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Are My Dog’s Lumps And Bumps Normal, Or Is It Cancer?

Let’s face it, we all—humans and animals alike—get more lumpy and bumpy with age. But unlike us, our pets can’t point out a lump and ask, “Is this normal?” It’s up to us to be on the lookout for growths under or on our pet’s skin.

And when we do find a lump or bump while grooming or petting our dogs, it’s an understandable response to be alarmed. That’s not a bad thing—it’s wise to be both aware and cautious if you detect a new or changing lump.

Types of lumps and bumps on dogs

You can find many different types of lumps on dogs, but a few are more common:

  • A lipoma is a harmless or benign (non-cancerous) fatty tumor that is usually soft and can be fairly easily moved around. While lipomas are relatively slow-growing and don’t usually pose a health threat to your pet, they need to be monitored for change in size so that they don’t limit your pet’s mobility.
  • A sebaceous cyst is caused by a blocked oil gland or hair follicle, and is usually harmless to your pet. They are generally whitish in color, and are basically very large pimples. They may resolve on their own If left alone, but may need to be removed if an infection or inflammation occurs.
  • A mast cell tumor is a cancerous tumor most commonly found in the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Unfortunately, mast cell tumors don’t have a typical look and feel. They may be big or small, soft or hard, flat or raised.

Should I take my dog to the vet?

When it comes to any lump or bump on your dog, don’t take a “wait and see” approach. Benign masses may become too big to easily remove, and if the mass is cancerous then early detection is crucial when it comes to treatment and a cure. Because benign and cancerous skin lumps can easily be confused, consult your PetWellClinic veterinarian to determine which type of lump or bump your dog has developed. 

After a physical examination, our vet may recommend a fine needle aspiration as a first step to diagnosing a tumor’s makeup. Our vet will use a thin needle to extract some of the lump’s cells to examine on a slide under a microscope. The procedure is quick and easy and usually relatively painless to your pet. 

Your PetWellClinic vet may then be able to tell from the microscope whether the lump is just a fatty lipoma, or if it has enough questionable cells to warrant further examination with a more in-depth pathology review, a biopsy, or surgical removal.

The veterinarians at PetWellClinic® will be happy to examine your dog’s bumps and lumps, and can perform a quick and easy needle aspiration of the mass if you both determine it to be necessary.

By operating as a walk-in-clinic for non-surgical care, PetWellClinic® is able to offer substantially discounted prices for minor procedures such as these, as well as wellness exams, and vaccinations. PetWellClinic® is a leading model of affordable pet care designed to save our clients time and money while keeping their pets healthy. We also offer discounted prices on safe heartworm, flea, and tick preventative products and medications for chronic conditions, as well as treatment options for minor conditions.

PetWellClinic is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. If your dog has any questionable lumps or bumps, walk into your local PetWellClinic today.

PetWellClinic provides convenient, affordable veterinary care for pet owners. PetWellClinic has locations and services built with convenience in mind. Stop by with your pet any time! No appointment necessary.

1 Comment
  • Sandi
    Posted at 16:27h, 12 December Reply

    Thank you for your knowledge and explaining it so I may understand I’m still very concern with sammy lumps it’s seems like there multiplying , my concern is his lathaugic and his breathing seems to be struggling and his swallowing it’s differcult so my concern is if he has a lump in his throat ? Any feed back would appreciate it?thanks sandi sammy mom

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