Are growths involving mammary glands (breast
tissue) of dogs and cats.
Typically occur in females, rarely occur in
Occur more frequently in dogs than cats.
Can often be prevented by spaying female dogs
early in life.
Dogs normally have 5 pairs of mammary glands.
Cats normally have 4 pairs of mammary glands.
The glands are connected in a “chain” on either
side of the belly.
As with all cancer, no one knows why mammary
In dogs, 50% of mammary tumors are benign;
50% are malignant.
In cats, 90% of mammary tumors are malignant;
only 10% are benign.
Malignant mammary tumors often spread to other
glands, then to associated lymph nodes, then to the lung tissue.
In cats, the tumors can spread down a chain
as well as across to the opposite chain.
Most mammary tumors are found on routine exam
or while being petted.
Mammary tumors must be removed and biopsied
in order to determine whether they are benign or malignant.
Bloodwork and Chest Radiographs are often
part of the pre-surgical tests.
Requires general anesthesia and typically
an overnight hospital stay.
Surgery typically involves removal of the
tumor tissue only.
Depending on the size, number and location
of tumors, the entire gland, multiple glands and/or the associated lymph
node may be removed.
Antibiotics, pain medication and restricted
activity are prescribed post-op.
No additional treatment is required for benign
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy or additional
surgery may be recommended for malignant tumors.
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