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Dog Basal Cell Tumor

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Dog Basal Cell Tumor

Basal cell tumors are tumors that originate in the epithelial layer of skin. Some can be benign and others may be malignant. They are a very common type of Dog Cancer tumor with a higher prevalence in dogs. These are the same type of skin lesions that can appear on humans as well as dogs. The treatment and prognosis are the same in all cases.

Usually, the tumors are benign. There are instances when they can be malignant. For this reason, it is important to watch for signs of basal cell tumors.

Signs and Symptoms

These tiny tumors are hairless, firm, solitary and distinct. They appear as circles on the skin of your dog. The areas of your dog’s body that are usually affected are the shoulders, neck and head.


Your veterinarian can easily diagnose a basal cell tumor. Initially there will be lab work performed. They will have a cell count, urinalysis and chemical profile. Although these tests are performed in all questionable cases, they are usually normal in dogs with basal cell tumors.

After the lab tests are performed, chest x-rays are the next step in the diagnostic process. This is especially beneficial in older dogs. Usually, basal cell tumors are found in middle aged to senior dogs. These too are usually normal.

Using a very small needle and syringe, your veterinarian may choose to aspirate some of the fluid or part of the tissue for laboratory analysis. The final test will be a biopsy of the outlined mass to definitely diagnose the type of tumor that is present.


The only treatment for basal cell tumors in dogs is removal. Surgical removal will totally remove the mass and free your dog of further issues most of the time. Depending on how severe the growth is, this can be minor to major surgery. Check into your vet’s history of success rates for this type of procedures and if you don’t feel comfortable, ask if they have any recommendations or if they know of anyone who specializes in this field.


Since these are basically localized tumors; surgical removal will afford a very positive prognosis. You will need to closely watch the surgical area when you get your dog home. It is important to observe the surgical area for redness or swelling in the area. Any signs of infection should be reported to your veterinarian.

Pain control is another issue. Your vet will most likely prescribe Dog Pain medication for your dog. Rather than wait until your dog or dog becomes uncomfortable, administer the medication as prescribed by your veterinarian. A comfortable recovery helps to hasten recovery so follow a good Dog Palliative Cancer Care plan.


There is no specific action to prevent basal cell tumors. They can reappear and it is up to the caring owner of the dog to observe their skin and report any recurrence to their veterinarian. Although the initial basal cell tumors may have been malignant, it pays to be cautious and report changes in your dog’s condition to your veterinarian.

Suggested Products

Nu-Pet Vitamin & Antioxidant Wafers Cancer Support Kit - Dogs ES Clear - Dog Cancer Support

Additional Dog Cancer Pages

Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Lymphoma Cancer | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors

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