January 2018
Peer Reviewed

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Although most skin tumors encountered in veterinary patients are benign, malignant tumor types do occur. Because many are erythematous and pruritic, they can be easily confused with commonly diagnosed pruritic conditions (eg, scabies, allergic disease). The following tumors are commonly misdiagnosed based on their gross appearance.



References and author information Show
  1. Watrach AM, Small E, Case MT. Canine papilloma: progression of oral papilloma to carcinoma. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1970;45(5):915-20.


Suggested Reading

  • Clifford CA. Neoplastic and non-neoplastic tumors. In: Miller WH, Griffin CE, Campbell KL, eds. Muller and Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders; 2012:774-843.
  • Duclos DD, Hargis AM, Hanley PW. Pathogenesis of canine interdigital palmar and plantar comedones and follicular cysts, and their response to laser surgery. Vet Dermatol. 2008;19(3):134-141.
  • Teifke JP, Löhr CV, Shirasawa H. Detection of canine oral papillomavirus-DNA in canine oral squamous cell carcinomas and p53 overexpressing skin papillomas of the dog using the polymerase chain reaction and non-radioactive in situ hybridization. Vet Microbiol. 1998;60:119-130.

Elizabeth Rustemeyer May

DVM, DACVD University of Tennessee

Elizabeth Rustemeyer May, DVM, DACVD, is an associate professor of small animal clinical sciences at University of Tennessee. Her areas of clinical and research interest are diagnosis and treatment of otitis in dogs and cats and evaluation of nonantibiotic options for treating infectious otitis and hair coat disorders in Schipperkes. She earned her DVM from Texas A&M University and was in small animal private practice in Houston, Texas, before completing a residency in veterinary dermatology at University of Tennessee.

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