What does cancer look like on a dog’s paw?

Answered by Robert Dupre

Cancer on a dog’s paw can present itself in different ways, with squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) being a common type of cancer affecting the toes. SCC typically affects only one toe and can have various appearances.

One possible appearance of SCC is a small nodule on the paw. This nodule may be firm to the touch and can vary in size. It may appear as a raised bump or a lump on the skin of the toe. Sometimes, the nodule can be reddish in color, indicating potential inflammation or irritation.

Another way SCC can manifest is as a reddish colored skin plaque. This plaque may be flat or slightly raised, covering a larger area of the toe. It can have an uneven texture and may appear rough or scaly. The color can range from light pink to a deeper red, depending on the stage and severity of the cancer.

In some cases, SCC can present as a papule on the paw. A papule is a small, blister-like bump that lacks fluid. It can be round or oval in shape and may have a smooth or slightly rough surface. The color of the papule can vary, but it often appears reddish or pinkish.

It is important to note that SCC does not typically retain its appearance as a solid mass. The tumor may change in size, shape, or color over time. It can also ulcerate or develop an open sore, which can be accompanied by bleeding or discharge.

While these descriptions provide a general idea of how SCC can appear on a dog’s paw, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. A veterinarian will perform a thorough examination, potentially including a biopsy, to confirm the presence of cancer and determine the appropriate treatment options.

It is worth mentioning that every case of cancer can vary, and there may be other types of cancer that can affect a dog’s paw. Therefore, it is always important to seek professional veterinary advice if you suspect any abnormalities or changes in your dog’s paw. Early detection and intervention can greatly improve the chances of successful treatment and a positive outcome for your furry friend.