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Skin Cancer (Mucocutaneous Plasmacytoma) in Dogs

Mucocutaneous Plasmacytoma

Mucocutaneous plasmacytoma is a swiftly progressing skin tumor originating from plasma cells in dogs. Plasma cells, a type of white blood cell, are responsible for generating antibodies that aid the immune system in recognizing and combating foreign agents. Typically, these tumors manifest on the trunk and legs of dogs, with mixed-breed dogs and cocker spaniels being the most susceptible breeds.

Symptoms and Types

Apart from appearing on the trunk and legs, mucocutaneous plasmacytomas can emerge on the mouth, feet, and ears (notably, lip tumors tend to be small and easily missed). Typically, these tumors present as solitary, firm nodules, which may be raised or ulcerated.


The root cause behind the formation of these tumors remains unidentified.


To diagnose mucocutaneous plasmacytoma in your dog, it’s important to provide your veterinarian with a detailed history of your dog’s health, including the onset and characteristics of the symptoms. Your veterinarian will conduct a comprehensive physical examination along with biochemical profiling, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC), with results typically showing normalcy unless concurrent diseases are present. The standard diagnostic approach involves aspirating a nodule and sending it to a veterinary pathologist for further analysis. Identification of abnormal tumor cells suggests the presence of mucocutaneous plasmacytoma(s) in your dog.


In cases where the tumor has become invasive, surgical removal of the tumor and surrounding tissue is usually advised. Additionally, radiotherapy may be administered to certain dogs to eliminate the neoplastic tissue.

Living and Management

Thankfully, the majority of dogs show positive responses to surgery and radiotherapy, resulting in an excellent prognosis with proper treatment.

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