Melanomas are proliferations of epithelial cells and usually have a black color. They occur in both dogs and cats and mainly in older animals. They are generally benign and look like black or brown spots or bumps in the skin. If the bumps are more significant than 2 cm, are poorly delineated, or grow very fast, then they are usually malignant changes. In cats, we typically see them on the ears or around the mouth, and the melanomas are almost always fatal. Malignant melanomas can spread to the lungs. Before a surgical removal, therefore, X-rays should always be taken. Unfortunately, it is not still possible to remove the tumor (s) (e.g., on the lip), and there is a high risk of recurrence. The average survival time of animals with malignant melanomas is 12 months. Also, in animals with benign melanomas, there is a high chance of a deadly relapse after removal.

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