Help! My Dog Has a Lump
Finding a lump on your dog can be a frightening ordeal, but it isn’t a reason to panic. The vast majority of canine lumps are nonmalignant and require little to no treatment.
Nevertheless, if you find a mass on your dog it is important to visit a vet and get it properly diagnosed.
Common Types of Lumps
The following list includes a few common canine lumps.
1. The most common types of nonmalignant lumps found on canines are lipomas. These are fatty masses that are often discovered on aging dogs.
While these lumps pose little to no risk to your dog, they can become uncomfortable and even limit mobility.
Lipomas grow under the skin, are soft to the touch, and slightly moveable. If your dog develops one lipoma, it is highly probable that they will develop more in the future.
If you suspect a lipoma, seek medical advice. Veterinarians will need to examine the mass, take a small tissue sample, and may need to do a MRI, x-ray, or CT scan to determine whether or not the mass is malignant.
2. Histiocytomas are another concerning lump. The good news is, they pose no risk to your dog and will probably even go away on their own. However, their red coloring can be very alarming.
According to Pet MD, these masses are more likely to appear on young dogs.
While they may not be as harmful as they look, veterinarians often recommend these masses be removed.
3. Did you know that dogs can suffer from skin cancer too? Keep an eye out for never-before-seen brown or black moles and other skin markings that appear suddenly. Melanoma is treatable, but time is of the essence.
The National Canine Cancer Foundation malignant melanomas frequently appear in the mouth, on the feet, or in other hairless regions of the body.
Without proper treatment, these tumors can spread and have the potential to become fatal.
4. Mast cell tumors, also known as Mastocytomas, are one of the most common types of malignant canine tumors.
Mast cells make up for nearly one-fourth of canine tumors.
Early detection and treatment are key to life-expectancy. A large portion of mast cell tumors can be removed in surgery. However, they do have the potential to spread when left alone.
Dog Has a Lump on the Neck Under Chin
No matter where you find a lump on your dog, it is important to consult a veterinarian. Each mass needs to be examined individually.
Common neck lumps include swollen lymph nodes, lipomas, warts, and thyroid tumors.
Lump in Mouth
There is a wide variety of lumps that appear in dogs’ mouths. They can appear on the lips, gums, or tongue.
Oral masses have the potential to be cancerous, inhibit your dog’s eating, or have subsequent negative health effects.
Avoid letting oral tumors go unnoticed by maintaining your dog’s oral hygiene on a daily basis.
If you begin to notice a bad smell, blood, teeth issues, or if your dog is struggling to eat, it could be a sign they have developed an oral tumor.
Lump on Leg
It is not unusual for a dog to develop a lump on their leg. However, a mass in this region is often difficult to label.
If the lump is soft, movable, and under the flesh of one of the front legs, it is likely to be a lipoma. A small, smooth bump that resembles a wart may be a sebaceous gland hyperplasia. A red, hairless bump that appears out of nowhere could be a harmless histiocytoma.
While it may be easy to identify a tumor’s properties and match it up with potential explanations, a proper medical diagnosis is imperative.
Lump on Stomach
Some dogs, older ones in particular, develop abdominal masses. Sometimes these account for intestinal tumors.
If your dog’s abdominal mass is paired with bowel issues, they may be suffering from a nonmalignant instenial tumor.
These tumors can disrupt natural digestion and, therefore, most likely need to be examined and removed by a vetrinarian.
Lump On Eyelid
Older dogs run the risk of developing eyelid tumors. Whether cancerous or not, these tumors can obstruct your pup’s vision and may be painful.
According to the Pet Health Network, these tumors are often frozen and removed with the help of liquid nitrogen.
Lump on Tail
You can often judge a mass by its shape, texture, appearance, and location.
For example, if a mass appears on the base of your dog’s tail, it may be a perianal adenoma. Perianal adenomas have the potential to be malignant.
According to a report by the Mountain View Animal Hospital in Essex, Vermont, these masses occur in older, male dogs and have a tendency to grow slowly, often going unnoticed.
What to Do
If you find a lump on your dog it is important to consult a veterinarian. While many pet owners put off visits due to their fears of costly procedures and unfortunate outcomes, early intervention could be save your dogs life.
When you visit the vet, expect that they will need to examine the lump and most likely need to run one or more diagnostic tests.
Not only will these tests be able to determine an explanation for the lump, they will be allow your vet to determine any possible treatments.
A proper medical diagnosis can put your mind at ease and even eliminate your pet’s unnecessary discomfort.