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A malignant tumor has no clear edges and will ulcerate and spread.

However, although bone tumors on the forelimb (especially at the distal [lower] end of the radius/ulna - just above the knee joint and a favorite site) or those on the distal end of the tibia/fibula (just above the hock joint) on the hind leg are easy enough to detect, particularly when the typical hard swelling starts, those in other sites can be much more difficult to diagnose.Signs of internal tumors are non-specific but include weight loss (sometimes rapid), diarrhea or constipation, pain which may be shown by a stiffness of movement, passage of blood or vomiting of blood or "coffee-grounds", and loss of appetite.Cancer of the lymph system is quite common and can involve a combination of lymph glands, bone marrow, circulating blood, and internal organs.This is especially so if they are on bones where there is heavy surrounding musculature, such as the shoulder-blade, upper arm, or thigh.These are all too likely to be diagnosed as pulled muscles, damaged tendons, arthritis, etc. One problem is that they are often well advanced before being noticed.The last is probably due to the fact that widespread treatment of cancer in animals is still relatively new.The proper name is neoplasia - literally "new growth" - and the features which define it are persistence/purposelessness/proliferation.There are two types of neoplasia: malignant which destroy, invade, and metastase (spread); and benign, which grow locally and by expansion rather than invasion.A benign tumor is like an egg, with well defined edges which can be felt around. Even a benign tumor, though, can cause problems through pressure, for example if it occurs in the brain.This can lead to kidney and liver failure, which is something your poor dog does not need on top of the cancer.Fortunately, these secondary liver and kidney complications can usually be avoided by watching the dog's diet.


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