A dog with its head in a person's lap

You’re snuggled up on the couch with your best fur friend when your hand passes over a lump you hadn’t noticed before. Immediately, your mind starts racing. Is it new? What is it? 

Before you know it, you’re over on Dr. Google, frantically searching for answers. The search engine turns up all sorts of scary words. Tumor. Cancer. Malignant. 

Lumps and bumps on pets seem scary, but they don’t have to be. Seeking guidance from a veterinary professional is always your best bet, and your team at Harris Parkway Animal Hospital is ready to help.

Commonly Found

One of the best things you can do is have the lump on your pet examined as soon as possible. Although they can be benign, if the lump is larger than pea sized and sticks around for a month or longer, it’s time to figure out what’s going on. 

When your pet comes in for a veterinary evaluation of a lump, we will take note of the precise size and location. Over time, we can evaluate changes and determine what treatments are necessary. Things we look for include:

  • Is the lump on top of the skin or beneath?
  • Is it raised or flat?
  • Does it feel firm or squishy to the touch?
  • Does it move under pressure?
  • Does it bleed or have discharge?
  • Is your pet sensitive to it being touched?

During this exam, we will also complete a full physical exam to find if there are other lumps in different areas of the body. 

Fatty Tumors

Lipomas are one of the most common skin conditions in pets, especially dogs. They are benign, but they can grow over time and become uncomfortable and unsightly. When they become malignant, they are known as liposarcoma. This diagnosis can be confirmed by a fine needle aspirate, which takes a few cells from the mass that can then be evaluated under a microscope. 

What Is It?

There are many different types of lumps and bumps on pets. Some of the most common include:

  • Warts
  • Moles
  • Skin tags
  • Sebaceous gland tumors
  • Cysts
  • Histiocytoma

Certain growths can also be explained by cancer. Mast cell tumors, squamous cell carcinomas, malignant melanomas, and cutaneous hemangiosarcomas are some of the more serious cancers that can spread to other parts of the body. These may be difficult to surgically remove, and it’s therefore of utmost importance to have all lumps and bumps on pets evaluated immediately.

Next Steps

If a fine needle aspirate reveals cancer cells, a biopsy may be the next step. Digital radiographs or an ultrasound may also be indicated to determine if the cancer has spread to other body systems as well as to evaluate where it originated.

Lumps and Bumps On Pets

The bottom line is that although lumps and bumps on pets are most often benign, there’s always a chance they could be something more serious. Therefore, it’s in your pet’s best interest to be examined by one of our veterinarians

If you have concerns or questions about lumps and bumps on pets please give us a call.