Feeling a lump or bump on your pet can be a scary moment. The lump could be nothing to worry about, or it could be something that needs medical care. This blog addresses how to figure out which.
More than one pet owner has had that dreaded moment when they’re petting their dog and feel a lump that wasn’t there before. While some may automatically think of cancer, that’s probably not the case. However, the first step after finding a mass on your pet should to make an appointment with your veterinarian.
A common type of mass found on dogs is called a lipoma. This is a soft, rounded and non-painful mass that is simply a fat deposit under the skin. These masses are usually benign (non-cancerous), and only need to be surgically removed if they have grown so big that it hinders your dog’s movements. Other types of non-cancerous masses are cysts, warts and hematomas, also called blood blisters.
For all lumps, the vet will examine it by look and feel. He or she might want to test the tissue by completing a biopsy. A biopsy is when the vet removes some cells from the mass for a pathologist to examine. That expert can determine if the cells are benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). From there, you and your vet can discuss treatment options and other next steps. If the lump is a malignant tumor, you and your vet can decide if your pooch should have surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments.
The most important thing you can do for your dog is to love him. That includes regular trips to the vet to catch such problems early.
Did you ever discover a lump on your dog? What was the outcome? Share the story with us in the comments!