Skin Cancer (Squamous Cell Carcinoma) in Dogs

The skin has many layers and the outer most layer is called epidermis. It consists of scale like cells called the squamous epithelium. The tumor that originates in squamous cells is called squamous cell carcinoma. It appears as white skin mass or raised bump.

Due to malignant and invasive nature of the tumor, early detection and treatment is vital for survival of the dog. The tumor gets bigger and resistant to medication with time.

Dogs that live on high altitute and that spend lots of time in sunlight are predisposed to this condition.

Breeds such as Scottish terriers, Pekingese, boxers, poodles, Norwegian elkhounds, dalmatians, beagles, whippets, and white English bull terriers are at a higher risk of being affected by squamous cell carcinoma. Black dogs of large size breeds are prone to develop this tumor on toes more than any other breed. Likewise, older dogs are more affected by this type of tumor.

Symptoms associated with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma are


A crusty or bleeding sore on the skin that does not go away with antibiotics or creams

Sores that do not heal for several months

Sores in areas where the hair is white or light colored

Growths or Tumors

White colored growth of skin; mass

Growths in areas where hair is white and skin is light colored

Sores or growths may be found anywhere

Usually there is just one growth or sore

Common locations are the nose, toes, legs, scrotum or anus

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