation or minimal hair.
If you notice any lumps and bumps on your furry friends, it is important to have them checked and tested by your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Luckily for Sarah, her lump has been completely removed and she has made an excellent recovery. We will now monitor her closely for recurrence of the lump and look out for any new ones.
Learn more about Lumps and Bumps on Your Pet's Skin.