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Dog Ceruminous Gland Tumors

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Dog Ceruminous Gland Tumors

This is a big word for a small part of the body. It is in the ear. The glands that produce wax in the ear are called ceruminous glands. These types of Dog Tumors are usually less than 1cm in size and are on a stalk. If the tumor grows, the stalk will allow the tumor to extend to the outer ear where it will then be easily visible. It the tumor is adenocarcinoma, it can be invasive and can metastasize to the salivary glands. Although it is rare that they metastasize to the lungs.

Adenomas are not as common as adenocarcinomas. This applies to both dogs and cats. Dogs who have a history of hyperplastic otitis are subject to ceruminous gland tumors. Cocker Spaniel dogs are more susceptible than other dog breeds to ceruminous gland tumors.

Signs and Symptoms

If the tumor becomes large, you can see it. It can also become irritated or infected and begin to bleed. As your dog scratches the ear, the tumor is easily irritated. Excessive scratching of the ear should put you on alert that something is wrong with your dog’s ear.

Chronic Dog Ear Infections of the middle ear with purulent (odorous) discharge may indicate a tumor. Unfortunately, these type of dog tumors have the ability to completely block the dog’s ear canal.


After a complete history and physical exam, your vet will perform the standard laboratory tests. There will be CBC, urinalysis, and if questions are still there, an MRI or CT scan may be performed to determine the amount of metastasis that may be present. The vet will look deeply into your dog’s ear with an otoscope. This will be done under anesthesia. It will also include some flushing of the ear canal and removing any discharge that may be present. Once the mass is removed, it will be examined by a pathologist to determine the diagnosis.

Treatment Options

If the tumor has not affected the dog’s eardrum, it can be removed surgically through the ear canal. If the dog’s ear drum is affected, it may need to be removed. This is only recommended when the tumor is malignant. The lateral type of resection has a high recurrence rate. Malignant tumors in the ear can have a survival time of greater than 4 ½ years in dogs. Dogs with an invasive tumor or those who exhibit neurological signs have a poorer diagnosis.

There are times when Dog Radiation Therapy may be used. This is done if the tumor cannot be completely removed. In this instance, there is a 56 per cent chance of a one year survival.

As with most tumors or illnesses in dogs, the dog’s owner needs to pay special attention to any changes in the dogs' behavior or physical status. If your dog has chronic middle ear infections or if they start scratching their ears more frequently, it is time to take notice and consult with your vet. By being observant you can save your dog from suffering extreme discomfort and also save yourself from making the difficult decision as to treatment. It will also save you a lot of money to get small issues treated quickly, rather than to let them develop into huge issues that require surgery in the future.

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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