Bumps and lumps are good reasons why you should check your pet’s body regularly. Contrary to popular notions, lumps, bumps, or skin growths are NOT all cancerous. But if you do find one on your pet’s body, it is recommended that you bring it to the attention of your veterinarian. It is always good to be safe than be sorry.
Bumps and lumps are quite common in dogs. It should be noted that not all skin growths you may notice on your pet’s body are tumors. Some lumps are brought about by the accumulation of cells or fluids under the skin tissues. Thus, if you do find a lump or bump, always remember that most are not really life-threatening. Don’t panic! Make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately so your dog can undergo a complete examination and a treatment regiment can be started if needed.
Malignant versus Benign Dog Tumors
A growth is said to be malignant or cancerous when there is rapid growth and has the potential to spread to other organs of the body (a process known as metastasis). On the other hand, benign tumors tend to grow slowly and don’t metastasize. A major concern associated with benign dog tumors is when they exert pressure on another organ or impede movement.
Common types of lumps on dogs
Lumps, bumps, and growth on the body have distinct characteristics that allow proper diagnosis so appropriate treatment can be given. When you find something on your pet’s body, it can either be a type of skin growth (such as abscesses, hematomas, apocrine cysts, or a reaction to an injection) or a tumor (histiocytomas, lipomas, sebaceous gland hyperplasia, or malignant skin tumors).
Types of skin growth in dogs
Types of tumors in dogs
How tumors in dogs are addressed by veterinarians?
If you notice any type of growth on your pet’s skin, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. After a thorough examination, your veterinarian may decide to employ other procedures to confirm the initial diagnosis, such as obtaining a tissue sample from the lump and examining it under a microscope. Your veterinarian will also want to know additional information such as:
If cancer is suspected by your veterinarian, a biopsy may also be recommended. It involves removing a part of the tumor or the entire tumor and having a pathologist examine it. Your pet may have to be sedated or given anesthetic drugs before the removal of the tumor.
For other types of skin growths, such as ear hematomas or abscess, there are treatment procedures to address these problems.
The decision to have a lump removed or not will depend on the veterinarian’s assessment and diagnosis.
If it’s cancer, what’s next?
If it’s cancer, the next step will be to determine if it has already spread to other parts of the body before a course of treatment can be made. Radiation and/or chemotherapy may be needed for treatment and prevent further growth and/or metastasis.
Grooming sessions are the best times to check your pet’s body for any signs of lumps or bumps. Being familiar with your pet’s body will make it easier for you to notice if something is wrong. Always remember that early detection is very important so veterinary attention can be sought immediately.