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Top Ten Boxer Bumps

2010 February 28

Boxer Puppy in Pink Collar

Boxer Puppy in Pink

Boxers Grow Lumps and Cancer Better Than Any Other Breed of Dog*

But if you live with a Boxer, you probably already know this! Did you know Boxers used to have a predicted lifespan of 4-6 years? The breed was bogged down with genetic predisposition to cancer, and they passed on an inherited heart condition that shortened their lives.

The breeders got together and agreed to selectively breed healthy dogs so as not to pass on the traits. Now, Boxers can expect to live 8-10 years, sometimes as much as 12-14 years, or longer.

Still, if you see a new growth or lump on your Boxer, have your vet check it urgently.  Here is a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly…

Boxer Bumps I’ve Diagnosed:
1. Mast Cell Tumor, the chameleon of lumps, can look like any other lump! (bad, but potentially curable if caught early)
2. Lipoma, fatty lump, this is what you hope every lump turns out to be. (good)
3. Adenoma, a cauliflower-looking skin tumor.(good)
4. Hair follicle tumor, or cyst. Also recently named Subcutaneous Keratinizing Trichoepithelioma. The pathologists love to classify and reclassify.(good)
5. Histiocytoma. Raised, cherry-red lump. Your vet can do a simple test to diagnose this little number. Quite curable!(good)

6. Hemangiosarcoma. A tumor of blood vessel lining cells. No one yet knows if early detection would increase survival from this devastating tumor. Now that ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) are becoming more available for animal patients, perhaps these tumors will be found to be more survivable.(very bad)
7. Lymphoma, inside and out. Treatable.(bad)
8. Acanthamatous Epulis. Lumps on the gums in the mouth. Your vet can diagnose gingival hyperplasia (overgrowth) from these growths that can be invasive and cancerous.(bad, but potentially curable)
9. Osteosarcoma. Bone cancer. If a leg is suddenly super painful, and especially if there is a hard lump at the pain spot, do not delay. Even if you don’t want to hear the bad news, you also don’t want your Boxer to be in pain. Go to the vet and get answers and at the very least, painkillers.(bad)
10. Sometimes a lump is just a lump! Bee sting, skin infection, hair follicle cyst, allergic reaction (boxers get hives.)

Good Luck, Go to Your Vet, Don’t be Afraid, they’re there to help you!

**As of May, 2010, Golden Retrievers have been declared the most likely breed of dog to grow cancer.  Good news for Boxers?  Only if they don’t have a Golden Retriever friend at home!

P.S. May 2010: Check out more “Bump” Stories under the “Bump” Tag.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Brien permalink
    August 9, 2010

    Thank you so much!!!!!
    You have already told me in less than 10 minutes of reading more than my vet has told me in 4 months!
    Can you tell me just how simple the test for Histiocytoma is?
    Also, how is it determined if it is a Hair follicle tumor? There is no puss involved with this bump.

    • Doc Truli permalink
      August 10, 2010

      Dear Brien,
      Did you read the histiocytoma post? The test for histiocytoma is very simple. These bumps do tend to bleed a bit, so have a gauze pad ready. The histiocytes are also technically tricky to identify via microscopy. A talented veterinarian can identify histiocytes, usually without sending to sample out to the laboratory.
      A hair follicle tumor is usually on the list if the aspirate cytology does not show other tumors, like histiocytomas, mast cells, round cell tumors, purulent exudate (pus). Although, sometimes a hair follicle tumor can become infected and ooze pus. Dermatology is a tricky part of veterinary medicine. I determine hair follicle tumor patly by looks, partly by the aspirate cytology, and partly by performing the surgery, and getting the official results from the pathologist.
      “When in doubt, cut it out!” (Especially for a Boxer!)
      Doc Truli

      • Net permalink
        August 27, 2012

        I have just read your comments about histiocytomas. My 11 and a half years old male boxer was diagnosed with a histiocytoma on the outside of his ear 3 months ago. He was given antibiotic gel as he had scratched it and I was advised to keep an eye on it and that it should go away, but it could possibly get worse before it gets better. It has grown in size and now I am worried. Would you advise another visit to the vets?
        Many thanks for your help,
        Kind regards,

        • JLaw permalink*
          August 29, 2012

          My advice is to have it rechecked if it has not gone away on its own in 2 months. Every few years, I must surgically remove one.

  2. August 30, 2010

    Great post. Thanks. I just added your site to my myspace page.

  3. September 3, 2010

    Kudos for creating this blog post! I truly treasure the free of charge tips.

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