After clinical examination by a vet, tumours in your pet can be shown by various imaging methods. Besides X-ray in different planes, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in particular are very important in diagnosing cancer in dogs. Doppler ultrasound can show the tumour’s blood flow and the course of the blood vessels. Magnetic resonance imaging is used especially in the diagnosis of brain tumours and tumours in the spine, pelvis and bone.
For prognosis and treatment planning it is important to know the kind of tumour, whether it is benign or malignant, how it behaves biologically and whether there are already metastases. With many growths, the type of tumour and degree of malignancy can be determined by cytological examination. Samples are usually obtained by fine needle aspiration or biopsy without an anaesthetic.
Other diagnostic laboratory tests (blood count etc.) can often provide further helpful evidence. Metastases are sought or excluded by X-ray and ultrasound scans. The lymph nodes in the vicinity of the tumour can be aspirated and likewise examined for tumour cells. Apart from surgical removal, treatment with chemotherapy or radiation may also be possible, depending on the tumour.