Nasal Polyps and Tumors in dogs

A polyp is a growth that begins as an enlargement of one of the mucous glands in the nose. It looks something like a cherry on a stalk. It is not cancer. Polyps cause symptoms by bleeding and blocking the flow of air. They can be removed by your veterinarian. Recurrence is possible.

Other tumors are found in the nasal cavity and sinuses. Most are malignant. They tend to occur in older dogs. Breeds reported to be at increased risk include the Airedale Terrier, Basset Hound, Old English Sheepdog, Scottish Terrier, German Shepherd Dog, Keeshond, and German Shorthaired Pointer. The main signs are discharge or bleeding through one nostril, accompanied by sneezing and sniffling.

The diagnosis is suspected on X-rays and confirmed by biopsy of the tumor through an endoscope. A CT scan may be useful in evaluating the extent of bone involvement. Large tumors can make one side of the face protrude. If they extend behind the eye, the eye will bulge. These tumors are far advanced.

Treatment: Benign tumors are cured by complete surgical removal. Malignant tumors are invasive and generally are not curable, but survival can sometimes be prolonged using a combination of surgery and radiation therapy.