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Should You Worry About Lumps and Bumps on Dogs?

Just imagine sitting at home and relaxing with your four-legged friend, and then you feel something strange. You can’t quite pinpoint it, but it seems like it might be a lump.


It's normal to have concerns, especially the fact that these lumps and bumps might be cancerous. Fortunately, most of these are lipomas, which are benign fatty tumors that are harmless and often occur in older dogs. 


However, some lumps and bumps are cancerous and require immediate surgery before it spreads to the rest of the body.


 Because of the various causes, it’s best to know the common ones, so you get an idea of what’s affecting your canine companion. Here’s our guide at Dope Dog for familiarizing yourself with lumps and bumps on your dog so you’re prepared when you go to the vet.


Related: CBD Oil for Dogs With Cancer: Everything you need to know

Types of lumps and bumps

Here is a list of lumps and bumps that you might have felt or seen on your canine friend's body.

Sebaceous cyst

This is a cyst that blocks the oil gland. The result is the accumulation of oil that creates a pimple on your dog. When the pimple burst, you’ll see a white, thick, and pasty substance oozing out.


Fatty Tumor

Fatty tumors are also called lipomas. They are mobile, fat-filled, and slow-growing tumors that are often benign. 


Lipomas are common in older dogs and can be easily manipulated and located under their skin. They can develop anywhere and are often found in the chest or abdomen. 


These tumors do not pose any threat, but if it gets too big, it can cause some pain, irritation, and obstructions. 


Practically every senior dog will have at least one lipoma in their lifetime.

Abscess 

This is an accumulation of pus under the skin. An insect bite or infection can cause it. If the abscess does not go away and continues to grow, cause pain, have redness and swelling, and cause fever, then it's time to see a vet for a potential bacterial infection. The vet may have to drain the abscess and provide antibiotic medication to treat the dog.

Warts

This is caused by viruses that can be found around the mouth of a dog. Warts usually go away on their own, but in older dogs, they might need surgery to remove them.

Mast cell tumors

This is the most common skin cancer in dogs and is often found in Schnauzers, Labrador, Beagles, Boxers, and Boston Terriers.

Hives

If you see round, swelling red rashes on the skin that cause your dogs to itch non-stop, then that definitely means your dog has gotten hives. This is an allergic reaction to skin allergens like a bee sting or a particular plant. Usually, hives will resolve on their own, but in severe cases, it will require anti-histamine or steroids.


Related: 5 Easy Ways To Avoid Seasonal Allergies

Diagnosis

Once you bring your dog to the vet, they will initiate the proper physical examination. The main objective of the exam is to make sure that the bumps are not cancerous. The doctor will have to do a needle aspiration, microscopic evaluation, and biopsy of the tissue. The diagnosis will determine the treatment plan for your canine friend.

Treatment

If the diagnosis comes out to be a lipoma and it doesn’t pose any health issue or that it’s too small to do anything, then the vet will recommend leaving it alone. However, if the lipoma is really big to the point of causing skin irritation, movement issues, or obstruction, then the vet will have to remove it surgically.


If the needle aspiration reveals an abscess, then your dog might be prescribed with antibiotics and will require drainage and excision to get rid of the pus.


 If there are tumors or other malignancies, the veterinarian will have to excise the malignant lump and bump. Keep in mind that surgery always poses some complications because your dog is under anesthesia and is being opened up.


Surgery can lead to low blood pressure, suppress respiratory rate, suppress cardiovascular system, bleeding, infection, and much more. That is why, before surgery, the veterinarian will perform a pre-surgical blood test to ensure that your pet is healthy and is less likely to suffer potential complications from the procedure. 


  • The chemistry test will evaluate the liver, kidney, sugar level, and pancreatic function.

  •  The antibody test is to check for ticks and other infectious diseases. 

  • Complete blood count will eliminate blood-related diseases. 

  • Electrolyte testing ensures that your dog is not dehydrated or has any deficiencies. 

  • Creatinine screening is use for UTI and to evaluate kidney health. 

  • TSH determine if your dog has an adequate amount of thyroid hormone. 

  • An ECG can check for abnormal heart rate or any underlying heart problems. 

Prevention

It depends on the cause, but when it comes to a lipoma, there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.


However, in other cases, it’s best to keep your dog clean by taking him or her to the groomers or bathing them once every two weeks. Keeping your dog clean will prevent them from getting an infection that can cause an abscess, which can lead to lumps and bumps. 


Other ideas are to take them to the vet for a check-up on an annual basis to ensure that your dog is healthy. This is an excellent preventative method to treat any underlying illnesses that could manifest into a lump and bump that you will have to deal with eventually.

Final Thoughts

Finding a lump or bump on your canine friend's body can be worrisome. Fortunately, we have listed the common causes that the majority of these bumps might be.


 If the lipomas are small enough and do not cause any symptoms, the veterinarians often leave it alone. If they cause obstruction, limited mobility, or other issues, then the vet will have to remove it surgically.


 There are also other causes such as abscess, hives, infection, and much more. 


Once the vet provides the proper diagnosis, he or she will be able to initiate the appropriate treatment.


The best thing that you can do is to keep your dog relax with some CBD dog treats so they know that they are in good hands.


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