Skin Lumps and Bumps in Dogs: What You Should Know
Lumps and bumps are commonly found on our pets. But the question is should you worry? It is best to get every lump checked by a veterinary surgeon who can run any necessary tests to provide a diagnosis.
A lot of lumps can be fatty tumours, most are benign, meaning not cancerous. Fewer than half of lumps and bumps you find on a dog are malignant, or cancerous. Unless you’re sure about the cause of a lump or bump, bring your dog in for an examination. If you see fast growth, redness, swelling, pus, an opening, or if the dog is in pain, make that appointment even sooner.
If you have found a lump on your pet we will want to know the following –
- Has the lump appeared suddenly?
- Has its shape, colour or size changed?
- Have your pet’s behaviour, appetite or energy levels changed?
The easiest way to identify the type of lump is to remove some cells from it with a fine needle. We will then look at them under the microscope. Sometimes we can tell right away if it’s a fatty tumour. If this is not the case we will send the cells to an external laboratory for analysis.
The most common lumps found are:
Fatty tumours which occur most often in older dogs, especially around the ribs, although they can show up anywhere. They’re considered a natural part of ageing. Any breed can have them, but larger dogs and those who are overweight are more prone to them. Usually no treatment is needed, unless they give the dog pain or cause trouble with moving around.
Sebaceous cysts are blocked oil glands that looks like pimples. When they burst, a white, pasty substance comes out.
Warts are caused by a virus and can be found around the mouths of young dogs. They’ll usually go away by themselves. Older dogs might need surgery to remove them.
Abscesses are a build-up of pus under the skin. They can be caused by an insect bite or an infection. These are commonly seen in cats who have been fighting.
Mast cell tumours are the most common skin cancers in dogs. They’re most often found in Boxers, Boston terriers, Labradors, Beagles, and Schnauzers.
If your dog has a lump, even if you find out it isn’t cancerous, keep a close eye out for others, and have new ones tested.
We will likely advise that you keep a chart of their location and size to make it easier to keep track of what’s new and what’s changed.
During the month of July we will be offering a consultation to check a lump for just £10 (normal price £32.18).
If additional tests are required, we will provide you with a detailed estimate.
Please note that the consult is to check the lump only. If other problems are discussed this will incur further costs.
Terms and Conditions apply