When you see a dark spot on your greyhound's skin, you may want to take a closer look.  Dark "things" can be something serious, or they can be minor things that are more of a nuisance than anything else.  One of the common things our greyhounds seem to grow easily is a hemangioma and, fortunately, these fall more into the nuisance category.

 

Appearance - smooth surface, red color, usually less than 1/4" across and often much smaller.  (Click pictures for a full-size view)

                                                  

 

Location - especially common on the lower chest and abdomen, and the legs.  They're usually seen in the areas with the least fur.

Significance - these are benign growths - not cancers.  They will bleed if scratched. 

Treatment - if they are clearly hemangioma's, these small growths require no further treatment.  Some disappear on their own.  Some remain for years.

 

What else could they be?  There are other, more serious tumors that can be confused with hemangioma's so unless you're confident about it, your vet should be the one to make that distinction. 

  • Hemangiosarcomas - this is the malignant version of this tumor and these need to be quickly and completely removed surgically.  Hemangiosarcomas tend to be larger, and tend to have a more irregular cobble-stone surface.  These tumors can also be found internally, and they can be fatal.

Here are pictures of a hemangiosarcoma (click for full-sized)

    

 

  • Melanomas - a very serious cancer.  These tumors are often black, not blood-filled red, and may be thick or flat.  The borders may be irregular and hard to define.  Melanoma's spreads to other areas, and can also be fatal.

 

 

 

 

   

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