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Companion Animal Practice
Mammary tumours in dogs and cats
  1. Sue Murphy

    Sue Murphy graduated from Edinburgh in 1986 and spent 10 years in general practice before undertaking a residency in oncology at the Animal Health Trust (AHT). Since 2001, she has worked as a clinician at the AHT, where she is currently head of the clinical oncology unit. She holds an MSc in clinical oncology and the European diploma in oncology. She is an RCVS and European recognised specialist in small animal oncology.

Abstract

COMPANION animal mammary gland neoplasias are common conditions seen in general practice. Most can be managed by surgical resection and there is usually no need for referral. The majority of mammary tumours in bitches are benign, while those in cats tend to be malignant and the prognosis is consequently guarded in this species. Overall, mammary tumours are less common in cats than dogs, which is probably related to the fact that most cats are neutered at a young age. Although general features such as the lesion being well circumscribed, slow growing and not fixed to underlying tissues suggest a lesion is benign, surgical biopsy should be conducted to definitively determine whether a mass is benign or malignant. This article describes canine and feline mammary tumours, highlighting the risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.

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