Top Ten Boxer Bumps
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.