Nose Pad Cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma) in Dogs

The epithelium is the cellular covering of all of the internal and external surfaces of the body, protecting the organs, inner cavities and outer surfaces of the body in a continuous layer of multi-layered tissue. The squamous epithelium is a type of epithelium that consists of the outer layer of flat, scale-like cells, which are called squamous cells.

A tumor that originates from the tissue in the nose pad or in the mucus membrane of the nose is known as squamous cell carcinoma of the nasal planum. It is a malignant  tumor but rarely spreads to other parts of the body. The tumor is more invasive rather than metastic in nature. 

Exposure to inhaled chemicals increases the risk of nasal tumors, including indoor use of coal, cigarettes, and air fresheners.

Dogs with larger nasal passages and dogs with light pigmented noses are at a higher risk. Excessive sun exposure can also lead to development of this tumor.

This tumor progress slowly, often starting as a superficial crust and scab

Decreased air through the nose (i.e., more mouth breathing)

Sneezing and reverse sneezing (i.e., sudden, involuntary inward breaths)

Nosebleeds (epistaxis)

Nasal discharge

Swelling of involved area, including swelling of the eye, loss of sight

Facial deformity

Excessive tears from eyes (epiphora)

Neurological signs (from pressure on brain) – seizure, disorientation, behavioral changes

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