Finding a dog lump is not a rare occurrence.
Dogs may develop papules (small lumps) or nodules (large lumps) on their skin. They are fairly common, especially in older dogs. The lump may be within the skin, in the tissues under the skin or attached to the skin and the underlying tissues.
A dog skin lump may immediately trigger the thought of cancer. But, there are many causes of dog lumps. The growth may be:
While there may be a number of possibilities, all lumps should be evaluated to ensure that they are not malignant.
Call your vet immediately if you notice any new dog lump, especially those that are:
Signs such as these indicate veterinary attention. Be prepared, since your vet will ask you several questions such as:
Your vet may aspirate the lump with a needle to collect cells for testing, perform a biopsy of part of the lump or the entire mass, or collect fluid from ulcerative lumps for further inspection. If bacteria or fungi are suspected, a piece of the tissue may be submitted for culture.
Malignant Tumors are collections of quickly growing, abnormal cancerous cells. They can endanger your dog's health by invading nearby tissues or spreading (metastasizing) to other parts of the body. There are many types of malignant tumors, but the most common are:
Benign tumors do not spread or invade other tissues. The require removal when they grow in areas where they may press upon an organ in a confined area (such as against the brain) or if they become damaged and inhibit other tissues. Common benign tumors are:
The treatment for lumps on dogs will vary depending on the diagnosis.
Malignant tumors are usually surgically removed. Your vet may recommend chemotherapy or radiation, or if you see a holistic vet, a less traumatic treatment will normally be suggested.
Benign tumors are normally left alone unless they impede your dog's quality of life. If they bother you or your dog, you can try an herbal treatment such as PetAlive Skin and Coat Tonic.
It contains a variety of specially selected herbs, nutrients and biochemic tissue salts known to support the skin and coat.
Abscesses are normally cut open, cleaned and flushed. Afterwards, a regiment of antibiotics may be suggested.
Cysts can be opened and drained, but can be left alone unless they bother the dog (or the owner).
Hematomas not caused by trauma are treated by eliminating the underlying cause. Traumatic hematomas normally resolve themselves.
Hives caused by an allergic reaction are treated with anti-inflammatories.
You can easily get an answer from a vet online. Your answer is normally answered within a few hours and may save you a trip to the vet.
Finding a dog lump can be alarming. Have your vet check it out as soon as possible as you may be worrying about nothing. I found a lump on my Schatzi which thankfully turned out to be a sebaceous cyst.
This type of dog lump is nothing to worry about. It is primarily a cosmetic issue which can be compared to a pimple. They form when oil (sebum) accumulates in the hair follicle and forms a nodule under the skin. Regular dog grooming of your German Shepherd can help keep them from forming.